The long tour starts at Dolgi most
The starting point is the famous car park P+R at Dolgi most where you set the course for Vrhnika. Along the main road, you can comfortably cycle on the cycle lane over Dolgi most , where you cross the railroad and continue past the motorway junction at Gorjanc and forward through Brezovica , . Hereon, the cyclists are not taken care of, it is, however, still quite safe to drive on the narrow roadside lane. Dragomer , and Log pri Brezovici follow , and as you pass the school, do not miss the turn for Bevke behind the slight right turn. Turn left to the overpass over the motorway and daringly push the pedals towards Bevke.
Arriving to the Marshes
Ten and a half kilometres had to be cycled from Dolgi most to Bevke , . Winding up the road among houses and gardens, further through new part of the town , then cycling through the older part with a church and an inn , and you still have not run out of water yet, have you? Gentle descent to the end of Bevke and you are already in Blatna Brezovica , , . The adjective 'blaten' (muddy) does not suit this lovely village at all, which is nicely arranged and decorated with flowers. It might had been such in the old times. The town was inhabited already in prehistoric times and archaeologists found here a ladle from the crannog-dwellers times, which is now kept by the National Museum of Slovenia. For a short time, we drive in the lowest gear - just to descend comfortably to the next point of interest, Sinja Gorica , , at the foot of the solitary mountain. The settlement has two parts, the older one with the church is leaning against the solitary mountain and the new one is next to the main road. In the roundabout, first turn left and cross the motorway. Then, at the stop sign turn left again and drive towards the centre of Vrhnika.
The birthplace of Ivan Cankar, the springs of the Ljubljanica River at Močilnik, , , , , archaeological findings, the old Vrhnika, the crossing point of various paths and the starting point for numerous trips – all is here, and thus Vrhnika with its surroundings should be visited again . The town was first mentioned in written sources in the second century BC under the Latin name of Nauportus (a port), when the Celtic tribe Taurisci ruled it.
The road leads to the periphery of the Marshes further to Verd , and to Bistra. Curiously there are no special signs for this direction, so a possible layman may use a small piece of advice: drive along the edge of the regional road Ljubljana-Vrhnika-Logatec, past the petrol station on both sides, past traffic lights, all the way to the town hall and turn left in the crossroads with traffic lights, over the Ljubljanica River , and you arrive in Verd. At the place, where the road turns in a right angle under the motorway viaduct, the cyclists are recommended to pay special attention, because the carriageway is quite narrow and full of lorries and other vehicles during workdays, and most of all, it has low visibility.
A stop in Bistra and ...
Former Carthusian Monastery Bistra was established as early as 1255 , . It had a turbulent history and got its present form of a mansion only after 1826, when Franc Galle, a merchant and a factory owner, as well as the owner of various other castles, bought the land. In 1945, Bistra was nationalised and, in 1951, the collections of the Technical Museum of Slovenia were arranged there. The Traffic Department with several examples of rare vehicles such as the first tram of Ljubljana from 1901 (the product of the Siemens-Halske company) is very popular among the visitors. In the Carpentry Department, the reconstruction of the oldest water-powered sawmills in Europe are on display and, in the Hunting Section of the museum, more than one hundred year old trophies of the indigenous deer from the Snežnik woods. It is also possible to see the fish collection, as well as the mill and Forestry Department. At the Bistra Stream spring , the old Venetian sawmill with a spindle and veneer workshop as well as a reconstructed old smithy with a water-powered hammer mill called 'repač' (tail pointer) are on display. A park with a pond extends at the mansion , above it runs a forest educational path and a well frequented inn is in front of it. An hour is barely enough for a brief visit of the museum. Some other time then, because despite of the excellent resting spots that the museum environment offers, a longer stop is not scheduled yet. You have only travelled 22 kilometres, correct?
... curve to Borovnica
In no time does the diverse and mostly shady road with the marvellous townscape of the Marshes bring you to Borovnica . Before crossroads take a look on the right where among houses a small railway viaduct, the so called Dolinski most Bridge that survived World War II, can be seen. At the crossroads, just behind the petrol station, turn left towards Podpeč, continuing the route. If interested in a short but exciting turn and a snack, continue on the right side through the settlement following Pekel signposts. Once you leave the Ohonica settlement, a ride to the Pekel Inn is a real pleasure. Nice and asphalted road runs partially through the shady woods and partially through the green landscape among high hills . Pekel is a well-known hiking destination – the gorge in which the Borovniščica River flows and cascades over the rocky thresholds in beautiful waterfalls. There is famous wooden sculpture of the devil and an even more famous inn at the beginning of the gorge and just behind the inn, the footpath leads to five waterfalls where rare and protected flowers, growing in moist environment of the misty water can be seen, among them Carniolan Primrose or Primula carniolica. Between the third and forth waterfalls, there is an interesting climbable monadnock which due to its shape was named the Devil's tooth. The most appropriate time to see the waterfalls is a few days after the rain, when there is enough water and the road is no longer muddy. The place is a starting point for various hikes, although, if not properly equipped, do not continue further from the second waterfall - the path is rather challenging from there on.
