Sunday, September 28, 2014

Sabotin

 I looked down from Sveta Gora last year into the deep gorge of the Soca River.  The mountain on the other side, Sabotin, is not as high as Sveta Gora but it is just as steep and spectacular.  I vowed to try climbing it.  Almost a year later I finally got around to it.  There are several ascending dirt roads and trails on the Italian side of the border but none for a road bike.  When I found out the road on the Slovenian side was paved, I headed for it.

From Vinko in Italy I crossed into Slovenia near Neblo, and continued on the rolling climb through Dobrovo, Drnovk and Smartno to Gonjace.  Here take the left turn marked Plave and begin climbing. After awhile you reach a right turn with a small pyramid, and tourist info sign: this is the road to Sabotin.  The pavement is good and the gradients weren't too bad.  Garmin says I hit 15% but it must not have been for long.  It's a really nice climb.

At end of pavement is a museum and many restored fortifications, part of Pot Miru peace parks along the border.  I checked out the trenches and tunnels the soldiers drilled and blasted into the rock for protection.  I'd like to go back and lock up the bike so I can explore more.  The ride down was a blast, with perfect clear weather today and great views of the surrounding countryside.  Go check it out if you get a chance.  

Pyramid Memorial to WW I soldiers

Looking southwest toward the coastal plain

The view west of beautiful Slovenian hill towns

To the north, Sabotin's escarpment
ends in rock cliffs above the Soca

The entryway into one of the many tunnels the
Austro Hungarians blasted out of solid rock

A larger tunnel

Sveta Gora across the Soca

The sheer-sided gorge of the Soca

A stone trench

Entry from trench into tunnels

View of church/castle in rolling Goriska Brda countryside


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