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September 6, 2017 - Vintgar Gorge

We began the day with a visit to the Museum of Hostages in Begunje, which

commemorates the suffering of the Slovenian people during WWII.

The Katzenstein mansion was used by the Gestapo as a prison during WWII.

It is an extremely meaningful experience to visit this place,

an important but sad reminder of a part of world history we can't forget.

Then we hiked the Vintgar Gorge and finished the day in the medieval

town of Radovljica with a visit to the Beekeeping Museum.

Vintgar Gorge, carved by the pristine Radovna River, is within Triglav National Park.

Triglav is Slovenia’s only national park and one of the earliest national parks in Europe. 

                   

ABOVE LEFT - The sculpture titled "Hostage" sits outside the Begunje Mansion which was

used as a prison by German occupiers. During WWII 11,477 people were imprisoned here.

ABOVE MIDDLE and RIGHT - Radovna River rushes through the Vintgar Gorge.

Vintgar Gorge is a little confusing because vintgar is the Slovenian word for gorge.

                   

ABOVE - Our Italian guide Betta with Judith on the wooden trail through the gorge.

The roar of the Radovna River echoes along the 1600m gorge, full of small waterfalls,

rapids and erosion potholes where the river briefly slows its pace

and you can see through the clear turquoise pools of water.

Constructing a secure tourist trail in 1893 through the wild gorge

was a demanding and extremely dangerous task.

                   

ABOVE - Trails, narrow passages, and bridges lead a visitor to the end of the gorge,

which is marked by a 16 meter waterfall.

ABOVE MIDDLE and RIGHT - Hundreds of cairns have been carefully placed by hikers in the gorge.

                   

ABOVE - Our lunch spot where the non-vegetarians enjoyed fresh trout from the river.

Our vegetarian lunch consisted of a wonderful salad, homemade bread and

spinach cannoli - washed down with dark beer (Temno Lasko Pivo) .

ABOVE RIGHT and BELOW - Medieval town center of Radovljica.

Radovljica's old town is one of the best preserved town structures in Slovenia.

Many of the buildings are painted with frescoes from the 15th and 16th century.

         

ABOVE RIGHT - Bees coming in from the outside through a passageway

into some hives on display in the Apicultural Beekeeping Museum (Cebelarski Muzej).

This museum celebrates Slovenia's long and very proud beekeeping heritage.

         

ABOVE LEFT - Fancy hay-drying rack. The freshly cut hay is hung

from the slats to dry and be protected from the rain.

ABOVE RIGHT - One style of building housing beehives. Each of the colorful

panels is a hive. The roof above the hives is curved to help give the bees

 lift and protect them from the wind when they take off from the hive.