Activity application Strava and clothing manufacturer Rapha hold a Festive 500 challenge every year to get cyclists to ride 500 or more kilometres between Christmas Eve and New Year. With our, so far, snow free winter it was a good chance to join the challenge and explore and show the Slovenian roads and roadside in wintertime.
So here you go: 5 rides, 505 kilometres of Slovenian roads in 38 pictures
Ride 1: Around Barje 71 kilometres
Barje is the largest marsh in Slovenia and it’s inhabited since prehistory when pile dwellers lived here. I rode around it on Christmas Day.
The Saint Ulrich Church of Poldolnica stands proud on it’s pedestal every day of the year.
Firebrigade of Borovnica.
Christmas in Podkraj.
Shade and sun is a difference of night and day.
Ride 2: Along the Krka 91 kilometres
River Krka is the second longest river in Slovenia. I followed the river from its source to the town of Novo Mesto and back.
Zuzemberk Castle is from the 13th century.
The centre of Novo Mesto lies above river Krka.
Despite high temperatures the kids can skate in Novo Mesto.
Soteska Mansion is now a ruin. It stood on the banks of the Krka River and was built by Count Georg Sigmund von Gallenberg in 1664 and 1689. It had a rectangular layout with an interior courtyard bordered by four two-story arcades, and four rectangular towers at the corners. The entry tower bore the crest of the Gallenberg and Schrottenbach families and the year 1675. The interior was richly painted, with some works attributed to the 17th-century Dutch painter Almanach. (Wikipedia)
Ride 3: Into Gorenjska 111 kilometres
Gorenjska or Upper Carniola is the region that lies north of Ljubljana.
A summer view in winter time.
Ice, a rarity these days.
No real Festive500 without nativity scene. Here in Skofja Loka.
A view on Kranj.
When you meet nuns on your way, your Festive500 can’t get any better.
When the sun goes down….
…shadows grow long.
Ride 4: To Postonja 123 kilometres
Postonja is famous for its cave system which is the biggest tourist attraction in the country. Through the caves runs a double track railway. Cycling inside is not possible.
The centre of Postonja in holiday spirit
Ice-skating in Spring conditions? Why not?
A look down on the village of Planina.
Fading sunlight, short days. Festive500 is a race against time.
Ride 5: To Turjak 106 kilometres. The Finale
Turjak is famous for its 13th century castle which is not visible from the road. With cyclists its popular because of the curvy climb that leads to the top of the village.
Turjak is a panoramic climb…
…that twists its way up towards the village.
The castle you can’t see from the road but on a picture on the top (bottom right)…
Is skating becoming the number 1 activity in Slovenia?
A little bit of spring in December
Without the reflection you would see it was 4 degrees Celsius. Winter is slowly starting.
Challenge finished, 505 kilometres done.