Life by the rivers used to be different, more dynamic. The confluence of three Carniolan rivers – the Sava, the Ljubljanica and the Kamniška Bistrica – certainly has a strong symbolic meaning in our history which can also be felt on your route. The starting point is at the Pri Peclju Inn , at the beginning of Podgrad where the roadside car park is situated. Cycle along the railway and the Sava River towards Laze. Already at the beginning of the route, there's an exit for Podgrad and the valley of the Besnica Stream behind the Pri Peclju Inn. The fruit road between Javor and Janče starts there, as well as the Ostrovrhar Route around Podgrad. Podgrad was the home of Ostrovrhar knights who built a castle there the ruins of which are still visible today. At the junction with the road towards Podgrad , you have to be careful since the road that comes from under the railway has priority and is unfortunately poorly visible. On the road to Laze, pleasant shade of the trees covers you from the right bank of the Sava River and a train greets you on the right from time to time.
Confluence - part one
You soon arrive to large power lines which mark the confluence of the three rivers – the Sava, the Ljubljanica and the Kamniška Bistrica. A bit further on, on the left side of the road, a pleasant view point and an information board with details about the confluence are located. In the past, the confluence linked even four rivers somewhat upstream, as the confluence of three rivers used to be situated at the spot where the Besnica Stream flows into the valley. However, the confluence of the three rivers was moved downwards in the 18th century to improve navigability. The confluence occupies a larger area since it depends on the level of the water when the confluence of all three rivers is at the same spot (at high water) and when the confluence of the Sava and the Ljubljanica rivers is much lower.
Laze and the railway that no longer exists...
Continue past the hamlets of Gradovlje and Gostinca, both named after the streams that flow from the valleys in the hinterland. In Gradovlje, houses that belong to Podgrad have signs with their common names and a red-white flag to commemorate the Ostrovrhar knights. In Laze turn left onto the bridge and cross the Sava River , . The bridge is situated at the spot where Germans, who occupied this territory during the Second World War, built a railway to avoid the complications when crossing the Italian border in Šentvid. The railway ran along the route Vižmarje–Črnuče–Laze . A soon as the war ended, it was abandoned and demolished; however, the retaining walls across the Mlinščica Stream nearby (approximately 200 meters in a straight line from the bridge over the Sava River) still remind you of it.
Landscape by the Sava River
Immediately after the bridge turn left on the macadam cart track , which runs through the meadows and fields along the Sava River , . You would need some sense of orientation for the ride through the fields (you can partly orientate according to the newly built power line). After approximately 900 meters, you have to turn right at the junction and distance yourself from the Sava River. Along a winding road set under the power line, you come to the edge of the forest and to extensive vegetation by the Mlinščica Stream which cannot be seen because of the dense greenery. Follow the curve of the forest edge between the trees along the cart track, and stick to the left at the junction so return to the Sava River where you cross the power line again. When the road again runs parallel to the Sava River, a larger cart track joins from the left at a sharp angle. Turn onto it and you will come to the Sava River after approximately 400 meters.
Confluence - part two
Along the Sava River, you can find a beautiful gravel beach suitable for a relaxed rest and looking around. You are at the top of the confluence of the Sava and the Ljubljanica rivers , which formed a peninsula from the gravel deposits as if they do not want to be joined together. At high water, a part of the peninsula is flooded, forming an island in the middle of the joint riverbed. The mouth of the Kamniška Bistrica River is moved much higher, making it almost invisible from this spot. Continue up the Sava River and turn left at the junction after approximately 300 meters, closer to the Sava River. Once you arrive to the two power lines (you've already crossed them at the beginning of the route) , look through the dense vegetation towards the Sava River and you will see the confluence of the Kamniška Bistrica and the Ljubljanica rivers in the background. The route continues in a curve along the cart track. Approach the power lines again and make a sharp left turn towards the Kamniška Bistrica River, which is not visible because of the dense vegetation and flood barrier. Only high trees indicate its riverbed. You arrive to the asphalt road along the Kamniška Bistrica River , and then turn left towards Beričevo.
