Bosporus Walk - Part 3
Slovenia to Serbia

We are in Nova Gorica, Slovenia, in the Vipava Valley heading for Ajdovščina.



The valley is idyllic but sometimes these mountain slopes bring huricance force winds.



This is interesting, a Slovenian maypole in Loke. Erected 30th April, young men of the village try to climb to the top.
The higher the pole, the finer the village!



Vipava, where nine spring sources of the Vipava River issue from the limestone rock.



As we climb to the Plateau of Nanos and Abram Farm.



Abram has a bear, a European Brown Bear. There are over 500 wild bears in Slovenia, a viable population.



Drainage is complex around here as the rivers also flow underground.



As we reach astonishing Predjama Castle, built into a cliff face with underground caverns of the Lokva River incorporated into the basement.



The tourist caves of Postojna are next and we visit.



Postojna's town centre is less spectacular.



Back into the limestone hills we pass bees.



Then enter the Rakov Skocjan National Park where the limestone formations are stunning.



The river here is called the Rak and disappears six times on its way to the sea,
Confusingly, everytime it emerges, it does so with a different name!



Local barns are impressive too.



This is Dolenje Jezero, a village of traditional homes sometimes on the shore of Lake Cerknica, an intermittent karst lake.



There is an estavele here. Estaveles are springs in wet weather and sinkholes in dry.
Currently it is wet and Lake Cerknica is therefore full!



Judging from all the posters, local music is healthy too. This is Radlek.



We reach the Bloke Plateau, limestone again of course.



Where we are warned of bears.



And wildflowers are everywhere. Slovenia is a lovely country.



The Krka Valley now and the building below is the Gostišče Na Pajčni, an Inn with a spider legend.



Where they serve spider pancakes!



In the Krka Valley we find many more traditional barns.



As an unexpected cortège speeds by.



Žužemberk now with its semi-restored castle and hilltop church.



Then Novo Mesto by the Krka river.



Where walkers are revived with grapes!



The trestle bridges are amazing around here. This is Otočec.




And this is Kostanjevica.



An important confluence follows as the Krka, left, joins the Sava, right.



And a little further along is Dobova village.



This view shows Dobova station in the background and a seemingly unassuming station hotel in the foreground
but the walkway leads to a surprise.



A newly built spa resort that we much enjoy.



The border is nearby and next day we enter Croatia.



And head for Zagreb.



This short cut leads to a lunch time pub.



The hospitable Medvegrad Adžije with own brewed ales.



Zagreb is fascinating.



And we have a colourful walk out of the city.



With the blue of the International Hotel.



And the orange of a subway!



And so to Zagreb Airport in nearby Velica Gorica.



Where, on our next trip, on 21st October 2013, all is to hand for a memorable birthday.



As we walk the Sava Valley with, initially anyway, a much larger walking group. This is Desno Željezno.



We reach Martinska Ves.



With some interesting buildings on the way. This one had once been a school.



The current powered Sava ferries are interesting too.



As a red tractor reaches the shore .



The tractor at this traditional farm has brought maize from the fields.



And this red tractor is setting off for another load.



As we walk the Turkey road.



Sisak now, from the Sava River bridge.



It is a few miles after Sisak that things begin to change.
This was an early sign, an abandoned public building with bullet holes in the memorial.



More houses were also for sale.



And more abandoned properties were about too. A girl at a nearby farm spoke English.
“You are the first tourists I have seen ” she said, ""what are you doing here?"



She also explained that the military had been here about ten years ago and that a mile down the road was a shop.



Where the shop lady organised beer crates for us so that “the first tourists” could rest in the shade.



And more contrast at the end of the day as a little used track leads us to Brdani Krajiski station.



For a train back to Velika Gorica and our accommodation at the recommended Dream Hotel.



Next morning things are even more marked. This is Sunja.



This building faces Sunja station. It has a temporary roof, a derelict upper floor and many bullet marks.



Damaged property is being renovated though, as today we follow a mobile shop.



It was sad that this long established business was recently closed but there are so few cars about here.



And how about this for a traditional home?



But not everything is old. It's a mix.



In Šaš we turn left for the railway station.



Another neglected scene.



As we return to Velika Gorica for a final time.



Next day we reach Zivaja, where this relatively modern shop is empty and derelict.



But Zlatko is about with his mobile shop and now we are regular customers! I give Zlatko a copy of our route so far and he responds by giving us with a bottle of brandy, a lovely thing to happen.



And so to Jasenovac, where a horse is led to pastures new in this remarkable scene.



We are on the border with Bosnia here and gunshot scars are everywhere but there is far worse than this in Jasenovac.



As there was a Concentration Camp here, the site of which is marked by this moving sculpture.
This is a truly emotional place to be.



Novska next, with a poulation of around 15,000, about half of what it was in 1991.
Most of the town is now tidy but not the flour mill.



But the scars of war do eventually end and they do so abruptly.
This is Medari, still displaying heavy damage, yet Nova Gradiška, just down the road, is fine.



This is Nova Gradiška town centre.



Then comes neat Godinjak, roughly the same distance from Nova Gradiška as Medari is the other side.



As we walk what was once THE main road east.



With scenes, in no particular order, from along the way.



Such as ladies cleaning corn just as they have always done.



And, beside the car, a freshly killed pig strung up on a rack.



And roadside roses, always nice to see.



Handily, too, the railway is never far away. This is Oriovac where the Stationmaster gave a us tour of what he called his "Austrian Station".



We much enjoy the comfortable trains of this part of Croatia.



Near Strizivojna we pass tethered cows.



As a farmer explains how much he loves his cows.



Our Croatian walking is now almost at an end.



And beyond Vinkovci we find some villages significantly less well tended than others.



We reach the Serbian border at Tovarnik but the border wiggles around a bit here.



And we are soon back in Croatia again approaching Ilok and here the grape harvest is in full swing.



The fruit of their labours!



And from Ilok Citadel we look out over the Danube and our route into Serbia over the river bridge ahead.


End of Part 3

Part 4, Serbia to Romania

Bosporus Walk Part 1, Malvern Hills to Switzerland
Bosporus Walk Part 2, Switzerland to Slovenia
Bosporus Walk Part 5, Romania to Istanbul
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