We walk next to a narrow water-filled ravine. The waterfalls perfectly spring out of the ground around us and the green moss feels like a cozy warm scarf, knitted by a loving old aunt. The dark red leaves under our feet make the stones a little slippery, but that doesn't mean we have to walk a little slowly. Going slow just means we get to walk here in the fairytale forest a little longer. But I'm going to backtrack a bit now. Let's start the walk from the beginning.
Before we went to Slovenia, I read about a memorable hike in Lepenadalen i Triglav National Park. An easy hike by a gorge to a waterfall, which would really show the valley at its very best. However, when I ran into the tourist center in Trenta much later, I had completely forgotten everything I had read about the memorable hike. The guy in tourist information draws and points on a map of all the hikes we should do. - "Well, yes, then we have this hike to the mill at Šunik". The mill? One of the nerve cells in my brain starts to twitch a little. Haven't I heard of this one before? I quickly forget all the other tips I got in the tourist information. We're going to the mill.
After one monkey strudel at Pristava Lepena we turn left, further into Lepenadalen. The road is narrow and there are few signs. The tourist information guy had said there would be a sign. We drive slowly. We pass a small parking lot for two cars with a small sign. It can't be there, can it? But no more parking spaces appear, so we drive back. It says on a small information sign in the small parking lot Sunikov Vodni Gaj with pictures of several waterfalls. We have arrived.
The path from the parking lot is not particularly impressive. Old stone walls wrapped in moss and damp, fungus-covered branches. But something happens when we start to approach the water. Everything gets greener and greener the further into the forest we go. The air becomes thicker, more humid, healthier. The trees suddenly have more leaves left on their branches and the small waterfall under the bridge ripples and ripples.
The walk goes in a loop over leafy paths and rusty little bridges. An easy hike that offers nature's entire palette of beauty on a very small surface.
We don't have to go far to reach the gorge. Next to the path, the ground has flattened into a 100 meter long and 10 meter deep ravine. It looks like the earth has suddenly cracked. Water seeps from the ground from all around me. Small waterfalls form where I least expect it and the drops are swallowed up in the gorge and disappear. There are no fences or warning signs here. We simply stay on the path.
A little higher up the hiking trail, the gorge turns into a wild stream that throws itself over large rocks, on its way to the gorge. We find a bench and sit down. The only thing that can be heard is the sound of the water, which echoes between the stones and the trees. But it sounds like a lot. You might think that moss would act as a natural damping insulation layer, but this is not the case.
Up until now, we have been completely alone here in the forest. Over rocks, bridges and moss-covered stumps. We haven't even seen a bird. Now we suddenly see a lone man standing and taking photographs with a camera with a tripod. We will soon arrive at the waterfall.
The man with the camera has time to move on before we reach the water cascades. We get the whole waterfall to ourselves. I can only say one thing about this place. The colors. The whole of Sunik is a study in color. The small pool formed under the waterfall is so turquoise that it completely glows. It's almost like I dare to name the color Socablå. I can't think of a better description.
A spider's web has caught dew in its fragile threads. The net swings in the wind, like a hammock for fairies. In this part of the fairytale forest, anything can happen.
I find a green leaf among all the dry autumn leaves. A heart-shaped leaf. It must become my symbol for this walk. Nature can offer colorful experiences, but today we have an abundance of everything. I realize it's impossible to capture this experience in a picture, but I can't help but try. Maybe one of the colors sticks.
How do I get to Sunik?
In the Triglav National Park you turn off towards the Lepenadalen at the resort of Soca. Look out on the right for a small parking lot and a sign for Sunik. The hike is just over 3 km and is suitable for the whole family. Well worth a little detour!
What happened to the mill?
Well, the ruins of the mill were actually down the road. But it was mainly a mass of moss-covered stones and a stone wheel.
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