Moor in the city
Let the word 'gorice' (hills) not mislead a possible layman of the Marshes (Barje), because Slovenian people usually understand viniferous hills under this term. Two places in the central part of the Ljubljana Marshes are considered here – Vnanje and Notranje Gorice –, which have little in common with the viticulture. They are, however, raised above the Marshes plain and it could thus be concluded that they have borne the name Gorice since ancient times. According to their position in the Marshes, one of them is called Zunanje (Outer) and the other Notranje (Inner); this division is however not very convincing. Vnanje (or Zunanje) Gorice are closer to Brezovica.
Take a run for a start and at the car park P+R Dolgi most , drive past Tržaška cesta Road straight towards south to Cesta v Gorice Road.Turn left to Cesta dveh cesarjev Road and after about 200 metres turn right.Drive past Plutal.The road runs on a plain and only here and there does the occasional bump spoil the cycling.Left is the Transition Centre for Foreigners of the Republic of Slovenia and a residential area little further on.
The road is good, new and asphalted.Sharp right turn and you can step on the pedals again.Forest, shade, cool.Mestni log ends and Črni log begins . A settlement is soon seen on the left. It does not look big, but it has more than 50 houses. And this is in the moor where black alders should grow. The alders are gone, but the houses remain. Black ones, of course. There are two kilometres or more to the next crossroads. Ideal cycling indeed. The only greater risk are the gutters which can be quite deep and must be avoided.
Finally in Gorice
When you arrive from Črni log to the crossroads with the road leading from Vnanje Gorice to the Marshes, turn left and, after a few metres, right . At the next junction (without signposts) turn right again and continue along the southern edge to Vnanje Gorice. The road is bad, more of a field path than a road, but the scenery is beautiful and the accompaniment of the poplar tree-line road, offering shade , , is pleasant. A hill past which you drive is not Grič ('hill' in Slovenian; the latter is near too, however, you are not going there), but Veliki vrh where a mountain cycling range is arranged .
Vnanje Gorice is a nice dense village settlement on a saddle between two slopes . The impression of homeliness is provided by the nicely renovated old houses, carrying neat inscriptions of home names, such as At Mežnar's, At Špela's, At Kajžar's . The route, without ascents this time, runs along the valley among new houses, lacking the former impression. The Church of the Holy Spirit , first mentioned in 1542, is located on the top of the slope, and was later renovated and enlarged for several times. It is famous for its frescoes on tufa stones, the work of local craftsmen.
The lower edge of the settlement leads to the main road where you turn left. A shorter, less pleasant section of the road awaits and you drive on it along with other heavy traffic. Left is Gmajna where the oldest Palaeolithic crannog remains in the Marshes were discovered . The ancient settlers made lake-dwellings in order to protect themselves from enemies and cruel nature. Close to Gorice, many dugouts (boats chiselled out of one trunk) and other artefacts were found, proving the prehistoric settlements. Gorice, these former islands, have probably always been more than interesting for the settling, for they offered protection against high water and were, at the same time, inaccessible for the unwanted guests. Just imagine how pleasant it was to dip the feet into the water in the middle of the summer, right from the threshold.
Before crossing the railroad in Notranje Gorice carefully turn left to Mavsarjeva ulica Street to avoid traffic. The cycling is more relaxed now. At the end of the settlement, turn right and again cross the railroad. Until recently, the level crossing has been protected by the manual barrier, which was an unique sight in the time of modern technology . On the other side of the level crossing, the main road greets you again. Right and in front of you, there is a large abandoned quarry where the construction material for building of the Sothern Railway over the Marshes was extracted. Because the grounding sank heavily, enormous amount of material was needed. Drive straightforward towards the chapel at the crossroads, erected 140 years ago in the memory of dreadful plague and smallpox that killed two-thirds of the villagers. The chapel supposedly stands in the middle of the Marshes .
Turn right at the chapel and set out for the route around Plešivica. At first, you drive among houses and past the Church of St. Martin where Janez Jalen, the author of a famous historical novel Bobri (Beavers) born in Gorenjska, was working. Just before the church, on the right and close to the main road, an interesting old vine can be seen . Due to its height, it resembles a tree. It does not have many branches, but the trunk behind it is magnificent: measuring about 20 centimetres in diameter. At the end of the village, a nice asphalt road and a beautiful landscape start. Drive at the edge of the Plešivica solitary hill , the highest slope in the Marshes (390 metres). In Podplešivica, cycle past the Kušljan Castle , a smaller manor, named after one of its many owners – baron Kuschlan.It was built in the middle of the 15th century and called 'Moostal' in German. Valvasor mentioned the Slovenian name 'Zablata' (Zablate/Swampland) too, because the surrounding of the castle was completely swamped. Enclosed single-storey building has a quadratic ground plan and a simple façade, and is interesting mostly because it has not undergone major reconstructions.
Further on, turn right to another asphalt road as if going to a carpenter. The landscape is still lovely, just the road is somewhat narrower now. Continue cycling along the foot of the hill, this time the northern one. When coming to Žabnica, be careful. It is easy to overlook the left turning, where the route continues. Behind the house nr. 80, turn sharply left to the asphalt road that runs along the stream. Cycle on it in direction north , until arriving to the bridge and the crossroads with a larger road where you turn right. It is not far now to the railroad which you cross at the protected level crossing.
Back home along Brezovica and railroad
Cycle to the main road and afterwards immediately cross the railway line, then turn sharply left to the narrower asphalt road which runs along the railway line and brings you to the hangar of the Brezovica Aero Club with an airfield . The asphalt road ends there, but nevertheless, continue slowly, yet fast enough to proceed on the field road towards Ljubljana . Move away from the railway line and turn left to approach it again and then, turn right. From there on continue straightforward and along the railway line. The asphalt road starts at Gmajnice , a big former agricultural holding and now a Shelter for abandoned animals . If you'd like to have a pet, you can choose one there. Why not? The route does not run along the shelter, so a smaller turn to the facilities at the end of the poplar tree-lined road , not far on the right, is necessary.
Go towards Ljubljana, constantly following the railway. The asphalt road is temporarily replaced by good macadam enabling faster cycling . When the road comes to an end at the houses, turn right to Podvozna pot Road to Cesta v Gorice Road and cycle on the left side. This road is familiar from the beginning of the tour; only this time you have to go left to the traffic-lights where your cross Tržaška cesta Road and arrive at the starting point.
You've enjoyed the Marshes, the landscape and sights on the way, which are not seen everyday. Especially beautiful is the view on Krimsko pogorje mountains in the direction of three famous churches on the Marshes: the Church of St. Anna, the Church of St. Joseph and the Church of Our Lady of Sorrow on Žalostna gora hill , , , . Despite being so close, they are somehow distant, but all the more interesting. And those 22 kilometres behind you were not easy.