Hairpin bends and steep descents

Yesterday morning Davids friends Milan and Andreja joined us for coffee. Milan was the Slovenian ambassador in Croatia. Milan then drove us west across the border into the Italian Alps then back round and up the most convoluted road I have ever experienced. Hairpin bends, sheer drops and cyclists and oncoming drivers to contend with we inched our way to the top.
On route we passed the fort where in 1804 three hundred men died fighting against Napoleon’s army attacking from Italy.
As we reached the car park near the summit of Mt Mangart (2679m) the view and altitude was. Breathtaking, I almost used my entire memory card trying to photograph the magnificence of it all. Meanwhile the naturalists in our group were on hands and knees exclaiming one after another “oh goodness come and see this trumpet gentian or alpine butterwort”. The difference in scale and focus has never been so great.

After an hour wandering around the top and identifying mountain ranges in Slovenia, Austria and Italy we began the steep descent and it was as exciting as any theme park ride.
Lunch with Milan was a storytelling dream once he knew my interests. He told me tales of the mam who smuggled salt from the salt pans we stayed near earlier this week and the origins of two different wines based disputedly on only the different soil types.
The ongoing football tournament almost passed us by but we caught the latter minutes when England went through but Slovenia did not.
Saying farewell to our hosts and the Robertsons who had a train to catch, David and I took a stroll along the river and took the picture of Kranjska Nora above. A most beautiful evening, blue skies, we drank outside a now restaurant in the square and were treat to an enjoyable evening of traditional Slovenian entertainment when the troupe of the Suha Spaga ensemble arrived on penny farthing bikes and played and sang polkas and waltzes while demonstrating his to wax your skis. So good I bought the album. Tomorrow we go west in search of more butterflies, lakes and hopefully more cultural history.


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