Kranjska Gora is, not surprisingly, famous for its skiing and other winter sports. People from the area are often excellent skiers, as parents have their kids racing down the toughest runs as soon as they learn how to walk. Slovenia’s professional skiers have enjoyed a significant amount of success in World Cup and Olympic competitions and most of them hail from Gorenjska. The Vitranc World Cup and the annual ski Flying event in nearby Planica bring thousands of spectators to Kranjska Gora, turning it into the party capital of Slovenia, at least for a weekend or two.
People from the Gorenjska region are known as being the most frugal Slovenes, to put it politely. It isn’t hard to believe, though, since life has always been a struggle in the harsh winters of the rugged mountains. While not considered very outgoing or extroverted, the locals will warm up to you once you’ve won them over. One way you can do that is by showing them your prowess on the slopes or by enjoying a shot of a local’s homemade schnapps. Remember to always look people in the eyes when saying ‘Na zdravje’!
We’ve included some of Kranjska Gora’s highlights below, but you can find lots more information in the newest edition of The Slovenia Book.
SLOVENIAN ALPINE MUSEUM: Perhaps the most popular pastime in Slovenia, of course, deserves to be documented and presented in museum fashion, the tradition of mountaineering finding its place in the hometown of many famous national sportsmen and sportswomen, Mojstrana. Housed in a building which performs the unusual feat of combining modern architecture with a natural theme (it’s shaped like a huge rock), on display you’ll find vintage mountaineering equipment, safety and rescue equipment, an interactive display on protected mountain flora, and also a storm simulator. Info: Triglavska 49, Mojstrana, +386 (0)8 380 67 30, email@example.com, www.planinskimuzej.si.
JASNA LAKE: They say a picture tells a thousand words, in which case, seeing the magnificent Jasna lake, in reality, must tell a million. Purity, colour, serenity, clarity do not go anyway to describing the setting, the mixed spruce and deciduous covered slopes in the near-distance giving way to soaring rocky peaks in the dramatic background. This paradise is a quick escape from Kranjska Gora, only a 20-minute walk up the winding road toward Vršič.
PLANICA NORDIC CENTRE: Boasting eight different ski jumping hills, including the massive one used for the annual Planica FIS World Cup Ski Jumping Final each March, the Planica Nordic Centre covers more than 100,000 square metres and is one of the largest complexes of its size in the world. Throughout the year visitors who aren’t here for professional training can still get their own adrenaline rush and experience what it’s like to fly through the air for nearly 600m on the Planica Zipline. Info: Rateče Planica, +386 31 689 806, firstname.lastname@example.org, www.nc-planica.si.
RUSSIAN CHAPEL: The Russian Chapel (Ruska Kapelica) was built to honour Russian prisoners of war who died here while constructing the road over the Vršič pass during the First World War. It was a strategic point for the Austrians, providing access (and arms) to the Soča Front. While keeping the road clear of snow an avalanche buried the soldiers and ten guards.
Written by: Yuri Barron, Will Dunn, Edited by Jana Studen
Cover photo courtesy of TIC Kranjska Gora.