On the way back take a picture of the only pillar left of the former viaduct, once the largest bridging structure in the world, through which the Vienna-Trieste railroad used to run. The viaduct was destructed during World War II, but it is preserved in the coat-of-arms of the Municipality of Borovnica , . And do not look for blueberries. There are not many of them, although the town of Borovnica prepares a celebration in their honour each year. The locals like to joke that most of the blueberries, namely cultivated American ones, can be found at the Marshes.
Briskly to Podpeč
If you have not visited Pekel, turn left at the first crossroads in Borovnica and through several small and nice settlements in the diverse landscape you finally arrive to the turning for Kamnik pod Krimom and further to Rakitna. Orientate according to your feeling while constantly being accompanied by a type of moor – sometimes fields, flooded meadows and even a monadnock . Interesting among the towns is Goričica pod Krimom, behind which the largest and best preserved part of the high marshes is located. It is called Goriški mah (Gorice moss), known for its typical plant communities.
Go through Preserje and Podpeč at the mentioned turning and all the way to the so-called local centre just in front of the bridge over the Ljubljanica River , and turn right at the crossroads, following the signpost for Ig. Steep above is the Šentan lookout hill (484 m) with its famous Podpeč black 'marble' quarry at the foot . The quarry is closed nowadays and protected as a natural monument, but for centuries it has served for breaking the black limestone with ingrown molluscs fossils. The old Romans broke it and used it for decoration of important buildings. Due to easier transport of the heavy blocks to Ljubljana (former Emona), the bed of the Ljubljanica River was redirected in such a manner to flow closer to Podpeč . The beauty of the decorative rocks impressed architect Plečnik who masterly used them for the colonnade at the central staircase of the National and University Library in Ljubljana. The typical contrast of light molluscs on the dark base was fully expressed.
Between Goričica pod Krimom and Podpeč, three famous churches are positioned on small peaks: the Church of St. Anna from the 15th century on Šentan hill , the Church of Our Lady of Sorrow from 1728 on Žalostna gora hill and the Church of St. Joseph from 1658 above Preserje.
Refreshment in the lake
Not far ahead is the Jezero village and a little further is a lake – the Podpeč lake –, where a stop of a snack is suitable. After all, half of the planned route is already behind you and the tourist-catering offer is not to be neglected. The Podpeč lake , is an interesting karst lake, supplied by seven springs, but it still lacks the surface runoff. How is that possible? There is only one way – it has an underground runoff. Indeed, the lake waters come to the surface 300 metres away below the road in the village where the spring is. The lake is otherwise of an interesting, almost perfectly round shape and lacks a typical bank. Instead, the bank slowly and evenly descends towards the water whose surface does not change much . Podpeč lake is also one of the deepest natural lakes in Slovenia.
Do not get lost, so carefully through Tomišelj
All the way from Jezero to Tomišelj, the cycling continues in a nice shade. Be careful in Tomišelj. You should turn left towards Brest; however, no signpost is there. Thus drive on the main road from the sign that marks the beginning of Tomišelj to the crossroads where the right turning is for Strahomer and the left for Brest . The turn for Brest is the right one, naturally. After a few hundred metres turn right and, when cycling past the fire station that recently celebrated its hundredth anniversary, you can be relieved that you have not missed the road that goes through Brest towards Ig .
Ig is the central settlement on the southern edge of the Ljubljana Moors. The Church of St. Martin from 1720 belongs among the monuments of art. A predecessor of the present church was supposedly built in the 9th century.
The Ig Castle was first mentioned in the 15th century. The old castle was demolished and the present castle with four tracts around the arcade courtyard was built in its place. Juvenile correctional home is there today. The first crannogs were discovered in Ig. Archaeological excavations in the surroundings revealed three extensive areas of crannog settlements. It is still recommended to cycle according to your instincts while driving through the settlement. Not left towards Ljubljana, but straightforward past the starting point for Kurešček and at the end of the town, left to the new asphalted road towards Škofljica .
Škofljica, Lavrica, Rudnik, Trnovo and the end
After more than 50 kilometres, you have reached Škofljica , ,, the suburban settlement at the utmost southeast edge of the Ljubljana Moors at the crossroads of important paths. Prior to World War I, peat was dug and cut around the Marshes' solitary mountains Grmez and Babna gorica. The peat was used as a fuel. Moving forward to Ljubljana along the old 'Dolenjka' road (with enough space for bicyclists) through Lavrica , to Rudnik . At the traffic lights behind the motorway, turn left to the shopping centre, and then through the roundabout straightforward to Jurčkova cesta Road. The long and flat road drags a bit. At the second traffic lights, cross Ižanska cesta Road and then further at Livada cross the Ljubljanica River and Mali graben and cycle to Trnovo . At the crossroads, turn left to Opekarska cesta Road and cycle on it until you reach the traffic lights. Still no change of direction. Cross Mali graben once more, and then arrive to the next traffic lights from the right after a short ascent. The route continues on the other side, in direction of Mestni log, to which Cesta dveh cesarjev Road leads you in two parts. Cross the motorway and turn towards a car fair and then right at the crossroads. Run the final sprint to pavilion and on to the asphalt road to the end of the trade area, then right to Lipahova ulica Street all the way to the crossroads at Tržaška cesta Road. You only have to get to the other side and you are already at the car park .