Beričevo and Brinje
Continue along the road through Beričevo and Brinje towards Šentjakob. The local farms have long been engaged in vegetable cultivation and production of the food which has been sold at Ljubljana's market. The old pilgrimage Church of the Holy Cross with an information board is located in Baričevo. What is more, the 'culprit' for the multitude of power lines along the route shyly hides behind the houses on the northern side of the settlement – the Beričevo transformer station which is the main power line junction in Slovenia and the main transfer point for power supply of Ljubljana and its surroundings. The residents of Brinje are proud of our most successful cross-country skier Petra Majdič. Moreover, the Reactor Centre of the Jožef Stefan Institute is located nearby. While you approach Šentjakob, cross the motorway and turn left at the junction to the main road towards Ljubljana. If you need to eat something, you can turn right and visit one of the inns in the nearby Šentjakob. Cross the Sava River once again on the main road towards Ljubljana, and turn left at the junction with traffic lights under the motorway. Go straight towards Zalog and the Ljubljana Central Waste-water Treatment Plant at the next junction with traffic lights. Due to dense traffic, this is the most unpleasant part of the route, so you have to be very careful.
Confluence - part three
Cesta v Prod Road is wide and empty so you can slightly increase your speed and quickly arrive to the last right turn before the Central treatment plant in Zalog. There turn on the cart track across fields and meadows to the macadam road which comes from the treatment plant on your right. If this road is not passable due to bad weather, avoid it by cycling to the treatment plant and turning left to the macadam road. Continue towards the Sava River along the macadam road until you arrive on the field path , set right by the Sava River . You have to be careful at the last part of the route since the steep banks of the Sava River frequently crumble. At the confluence , a view of gravel alluvia and peninsula/island , which you observed from the beach on the left bank of the Sava River at your second meeting with confluence, opens in front of us. You can see the mouth of the Kamniška Bistrica River behind on your left. The confluence can be reached at the low water level from the peninsula which is quite busy during the time of summer picnics. Return along the same route that brought you to the treatment plant in Zalog – its industrial appearance can be seen from afar. Many industrial and infrastructural facilities are situated in Zalog.
Ljubljana Central Waste-Water Treatment Plant in Zalog
The macadam road is leading along the fence of the treatment plant and past the entrance where the facilities for the treatment of sewage sludge and gas tanks can be seen. Other facilities are lower and far from the entrance. When arriving to the first houses in Zalog along the macadam road, turn left on the asphalted Cesta v Zeleni Gaj Road and again left after 50 metres on the macadam road [T16 in order to keep to the perimeter of the treatment plant. There is a nice view of the New Castle above Podgrad from the hill behind . From the treatment plant, turn right towards the Ljubljanica River , on asphalted Pot na Labar Road and wind your way through the residential area to Zaloška Road. When crossing Zaloška Road, you have to be very careful since there is no pedestrian crossing. Then turn left towards the Ljubljanica River followed by a right turn to Vaška pot Road after 50 meters. Cycle through the railway underpass and turn right towards (consider the dead end sign) Kašeljska Road 150 meters after the underpass.
Continue along Kašeljska Road through Spodnji Kašelj (which used to be known for cabbage and its export) with the Church of St Andrew on the left side and then turn left to Mazovčeva pot Road leading across the bridge over the Ljubljanica River.
Between the Ljubljanica River and the hills in the background
Look at one of the most unspoilt parts of the Ljubljanica River from the bridge ; sometimes you can even spot one of the waterside locals . Immediately after crossing the bridge, turn left on the macadam road . Take the right again after 50 meters and continue along the winding road across the floodplains and meadows along the Ljubljanica River . Approach the hills in the background, the highest being Debni vrh Hill (530 m) with a beautiful viewing tower near old Ostrovrhar Castle. You come to the pond below Debni vrh which is exemplarily maintained by Vevče fishing family. Here you will certainly meet an aspiring fisherman catching carps. The steeper of the two starting points for the access to Debni Vrh, which lie immediately by the route, is located near the pond; the other one is on Cesta v Kresnice Road, just after the bridge over the Ljubljanica River at the end of Zalog. A little further away from the pond, you arrive to the calm oxbow of the Ljubljanica River, with a narrow footbridge leading to a small island . In the water, you can see rich and colourful marsh vegetation and various timid water animals . Further along the meander, you get closer to the Ljubljanica River , ; the macadam road becomes asphalted and leads you to Vevče Fishermen's Hut (Dom vevških ribičev) where you can find some refreshments. From the fishermen's hut, cycle along the road leading under the railway, where a port used to be located on the left bank of the Ljubljanica River to Cesta v Kresnice Road. Here turn right towards Podgrad to the last section of the route. Because of the narrow railway underpass and immediate ascent onto the level of Cesta v Kresnice Road , you have to be very careful. On the right side of the main road, you soon see a car park and the railway underpass which leads to the Old Castle on Debni vrh (where the abovementioned second access is located). Then press on the pedals for the last time and you'll soon find yourself at the starting point – in front of the Pri Peclju Inn. If you have not eaten along the way, you have time and the opportunity to do so now – at the end of the trip.