From Bohinj, we’ll drive past the village of Mojstrana, home of Slovenia’s Alpine Museum, and continue to the Vršič Pass, which links the Sava and Soča river valleys, is perhaps the most photogenic spot to pull over your car. As an art history professor, I can’t help but think of the Romantic concept of the “sublime,” the simultaneous recognition of the beauty of Nature and of man’s humble insignificance before its might and grandeur. If Caspar David Friedrich, the artist who best embodies the sublime in his Romantic paintings, ever needed a vista for one of his landscapes, this is it.
If it’s ski season, then stop at the largest town in this area, Kranjska Gora, a ski resort and the gateway to Triglav National Park to see Zelenci, the green spring of the Sava Dolinka River, or to enjoy a variety of winter activities at the ski resort.
I also like to stop at Lake Jasna, where stands a bronze statue of Zlatorog (Goldhorn), a mythical mountain ibex with golden horns who features in a local legend (as well as on Slovenia’s popular Laško brand beer bottles). The lake is manmade and was exquisitely sited to reflect the mountain-scape in the near ground. Before you embark on this journey (or perhaps for a relaxing evening during it), I recommend watching the beloved, classic Slovene children’s film, Kekec (1951) and its sequel Srečno, Kekec (1963). They follow the charming adventures of a young shepherd boy and were filmed in these mountains, an impossibly idyllic backdrop that you’d think was a painted film set—until you visit and see them in person.