We have so much information at our fingertips these days. We are surrounded by data and it is all virtually inescapable. We get on our bike and switch on our Garmin. It providess us up to the moment info and stores it for future review. I am not going to say that folks here in Slovenina, or Europe in general, are more inclined to dwell on info provided but they do have their own take on it.
We spent a winter skiing in Slovenia and Austria. We met other skiers on the lift, asked them where they were from and told them about us. Almost without fail they would ask us about our local ski hill back in Montana. In our case that local hill would be Snowbowl. How many Km of piste does your hill manage? What is the total amount of vertical at your hill? How many piste do you have on your hill? We really did not have an answer. I know that the top of the Lavelle lift is about 2200m, about. How many runs at Snowbowl? Well his guess was as good as mine and that was the same for the number of Km of piste. Really, who cares about that stuff. I just look to see what the snow and weather forecast show.
But no, the folks we talk to on the lift seem to have a whole host of facts about their local mountain. The top loft is not at about 2100m but is at exactly 2169m. Austrians are very exacting as are Slovenians. I am sure we all know folks that carry that info around with them but here in Slovenia that is more the norm rather than the exception. Even the ski lifts give you more info than you need, but it is pretty cool to see it. My kids know how many chairs there are on both the Grizzly lift and the Lavelle lift, they even know how long it takes to get from top to bottom, assuming the lift doesn’t break down mid ride.
On the local lifts here we have plenty more to look at…
One thing that we have found to be pretty cool are the trail signs. Walking in the hills is, among other things, a national pastime. The trails all have signs that indicate the time to walk the trail rather than the distance. I have seen this all over Europe. In France, Germany, Austria and Slovenia. I wondered why they didn’t have the distance marked. I was told it was because distance does not give an indication of the terrain. A flat walk of two Km is far shorter than a 2km walk straight up a hillside. If you have three hours for a walk and the trail sign says 2hr 45min then you know you will be finished when you need to be finished. Sure some folks walk faster than others but for the most part these signs pretty much nail the timing. In a way, for someone competitive like me, it is a challenge to go faster than the sign would indicate. The problem, if I can call it a problem, is that there are some many wonderful things to slow down and take in that the timing usually works out accurately.
Like said, being that walking is a national pastime people, young and old, tackle all the same trails. Some are steep, some are rocky or rooty and some are in perfect condition. Regardless if you have your walking poles you are good to go. Everyone here uses them. I have even heard of ultra runners using them on mountainous terrain in competition.
Ask someone for directions and be assured that the time and distance to your destination will be accurate as well. This has been an almost comical treat here in Slovenia. If you ask for directions to a specific place expect very good directions.
“Ah, yes. To reach the bookstore walk three minutes on Celovska cesta then turn right on Damianska and walk 120m. you will come to a small lane.Turn right again and walk 40m the store will be on your left side. All very specific and accurate. Who need GPS?