Chapter 1 – Road closed and Snowboarding


England – France – Germany – Austria – Italy – Slovenia

Departure Day – Friday 17th March 2006 After 21 months of planning, departure day was finally upon us (and only 3 days behind schedule!). The past few months had been manic but the past two weeks had been ridiculous. I finally finished packing at 0230! Danny had finished around midnight but was back up at 0600 to get finished. Riding past Fleet services on my way to Kent I was overcome by emotion. I don’t know whether it was the relief of finally getting away, thoughts of those I was leaving behind (Great leaving party!) or fear of the unknown, but fortunately, it didn’t last long. I met up with Danny and some other friends – Ash & Neneh Zala – at Oakdene cafe (M26 J2a)and after a bacon butty we finished stickering the bikes ready for a photo shoot with Fast Bikes magazine that afternoon. After the photo shoot we stayed at Kents best B&B courtesy of Mr & Mrs Longstaff (Sossig ‘n’Bubble)who even provided us with an alarm call & breakfast at 0515. On arrival at the Eurotunnel we were shocked to find that, at 63quid, their ‘Turn-up-and-go’ price was almost three times their online price. We caught the ferry. SLOVENIA We entered Slovenia on Wednesday but were prevented from getting to Kranjska Gora by an avalanche. Having crossed hardpacked snow on our attempt to cross the Vrisic pass (1611m)we rounded a bend to be faced with the picture you see below. Obviously we had to turn back, but we weren’t keen on the thought of the decent on a 300Kg motorcycle.Following several ‘moments’ we returned to Bovec where we spent the night. "Oh well... back to Italy!" The following day we finally made it to Kranjska Gora via Italy. It was a beautiful day in Slovenia’s premier ski resort so we parked up, swapped our motorcycle boots for snowboarding boots, rented a couple of boards and spent several hours cruising/terrorising the all but empty pistes – A proper day. BMW multipurpose riding suits We are currently in Bled where I had planned to visit the church on the island in the lake but the weather has put pay to that – we can’t even see the island! Whilst in Bled we also attended our first Ice Hockey match. Bled were in the final of a competition against an Austrian team. With the score level at 3-3 at full time, Bled at one point were 5-3 down on a best of 5 penalty shootout before bringing it back to 5-5. Next came the golden penalty with Bled eventually taking the win. Not as violent as we’d expected by a good evenings entertainment! From Bled we headed on down to Postjana castle & caves. The castle is quite unusual in that it is built into the rock face and some of the caves as rooms. The caves were simply stunning. An Israeli staying in our hostel in Bled had said that we would see many things on our journey but we would not see anything like this. We were not disappointed. An initial train ride of 1km is followed by a walk of 1km and a second train ride, again of 1km, led us through a labyrinth of caves up to 40m high and of Stalagmites & Stalactites in a vast array of colours shapes and sizes. The train finished in a large cave where you looked down on the underground river flowing over a weir. Suddenly we felt like we were on a James Bond set. Only 3km of the 7km of tunnels are open to the public and were discovered when a local man fell through a hole in the ground in the late 1800’s!

Predjama Castle

PHOTO GALLERY -click the Smugmug logo

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13 years ago

Fantastic journey(s) and photos!