The green smile of nature- Zelenci Lake and Tamar Valley 💚
Zelenci is a small green paradise in the Julian Alps in Slovenia. This small charming lake, with intensive green waters, surrounded by lush vegetation and offering the view of the imposing Julian Alps, is in fact the source of Sava Dolinka river. Because the water is so green, the spring is named after it, “zelen” in Slovenian means green.
Zelenci ia located few kilometers from Kranjska Gora, very near to main road Kranjska Gora – Ratece. You just walk a few steps from the parking space, and you immerse yourself in pristine nature.
The terrain around the spring is marshy, that is why wooden paths and piers have been built along the lake. There is also a lookout tower that offers a truly magnificent view of the spring.
An interesting fact about spring is that even in the coldest winters, the Zelenci do not freeze over. This is because the lake has porous chalk at the bottom, which permeates underground water to penetrate into the lake. The underground water comes up from a depth of about two meters. In this way, the water has a constant temperature of 5-6°C.
Zelenci provide a home for many endangered animal species and plants. In 1992 the area was declared a nature reserve. The reserve is located at an altitude of between 832 and 853 metres above sea level. The wetland is about 1200 metres long. The average width of the wetland is 150 metres, the minimum width is 20 metres, and the maximum width is 200 metres.
We were crossed by a turtle, which is by no means an autochthon animal. It is sad when scenes like this remind you of how irresponsible we humans can be towards nature. This tortoise is most likely a pet that someone got tired of and released into the wild. Unfortunately, Zelenci is not its natural habitat and the question is how it affects the natural balance of this ecosystem.
You can visit Zelenci all year round. It is nice in the autumn colours, as an ice and snow kingdom in the winter, but my preference goes to the green colors of the spring vegetation.
Only short drive from Zelenci there is Planica valley, world known for the ski jumps competitions. For as, Planica was the starting point for an hour hike into Tamar valley.
Tamar Valley is a beautiful glacier valley. It is ideal for hikes in spring and summer time but is a real fairy tale location for winter hikes as well, when it is all covered with snow.
There are two paths through the valley. A main path and a forest path, passing meadows and crossing the forest. When you reach the end of the valley, there is a large meadow with a small chapel and a mountain hut.
The Chapel Marija Pomagaj is small but very nice. The mosaics are made by P. Rupnik, the author of the famous mosaics of the personal chapel of the Pope "Redemptoris Mater" in the Vatican. The chapel also has small memorial plaques commemorating those who have died in the mountains.
In the mountain hut you can refresh yourself and have a plate of great local food. The mountain hut is the destination point for the majority of the visitors in the valley, while some of them use the hut as a starting point for high mountains hikes.
The whole valley offers great views of surrounding peaks, but most picture perfect is just the last part of the valley, offering views of the peaks that are above 2000 meters of altitude.
We have successfully recharged our “batteries” and we are now ready for the upcoming working week.
Thanks for reading,
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Best regards, @miljo76