• Kate Mihevc Edwards PT, DPT

Soca Valley and the Slovenian Alps

Today, we had an amazing and unexpected adventure. We decided to drive from Ljubljana to the Soca Valley. The Soca Valley is located in the northwestern part of Slovenia, situated in the foothills of the Alps. The drive took about 90 minutes, and the trip was incredible. There is no way to describe the beauty we saw.

The roads were winding and in many places washed out or too small for more than one car to pass. There were imposing rock cliffs on one side and a long descent to the river on the other. The drive reminded me of when Brian and I traveled through the switchbacks in the Transylvania Alps, and I had to cover my eyes part of the way! This time, Brian drove more slowly and cautiously, probably because Andy was in the car.

Our first stop of the day was in Klave, which is on the eastern base of the Alps. We went to find the “dicova voda,” which is a spring that was built during World War I by the Austro-Hungarian army. The story goes that the troops went looking for drinking water because their water had been contaminated by all of the rain, and they found this spring.

A military doctor in the nearby hospital in Klave later reported that after drinking the water from the spring, his patients were healing faster than expected. He supposedly sent the water to Vienna to be tested, and it was found to have “positive energetic characteristics.” I wasn’t exactly sure what that meant, but I was in - I wanted to drink from the spring!

We nearly drove past the spring altogether. If you weren’t looking for it, you would miss the unobtrusive sign on the side of the road, but luckily we caught a glimpse of it just as we passed. The spring itself is tucked away, about a five-minute walk from the road. It was quiet, except for the sound of the babbling spring, the rushing river and the rain as it hit the leaves around us. All of us drank some of the water, and we even filled a few bottles to take with us on the road.

Our next stop was the energy trail in the village of Modrejce. The views of the lake, the mineral-green water and the snow-capped mountains above were breathtaking.

Along the lake were eight of the 14 energy points on the trail. At each point, there was a sign that described what it was and what chakras were affected by the point.

Chakras are described in Sanskrit, meditation and yoga as focal points of energy within the body. There are seven chakras in the body, all corresponding to different areas of the body and the energy around each point.

At each point, there was a place to sit and meditate, as well as sculptures and other works of art. It was incredibly peaceful and quiet (except for Andy running from place to place pretending he was a knight fighting bad guys). We were some of the only people on the trail because it was cold and drizzling outside - but we didn’t mind. Andy and Brian walked ahead of me, and I was able to take a few minutes to meditate at some of the points.

Sitting on the logs that served as seating, I closed my eyes. Andy and Brian were far enough ahead that all I could hear was the sound of the rain, as it gently landed on my raincoat, and the breeze through the trees. With every inhale, I could feel the cold, damp air as it entered through my mouth and traveled down my throat, into my lungs. With every exhale, I felt more peaceful and more grounded. This adventure was already much more than I could have expected and hoped for.

Once we passed the eighth point, we made our way back to the car, passing several small chapels and two more springs. If you drank from one spring, it would supposedly help with your eyesight, and the other with your gut.

We decided to take another route back to Ljubljana. It was only mid-day, and no matter what we did we would be in the car for several hours, so we opted to drive through the Alps, around to Lake Bled, and then back to the city. The mountains humbled the manmade towns and the buildings below them. The higher we went, the more incredible everything was, and the temperature went from 18 degrees Celsius to two degrees Celsius. We watched as a gentle rain turned to sleet right before we went over the pass. We saw churches surrounded by medieval castle walls, water as clear or as green as you can imagine and enormous waterfalls.

This was my first experience in this part of the world, and I was inspired, in awe and in love. No wonder Hemingway wrote about it.

#KateMihevcEdwards #Travel



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