Judging by the crowds in the city, people visit Christmas markets to try to capture the spirit of Christmas. But besides gifts, what is so special about Christmas? It’s snow, lot’s of it, tall tree and fun family time together. That’s why we drove to Pokljuka with kids to get to the true Winter Wonderland.
Pokljuka with kids – will there be snow
As I threw myself headlong into finding all our skiing equipment, there was this tiny voice in my head going: ‘Seriously, there’s snow there? There’s no snow, here. There’s probably no snow there.’ That’s the obnoxious Earth is flat voice, remnant of one of my past lives, I guess. One that can’t quiet comprehend that while we have Winter, Singapore is always hot, or while I am awake Americans are still asleep.
Throwing things in the bag, I trusted my hubby, but I was skeptical. Felt ridiculous putting our sleighs in the trunk of the car. But off we went, knowing if there was no snow in Pokljuka, we’d have serious disappointment on our hands – one I don’t think lollipops will solve. Because as much as I am blah about snow, my kids love it.
But as we drove from Ljubljana in the direction of Bled, there was more and more snow.
Maybe you want to know where to sleep in Bled – if you are visiting in Summer, which you should Camping Bled is your best bet.
Yet the true surprise came once we followed the signs for Pokljuka and drove uphill leaving the small villages behind.
What’s Pokljuka to begin with?
Pokljuka is a forested plateau. More importantly it’s a part of the Triglav National Park, at around 1000 to 1400 meters high. This basically means it’s a great wilderness. Nothing but tall trees, raising so high, you can hardly see the sky if you look up.
It makes a great starting point for many great ascends to the nearby mountains. Hey, if you wanted you could even reach Triglav from here. I wouldn’t know much about it, since I never gave it a shot, but I’ve seen discouraging signs mentioning hours of walk up hill.
Much easier is Uskovnica and perfect to try with kids – here are some tips to make hiking fun for the whole family. You can’t believe it, I know, but it can be done.
This is also a place where you can do lots of Winter sports – fans of skiing, cross country skiing, sleighing are all welcome here. Just as much as fans of building a snowman, running around in snow, making snow angels, throwing snowballs, plunging into the highest pile of snow…
Where to in Pokljuka?
We park our car at Rudno polje, you have a military center there, but also a hotel and a sports center and a road that will get you to your destination even in the Winter. It’s easy, just follow the signs.
The car park was fairly busy when we arrived. Judging by myself I expected no one, hubbs judging by himself expected more. So, there you have it.
What to do?
I got out of the car and regretted it the same second as the cold wind started slapping me while I tried to don my ski pants. Ones I bought way before kids and I can still fit into them. Have to brag. But what makes me so happy about it, is the fact that I will probably never need to buy a new pair. I so rarely use them.
All dressed we headed into the direction of the small ski slope. I was still cold and hating it, but like captures who fall for their guards, I was beginning to like it.
Kids laughed on the sleigh, while the two us tried to pull it and still walk up right. I took in the sights around me: the thousands of tall spur trees decorated with snow, piles of white as far as the eye can see, silence interrupted by the sound of wind howling through the woods, I was at ease. It was so beautiful, it took my breath away as corny as it sounds. So, what you can do in Pokljuka is just relax and breath.
I also only took a couple of photos, because I wanted to enjoy it. I wanted my mind to remember this sanctuary.
Then we arrived to the slope. The ski lift wasn’t operating, which meant lots of climbing up and sleighing down. In all that fun, nobody cared.
We met a few other families in search of Winter fun too, as well as lots of cross country skiers and a few dog walkers. But still, I remember it as having half of the place to ourselves.
When to go?
Haven’t you heard. Right, now.
True Winter wonderland, really?
Absolutely, no artificial lights, lots of snow, quiet, tall trees decorated with white snowflakes, lots of parking space, very few places where you can spend money … it’s what Christmas is all about.