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J172 - Tuesday, April 6: Kresniske Poljane – in the mountains

73.45km – 9H59’
Altitude : 681m
Our arrival in Ljubljana was along the river which is surrounded by greenery because this is a small capital of 260,000 inhabitants (more or less the size of Le Havre).  It stretches to the south of snow capped mountains.  The city is spread out and the Llubljanica river, which flows through the center of the city, is spanned by several bridges, of which the Triple Bridge, which dates from 1842.  The medieval castle, which was restored in 1960, looks down upon the city.  The Franciscan Church on Place Presernov is all pink and doesn’t have the look of the ancient cathedrals.  Serge enters the center of city with Ludo, Thomas and Marc before taking a boulevard due west to leave the city.  There are commercial areas but the suburbs do not appear to be very industrialized.  We are not sure the country places much importance on cultural and historical tourism in the capital. On the other hand, Slovenia is a paradise for sports and nature lovers, so much so that the country’s flag has a shield showing the country’s highest peak, Mount Triglav, 2,864 meters.  From the roadside, which is our favorite vantage point, we have seen a lot of people walking and the Slovenes generally have an  athletic mien.
This Tuesday morning, a working day, there are lots of joggers and cyclists on the road.  Yesterday, the rollerblades were out and from what we could see, people of all ages enjoy sports.
Luck is with us and, as in every capital we have crossed, there is brilliant sunshine  
Just outside of Ljubljana, Serge meets a «long distance runner » as he calls himself (Serge loves this  title).  A writer, he has already run 1,000 km and his life revolves around sports.  Serge stopped for at least 5 minutes to talk with him.  What an unexpected encounter!
A bit further along, on a magnificent, flat road which leads to the mountains, a cyclist stopped and again Serge talked for a few minutes.
At km60, things become serious with a climb toward the Jesersko Pass, the border between Slovenia and Austria, which we will reach tomorrow morning.  A crystal clear torrent runs through a serene valley  and the incline which is slight at the beginning becomes steeper toward the final kilometers.  Tomorrow the slope will get steeper, with hairpin curves, so it will be tough on the legs.

Town : Jezersko (dans la montagne slovène)

GPS : N 46.21’05.4° E 014.28’34.6 °