Sunflower Fields Northern Italy 3ROADTRIP! Heading from Naples to Slovenia and wouldn’t you know we’d be passing up through Northern Italy where the sunflowers were in bloom. WOW!

Sunflower Fields Northern Italy 2I love going on trips with Sherrie! Especially because, she has never said no to any crazy thing I’ve suggested in the name of blogging. So when I said “I want to pull over on the side of the road and frolic in the sunflower fields”, she was screeching the brakes and stopping so we could.

Sunflower Fields Northern Italy 5While we were constantly honked at by truckers and other passerby’s (that was really weird), I tried some of my photography skills on busy bees who didn’t mind.

Sunflower Fields Northern Italy 4A sea of sunflowers. Beautiful. When I was younger I decided I was going to grow sunflowers alongside our garage. At first my parents didn’t think anything was going to happen but I kept at it and soon the sunflower stalks were almost double my size. The picture at the end of the summer was hilarious.

Sunflower Fields Northern Italy 6Collecting that pollen. Very busy at work, didn’t mind the paparazzi at all.  

Sunflower Fields Northern ItalyThis sunflower was standing up tall, higher than the rest of them. The summer heat really was beating down on them and you could tell, some were already drooping. Meanwhile its only the beginning of July! Very hot summer, this was.

Sunflower Fields Northern Italy 7#Moneyshot

Sunflower Fields Northern Italy 8 Sunflower Fields Northern Italy 9Naples to Slovenia Roadtrip!Stopping in San Marino the night before, we had already driven halfway and had 5 more hours left to go to get up into Slovenia and find our camping site. On this route you will see tons of sunflower fields off the highway, it wasn’t until we were right on the boarder of Slovenia that we found a field we could easily stop at.

SlovenjaSLOVENIA ROAD TAX

It is true that Slovenia has a road tax requirement called Vignette. It’s a sticker that gets placed on your car window, which you can buy at most gas stations in Slovenia or at the cafe in the airport. For a week of driving it costs about 15 euro. The fine of being caught without the sticker is 150 euro which you must pay on the spot.

IF you will be driving in Slovenia BUT not on the highway at any point, then the road tax is not required. We came across the boarder from Italy to Slovenia on a one lane road, stopping at the restaurant right at the border because a storm was blowing through. The local Slovenian there told us to stay off the highway and no road tax would be needed.

We intended to drive to Lake Bled through the mountains for a more scenic route so we did not buy the Vignette, and were fine the whole weekend. We never got questioned or stopped. However, I wouldn’t take a chance on the highways. Just pay the tax because that’s a big source of revenue for the country and monitor for unsuspecting tourists constantly.

Crossing the boarder, Italy to SloveniaThe plan for this road trip came together about a week before we actually went. I compiled ideas from other Naval officers, a family who had just been, and a guy in my office who was also going to Slovenia that weekend for white water rafting, his wife is a guide.

He suggested 2 camping sites to use.

Camping in SloveniaA camping site in Bovek and one in Kobaird which is about 20 minutes outside of Bovek, but between Bovek and the Italian Boarder, which was better for us anyway. We decided to go with the second one because we saw it is located right next to the river. I was really happy with our decision because we found out the next day that it was also the end of the white water rafting tours.

For only 9 euro per person per night including bathrooms, how can you go wrong. It was only 27 euro to stay the whole weekend.

At our campsite, Kobaird Slovenia

After setting up camp we decided to walk over and see the river

At Camp, Kobaird SloveniaI couldn’t get over the deep green/blue color of the Soca River.

At our campsite, Kobaird Slovenia 10

Headed to the river for water for cooking and cleaning our pots and pans

At Camp, Kobaird Slovenia 4 At Camp, Kobaird Slovenia 5Sherrie’s in the water. The Soca River was about 10 degrees celsius. We would walk in and see how long we could stay before our toes would start to freeze. At least long enough to fill up our bottles of water for the camp. ha!

That night it rained through the evening and we spent time engineering my hammock as a cover for our small table and played card games well into the night. We wanted to be up early the next morning to go into the town of Bovek so we could sign up for white water rafting.

Originally we were going to go with my co-worker and his wife but they changed the rules for guides this year. If you don’t have a Slovenia license you can only have 3 people in your boat even if you are a certified guide. A bit of outrage in the white water rafting world according to the woman at the tour office.

We signed up to raft for 40 euro each and then hung out in town, meandering around, and waiting for our meet up time at Go Rafting.

Bovek, Slovenia summer festivalListening to a band performing at a small summer festival in the town of Bovek.

Bovek, Slovenia summer festival 2Balloons in Bovek 🙂
From the church in BovekWalking up the steps to the church in Bovek. Just wandering through the streets.

It was finally time to meet up for rafting!

Follow the footsteps to Go Rafting

Follow the footsteps to Go Rafting

Source: @GoRafting Guide

Source: @GoRafting Guide

After signing the papers, gathering our gear, and picking up our raft, we were down by the river rickety split, ready to get in the frigid water.

Source: @GoRafting Guide

Source: @GoRafting Guide

Source: @GoRafting Guide

Source: @GoRafting Guide

Sitting on a rock all purdy, getting accustomed to the freezing water.

Source: @GoRafting Guide

Source: @GoRafting Guide

The other girls on the tour with us were from France. We couldn’t seem to get everyone together for a normal shot.

Source: @GoRafting Guide

Source: @GoRafting Guide

Then our guide attempted to throw water all over us in a white water rafting-esque photo shoot.

Source: @GoRafting Guide

Source: @GoRafting Guide

Listen up guys, Safety Brief!

