It is time to leave the sporty peaks and slopes of busy Kranjska Gozd in the north west of Slovenia and travel to the eastern part. As I said, everywhere is about an hour from everywhere else. So the motorway heads to Ljubljana, spoons around the edge and goes of towards Maribor, the country’s second largest city, a journey of about 3 hours in total. As there is time to spare the medieval town of Skofja Loka is a pleasing diversion.
The old town is the usual small nugget surrounded by the functionality of modern apartment blocks and administrative buildings. The most evocative approach to this ancient centre is over the 14th century Capuchin Bridge and through the arched gateway.
Mestni Trg is a long square with pastel-hued, 16th century burgers’ houses lining each side. The umbrellared cafes are busy. A few trees provide shade from the midday heat which slams down onto the cobbles and flag stones and sends folk into the shadows or indoors. Few people venture out and brave the bright sunshine.
The main exception seems to revolve around the town hall. Four wedding parties follow each other in to town – one in a white stretched-limo, one in a decorated Deux Chevaux and two on foot. One has a guy with an umpahpah accordion, one has some piped music from a speaker, one has an orange bouquet that gets flung around a lot and one has guys with torn jeans and some very scary modern haircuts. In turn, with the bride in all her finery, each party hangs about in the street for a bit and then takes over a cafe. I am not sure if this is after the ceremony or before it. Not important. They all seem to be very happy and having a good time.
The castle, having a bit of an upgrade, stands proudly over the roofs and spires of the town – an ordinary town on a Saturday in Slovenia.