Rainy Julian Alps with the Americans

One day in February I got the most exhilarating call. It was Alenka from the Ljubljana Guides asking me if I could join her on an organized group hike in the Julian Alps in July. The plan was to start the hike from Savica above Lake Bohinj, go to the Krn Lake Hut on the first day, then off to the Triglav Lakes on the second and third day, and finally head back down to Lake Bohinj across the Blato Plateau on the fourth day. It sounded like a blast and so I was in!

Hiking in Julian Alps, Slovenia
Hiking towards the Krn Lakes. Photo by: Journey Through Italy

Over the months I watched as the date grew closer on my calendar and pretty soon felt the urge to do some scouting first. As a result I walked 80 percent of the tour a few weekends beforehand (A spectacular yet stormy adventure in the Alps). Having seen my pics from the Triglav Lakes marathon weekend, my girlfriends, who otherwise never do any hiking, opted to join me on a shorter version of the trail the next weekend (This is how women climb mountains). By the time I was about to join the guiding team, I knew the trail by heart and felt ready for my guiding tour with the Americans.

Group hike in the Julian Alps
Lise, Linda, Kelly, Jay, John, Scott, Alenka and I on the way back from the Triglav Lakes to the Blato Plateau

However, as fate would have it, I needed to skip the first day of the tour, the one I was looking forward to most – the hike to the Krn Lake; and headed to join the group on their second day at the Triglav Lakes Hut. Me being me, I opted for the shorter but steeper (sweeter) route across the Komarča wall and arrived at the lakes well before the group who was still making their way there from the Komna Hut.

Triglav Lakes, the Black Lake, Julian Alps, Slovenia
The trail across Komarča passes the seventh of the Triglav Lakes, 150 m long, 80 m wide and 6 m deep Black Lake.

Waiting for the group, I had plenty of time to kill. What I did in that hour or so was shooting lots and lots of pictures of one of the most photogenic spots in the Julian Alps before the clouds totally obscured the view of two beautiful lakes and a charming wooden hut, trapped in an amphitheatre of high mountains.

Triglav Lakes Valley, Triglav National Park, Slovenia
Arriving at the Double Lake. Photo by: Journey Through Italy
Triglav Lakes in summer, flowers
In those few weeks since I had walked the trail with my girlfriends, all the snow had already melted and the landscape turned into this fairytale place with lush colorful flowers decorating every step of the way. Amazing!
The Triglav Lakes Hut, Triglav National Park, Slovenia
The Triglav Lakes Hut

Lying in grass beside the Double Lake, Triglav Lakes, Julian Alps, Slovenia

The Double Lake and Mt. Mala Tičarica, Julian Alps, Slovenia
The Double Lake and Mt. Mala Tičarica
Mt. Mala Tičarica above the Double Lake, Julian Alps, Slovenia
Mt. Mala Tičarica towering above the lakes

Then the group came. The sweetest, funniest and most heart-warming group of six Americans, two Italian guides and Alenka, who immediately flipped my priorities upside down. My camera soon back in the backpack, we competed in playing cards instead, took intriguing quizzes (Americans surely do come to the mountains prepared, wow!), and simply enjoyed casual conversation getting to know each other better.

Things would have been perfect if the weather hadn’t broken to the point we couldn’t leave the hut without getting totally wet. The next morning, I was already out by 6.30, hoping for that early morning window of nicer weather, which is usually the case in the mountains, and started walking towards the turquoise 300 m long, 120 m wide and 15 m deep Big Lake. After an hour, when the landscape hid under a heavy curtain of thick fog and rain, making it hard to even follow the trail let alone admire the views, I turned around. Heck, it’s even possible I had already passed the lake without actually noticing it. However, as it turned out, I might have missed the view of the largest of the seven Triglav Lakes, but I did arrive back at the hut just on time for a tasty breakfast. My stomach tends to have this sixth sense for knowing when food is being served nearby! 😀

Our group of hikers eating lunch in the hut
Dober tek!
Triglav Lakes in early morning, Julian Alps, Slovenia
Early morning by the lakes

Flowers in the rain

Foggy mountains
As odd as this may sound, I just love gloomy weather in the mountains

The day passed in long conversations, competitions in playing Uno cards, and teaching the group extremely useful Slovene words like »Jaz želim reševalno!« and »Jaz želim sir!« (Eng. »I want rescue service«, and »I want cheese«). The day also passed by looking outside the window hoping to get a chance to show our fellow Americans, Kelly, Linda, Lise, John, Scott, and Jay, and the Italian guides Mario and Lorenzo, why I, we, love Slovenian mountains so much. Our huts might not have saunas and massages (right, Mario?) or a signal (right, everyone? … including me 😛 ), but once you open your heart to simplicity, the surreal world up there just kind of sneaks under your skin absorbing every atom of your soul, knitting a truly pristine connection with nature. The kind you are left dreaming of well after you’re back to reality.

Skipping stones by the lake
Our little line of “Smarties” enjoying a skipping stones tournament.
True hikers
This is what you get, when you give a signal to poor deprived Americans (…they said they “wanted to see the lake« and the signal just happened to be there). 😉
Flowers in the mountains
Actually, I’m just as bad. After spending 12 euros on 200 MB of data at the hut, my quick afternoon hike up the slope of Mt. Tičarica stopped as soon as I started to receive an LTE signal 100 m above the hut, and not a step further! 😀

Luckily, the next morning, on my third day in the mountains and the group’s fourth – their last, the rain finally stopped. Nevertheless, the views were still nonexistent, and so we headed back to the valley without actually experiencing the true beauty of the Julian Alps together. Either way, Americans were happy. As happy as a group of good friends tends to be regardless of minor setbacks like crazy weather or spending two days in a hut instead of dipping legs in turquoise blue water and lying in soft grass below towering mountains. Well, the next time you’re here, guys, I promise you better views or at least a big fat Slovenian quiz to return the favor up there in the hut! 😉

Hiking from Triglav Lakes to Blato Plateau
Heading back to Lake Bohinj

Hiking in Julian Alps

Our Julian Alps hiking group

Until next time, y’all, and stay tuned for more outdoor adventures! Follow me on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Youtube and subscribe to the feed.

Disclaimer: this blog post is sponsored by Ljubljana Guides and Journey Through Italy. All thoughts and opinions are my own.

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