Source: @GoRafting Guide

Source: @GoRafting Guide

Then we were off! My favorite part about this tour was that we were allowed to jump in and out of the water. I’ve never done that while white water rafting. Unfortunately this has been a very hot summer and   rainless summer so the river is pretty low. It wasn’t too vigorous of a trip down, but that didn’t stop us from having some fun.

Source: @GoRafting Guide

Look at the green of that water!

Then we came to a pretty big rock that we decided to climb up and jump off of. The video’s not the best, pretty foggy, but I’m posting it anyway!

White Water Rafting Soca River, Slovenia 78

Climbing up a rock to jump off of it!

Source: @GoRafting Guide

Source: @GoRafting Guide

In the end we decided to swim down the river instead of stay in the boat so we were just getting ready to get back in.

Source: @GoRafting Guide

Sherrie’s swimming down the river. How could is it? She’s masking it well.

Source: @GoRafting Guide

Source: @GoRafting Guide

It was a great day on the river. && 4th of July. Because while everyone was at home in America making toasts and enjoying themselves we were over in Slovenia representing ‘Merica abroad.

Source: @Sherrie

Source: @Sherrie

Meanwhile, back at Go Rafting, we shared a bench with Chuck Noris while we were waiting on all the pictures to load to the CD. They gave us that for free!

That night we headed back to camp and drank beers, cooked a huge dinner, and ended it with smore’s around a camp fire.

Making Smores at camp, Kobaird SloveniaI mean, why wouldn’t we end the evening around a campfire. No brainer.

The next morning we woke up early for a road trip! We wanted to drive over to Lake Bled, but when I was standing in line for lunch one day I ran into a Colonel in the Marine Coorps. He always has good travel advice and I asked him what he knew about Lake Bled.

He told me that if I do a road trip over there I should go by way of the mountains because its extremely scenic and worth the extra time of winding up, down, and around. We didn’t have the vignette anyway so I decided to take his advice and head for the hills.

The mountain pass is GORGEOUS! And wouldn’t you know we were in a long stream of cars and decided to wait on photos for when we came back. Unfortunately we took a different mountain pass back so I don’t have any good photos in this area. Darn!

LAKE BLED

Lake Bled, Slovenia 3Its only about a 2 hour drive from Bovek to Lake Bled Slovenia. This is a much smaller lake then Lake Como, and I know because I biked all of Lake Como. You could probably walk around all of Lake Bled in a day, it took us about 20 minutes to drive all the way around in one loop.

We stopped by the beaches, enjoyed ice cream, sat along a bench to get pictures of the infamous island in the center of the lake.

Lake Bled, Slovenia 2 Lake Bled, Slovenia 7King in the castle, king in the castle.

Lake Bled, Slovenia 4 Lake Bled, Slovenia 8 Lake Bled, SloveniaBeachin it at Lake Bled.

Lake Bled, Slovenia 9Here is the church and here is the steeple..

Lake Bled, Slovenia 10 Lake Bled, Slovenia 11Boating on Lake Bled. There’s all kinds of things to do on the lake. There were paddle boarders, kayakers, canoeing, swimming, it was a lovely time to be on the lake.

We decided to head back early afternoon and as I said before we ended up on a different mountain pass to Bovek. Which was much more secluded and held a different kind of beauty.

Road Trip between Bovek and Lake Bled, SloveniaThe rolling hills in the mountain pass between Bovek and Lake Bled.

Road Trip between Bovek and Lake Bled, Slovenia 2There’s a town down there!

Road Trip between Bovek and Lake Bled, Slovenia 3The green of the grass compared to the stark white Slovenian houses was breath taking.

Road Trip between Bovek and Lake Bled, Slovenia 5We drove down a gravel road and stopped for pictures. I didn’t want to miss out on a second opputunity.

Road Trip between Bovek and Lake Bled, Slovenia 7There’s Cammy, parking in the rolling hills of Slovenia, always excited to join us on road trips.


Road Trip between Bovek and Lake Bled, Slovenia 9From the top of the hill. The serene feel of this place, I just can’t explain it in words. Guess you’ll have to go and feel it for yourself.

School Crossing Sign, SloveniaOne of my newest and most favorite road signs. Its supposed to symbol a school zone and children crossing, but it mostly looks like children are busting through walls on their way to get free. I love it!

At our campsite, Kobaird Slovenia

Source: @Sherrie

She’s a camper.

The final day we spent in Slovenia, we decided to do some zip-lining. I know there are tons of places to zip line in the world, but I’m going to tell you without a doubt that the canyons in the forest of Bovek are definitely a top notch place to go zip ling.

Source: @Sherrie

Source: @Sherrie

In the video, if you look closely you can see different lines strung across as I go through the canyon. Up in the hills after WWII the Slovenians used zip-lines to move people and cargo across valleys when they lived way up in the mountains. They even had one zip line that came straight down from the top which only crates could be hooked to because they would get so out of control they would smash at the bottom.

These lines are still strung but nobody uses them anymore and new ones have been put up for the actual zip lining tours, so you don’t have to worry.

Source: @Sherrie

Source: @Sherrie

The next morning we would be back on the road, driving the whole 1o hours to get back to Naples all at once.

Source: @Sherrie

Source: @Sherrie

It’s 100 percent true that we went 40 minutes out of our way when we missed an exit rocking out to “Save a Horse Ride a Cowboy”. But we eventually did make it back and that night I received some rather exciting news which I will share with you soon.

This article appeared first on The Cassey Excursion.

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