Vintgar gorge, Bled
This is a map of the area. A larger version of it can be found here. I took a bus to Spodnje and then walked to Podhom. The entrance to Vintgar Gorge is at Vintgar down a small track from Podham. I then walked through the gorge where the trail ends at "HE Vintgar". I then walked along the trail up and over Hom hill to St Catherine's Church which is marked as Sv. Katarina on the map. Then I walked down the hill through the village of Zasip and back into Bled.
The Vintgar Gorge is one of the most popular natural features in Slovenia. It lies a couple of miles north of Bled near the village of Podhom where the Radovna River cuts a deep gorge between the hills of Hom and Borst. It was only discovered in 1891 by Jakob Žumer, the Major of Gorje and Benedikt Lergetporer, a cartographer and photographer from Bled. The discovery was accidental and took place at a time when the water level of the Radovna river was very low. They started their exploration in Spodnje Gorje and headed towards Blejska Dobrava. They made it through the otherwise impassable ravine with great difficulty and discovered so much natural beauty that they decided to establish a construction committee. The gorge was arranged for visits, especially for visitors to Bled. A 1600m long trail was opened to the public on 26th August 1893 and is still used to this day. The walk is wonderfully cool as the sun hardly reaches the river. You get to see some fast water as the river flows quickly over rapids and waterfalls. If you start at the entrance near Spodnje Gorje, the walk should take you around 30mins to reach the 16 m high Šum waterfall. There are cabins where you can buy drinks at both ends of the gorge. At the eastern end you can walk up Hom hill to Zasip and then back to Bled. More pictures can be found in my travelogue.
Open: 8am-7pm. Admission: 700SIT.
Directions: Take a bus from Bled to Spodnje Gorje or Podhom and then follow the signs to Vintgar.
Here you can see the path as it continues along the side of the gorge, this section is washed out almost every year by the floods in the rainly season or from the seasonal snow melt off. You can see the water and actually how small the stream is at this point, it is only a meter deep or so. Yet imagine the power when the river is flooeded and reaches the height of the walkway.....
You can see the bridge that sways over the gorge as you follow the river down its course. But maybe that is another bridge in the background, no, actually that is the path along the cliff face. But you can see from the point an excellent vantage place for the rapids and small falls just past the bridge.
Even though Vintgar is relatively small in proportions, it has some beautiful rapids,not for doing any type of rafting, but just for sitting and seeing and listening. You can see the green dappled water turn to white and then revert to a calm pool once again as the canyon open and closes its sides.
Just west and slightly north of Bled is the Vintgar Gorge. A peaceful bit of beauty hidden by steep canyons. You trace your way along a canyon wall that has been "tamed" by the hands of man and a path made there out of wood.
Before you left the gorge, you will have this amazingly beautiful view. The steam Radovna looks much more peaceful here than in the gorge. This area must be very beautiful in autumn when all the leafs are coloured.
If you are interested to see more pics of the gorge, fee free to watch my travelogue about it ....
The wooden path follows the steam and it crosses it very often on bridges. You can see this here on the picture.
Although it was very cloudy this day and the atmosphere was rather dim I could take a lot of good pictures. The camera was handhold and shutterspeeds were very low - between 1/15 and 1/20 seconds - and so I was afraid that the pictures will bet bad. But surprisingly they all became very good ....
The gorge is so versatile - in some parts very bride and flat in other part steep and small, like on this picture.
You will see a lot of versatile parts and different colours when you hike though the gorge - in just 30 minutes!
Just have a look down to the steam - it looks so clean that you can see nearly everything on the ground!
Just click on the picture to see the amazing details on the ground. There are a lot of stones and a these colours - simply great!
This is one of the pictures I shot from the bridges - it seem like I stand in the steam! I fact the bridge was rather low and so I kneel down and shot this picture through the railings ...
The shutter speed was slow and so the photo looks very authentic.
It is just amazing to see how the steam Radovna has grown such a great gorge over the centuries! This is nature and landscape on its finest in my opinion.
And the water of the steam is so clear that you can see all the stones on its ground ....