STKP stands for Slovenian Mountain Bike Route and with Nada we decided to cycle the part around Vipava Valley. The whole route consists of 111 checkpoints and is around 1800 kilometres long with 50000 ascend meters.
In the morning we drove to Vipava valley and parked our car in Vitovlje. Bora wind was quite strong these days, so it was also much colder than we expected, but as always, we didn't give up and we started cycling. Side roads were very nice and soon we were on the STKP trail, somewhere at the beginning of stage 13. Soon we reached Ajdovščina and checkpoint 36. We crossed the Vipava river and started riding on Karst Plateau, where checkpoint 37 waited for us in Štanjel. We had a short hydration stop here and then we continued along the ridge to the main road to Branik, where we left the STKP. On our way back we visited Rihemberk Castle and artificial lake Vogršček. From there we had just a few 100 meters back to Vitovlje, where we settled in a room in a tourist farm Malovščevo. We finished the day in the basement of the farm, where they organized an event called Osmica, a special tourist offer and the ancient tradition that dates back to Charlemagne times. Today, the "osmica" includes the sale of non-bottled wines with geographical origin and home-grown crops, mainly dried meat products. Osmica is set up by a winegrower at his own home, in the wine cellar or so called "borjač" (yard). Osmica places are recognized by wooden signposts and ivy sprigs on the doors, that stay fresh for eight days.
Previous stages of STKP: Stage 1, Stage 2, Stage 3, Stage 4.
|Črniče - First World War Military Cemetery|
|Črniče is the burial place of 466 Austro-Hungarian soldiers of various nationalities, the majority of whom were soldiers of the 96th Karlovac infantry regiments. They died of wounds received on the Soča front, or of diseases in the nearby military hospital.|
|Ninja gear against bora wind|
Waterfall on Malenšček creek
|When road ends|
|Local residents were happy to see us|
At the edge of the Trnovo Forest Plateau
Stomaž was attested in written sources in 1523 as Sannd Thomas. The Slovene name Stomaž is derived from *šent Tomaž "Saint Thomas", referring to the patron saint of the local church.
|Lokavec was first attested in written sources in 1086 as Locunz and Locarizz. Local church is dedicated to Saint Lawrence.|
|Hubelj is a river (according to some sources it is a stream), during rainy times mountain torrent. It originates from three karstic springs (waterfalls) at the foot of the hill Navrše, where the water comes out from a numerous more or less accessible caves of Karst underground. The spring is especially picturesque at high water, which in mighty waterfalls falls from higher elevation springs. From higher holes it vomits the water in the huge amount of up to 65 cubic meters per second.|
|At this point we joined the SKTP trail, direction Ajdovščina.|
Minor technical difficulties - thorn made a puncture.
|In 1646, the Lichtenthurn family built the church on a smaller hill on the foundations of an older building, approximately halfway between Dolenje and Planina. The church is dedicated to Saint Margaret.|
|Smelling the wine|
The castle of Štanjel was built in the Middle Ages, its final reconstruction which remains up to this day was made at the end of the 17th century by the Counts of Cobenzl.
|Štanjel is one of the oldest settlements in the Karst Region, known for its old village centre. It was named after the patron saint of the church, Saint Daniel.|
Riding on the North edge of Karst Plateau
The region gave its name to the karst topography. For this reason, it is also referred to as the Classical Karst.
|Nada in action|
|At this point we left the STKP|
|Branik Castle, also known as Rihemberk Castle, is a 13th-century castle above the village of Branik.|
|Rihemberk Castle is an extensive medieval fortification with an exterior defensive wall and towers, residential sections, cisterns and a prominent central Romanesque keep.|
|Artificial lake Vogršček|
|Water fountain in Šempas|
|Dinner time at tourist farm Malovščevo|
Local specialties to regain strength
|STKP logo - visit http://pzs.si/ktk/wpstkp/en/ for details|
- Skrivnosti čarovnije: Ogenj, GC76PF3, that received a visit by trackable items "gran san bernardo", TB84C9J and "Key chain #2 Happy Face", TB6R4PD, where I dropped of trackable items "2008 Groundspeak Volunteer Geocoin - sponsored by GC-KNECHT", TB20DYH, "FarmtagZ klompendans", TB6BAG2 and "Bryan 2014 Tag", TB6PQA1 and retrieved trackable items "Sanban s1", TB42DJW and "Kurt the soccercop", TB7GZ1A
- Skrivnosti čarovnije: Voda, GC76PFJ, that received a visit by trackable items "Kurt the soccercop", TB7GZ1A, "Sanban s1", TB42DJW and "Key chain #2 Happy Face", TB6R4PD and I dropped off trackable item "gran san bernardo", TB84C9J
- The castle of Rihemberk, GCQ3J9, that received a visit by trackable items "Kurt the soccercop", TB7GZ1A and "Sanban s1", TB42DJW and I dropped off trackable item "Key chain #2 Happy Face", TB6R4PD