Following Emperor's road
The route begins on the P+R car park in Vič , , the final stop for Ljubljana city buses at Dolgi Most, which is a convenient starting point for this and some other described routes, especially along the Marshes. The direction of the journey can be the reverse of the suggested, as the route is completely flat. However, it is best to start at the junction of Tržaška cesta Road at the exit for the bypass along the Pot Spominov in Tovarištva (PST) (The Path of Remembrance and Comradeship) and turn south towards the bypass, cross Mali Graben over the bridge and cycle under the bypass to Cesta dveh cesarjev Road. It is reached by the pavilion which was erected in the memory of the Holy Alliance Congress in the beginning of 19th century.
From Mestni log through Trnovo to Rudnik
At the pavilion, turn left towards the car fair and again at the crossroads, cross the bypass and Mali graben once more. Cycle to Mestni log and continue on Cesta v Mestni log Road past the Veterinary station straight towards Trnovo . The road is busy with traffic and the city bus lane runs along it for some time, so consider the following warning: cycle strictly along the right edge. After three kilometres of cycling, you get to the crossroads with traffic lights where Cesta v Mestni log Road (although it actually starts here) ends for you. Cross Barjanska cesta Road and on to Opekarska cesta Road and turn left at the traffic lights. Not far away is another traffic light where you turn right to Hladnikova cesta Road. Cross Mali graben once more and the Ljubljanica River and you are already at Livada. , . Straightforward from here on the main road, named after a Jurček, all the way to the shopping centre at Rudnik – comfortably continuing on the cycling lane.
At the beginning of the Marshes
No shopping spree this time, continue forward instead. Straight past Viator & Vektor to the railroad over the Dolenjska railway line and crossroads with traffic lights just after it, where you turn right towards Lavrica or Škofljica . Emergency lane by the right edge of the road in nicely maintained, asphalted and cyclist-friendly. If anyone wishes more mountain biking, e.g. towards Urh and on to Sostro, can turn left in Lavrica to Orle. However, your route leads to the Marshes this time and it is quite long, so step on the paddles to reach Škofljica as quickly as possible . There are, of course, many possibilities for refreshment and drinks along the route, as Dolenjska region begins somewhere there. But the instinct is telling you that it is too soon for that, don't you agree? Do not get distracted by numerous new traffic lights in Škofljica. Just stick to the right and continue over the railway line on the road towards Kočevje. Do not overlook the signpost for Ig soon after, as you must turn right there .
Wide road leads to Ig
Less than a kilometre later, you see the southeast part of the Marshes with Krim in the background . Drive on the newly asphalted road between Škofljica and Ig, thoroughly renewed and broadened, which takes you to the eastern part of Ig . Left turning of the road towards Kurešček is soon in reach. Do you want to go? Some other time maybe. This time go straight towards the municipal centre of Ig , the central settlement on the southern edge of the Ljubljana Marshes. There is a big karst spring of the Ižica River in the middle of Ig . The Church of St. Martin, built around 1720 at the site of the former church from the 10th century, is a monument of art. There is a castle above the settlement which was first mentioned in the 15th century. Juvenile correctional home is now situated in the late Renaissance castle. Go past the fire station of the popular firemen of Ig – neither left nor right, but through the settlement to the other side where you will indulge in some more of the Marshes. While cycling through Ig, imagine the beginnings of civilisation in the Marshes represented by crannog dwellers. In the vicinity of Ig, by Resnikov graben ditch, the remains of the settlements from Palaeolithic (Old Stone Age) were excavated. So far, 23 crannog settlements have been discovered and the Marshes unveil new findings each year. Recent finding of the wheel and the axle of a two-wheeler from 3200 BC, being the oldest discovered wheel in the world, testify of the importance of the Marshes' crannog dwellers in the wider European area. The axle is 124 centimetres long and the wheel measures 72 centimetres in diameter.
When leaving Ig at the branching on the west, turn towards Iška vas village , , where an interesting Church of St. Michael is located . The documents first mention it in 1353. It was built from the ruins of the Roman necropolis and tombstones , found in the vicinity. The road from Iška vas village leads to the Iška Gorge and to the Hut in Iški Vintgar Gorge four kilometres away, which is the starting point for the picturesque Iški Vintgar Gorge. The road runs along the southern edge of the marshes to Strahomer village , . The area was inhabited as already in the antiquity. Also fascinating is the Church of St. Jacob built in 1495 and substantially renovated in the 17th century. It has been declared a cultural monument. Through Vrbljene , where a lovely hippodrome is located in the southern part of the village , the road takes you to Tomišelj , situated at the foot of Krim. The pilgrimage Church of St. Mary from the 18th century, a successor of a church from 1526, is situated in a visible location . This part of the road, running along the utmost southern part of the Ljubljana Marshes, is very pleasant .
In the coolness to the lake
Tomišelj is about halfway through this route. The shade of the roadside forest and cool breeze blowing from the hill in the cyclist's hot back, are very welcome in hot days. This lasts until the village of Jezero before Podpeč.
You can get to the small like with several different names from the turning point for busses in the village. The lake is called Podpeč Lake, Krim Lake, Lake below St. Anna, Lake below Planinca or Podkrimsko jezero Lake . It is of karst origin and the water is contained in the Jurassic limestone and dolomite hollow. The lake, supplied by the water from karst springs on the edge of the oval valley, has no surface runoff. When extremely hot, the lake water warms up and becomes suitable for swimming, and the embankments are also easily accessible and maintained. A refreshment on offer. Are you carrying your bathing suit in the backpack? No? Briskly to the log cabin then, where refreshments of other kind are on offer . If particularly interested in karst phenomena, ascend to the slope above the lake and see the Ice Cave .
A settlement, nowadays mostly known as the starting point for various, also cycling, tours to Rakitna and Krim, includes a fast developing recreational centre by the Ljubljanica River with even a sports airport . Podpeč used to be an important river port from the Roman times until the middle of the 19th century. There is a quarry in the village , interesting for construction workers and geologists, as well as rock and fossil lovers. Due to its quality rock, the bed of the Ljubljanica River was shifted closer to Podpeč in order to transport heavy stones to Emona by boat. Great importance was given to the Podpeč stone as a proclaimed Slovenian architect, Jože Plečnik, often used it in his buildings.
Turn right in the centre of the village, cross the Ljubljanica River over a new bridge and set out for Notranje Gorice . About half a kilometre after the last houses in Podpeč, the field road turns left by the former bed of the Ljubljanica River, which is not clearly seen there. Nosy-parkers, who want more, can continue on this route along the railway line (through an underpass) and cycle on the other side for another 400 metres until seeing the clearly visible shallow bed, sparsely overgrown with trees that runs in direction of Vrhnika . The Ljubljanica River ran along this riverbed until the Romans shifted it in the canal that was dug past Podpeč.
Along the railroad towards the end
Before arriving to Notranje Gorice , cycle below the railway line Ljubljana–Postojna . The building of the railroad in the middle of the 20th century was an astonishing feat. The most difficult section on the whole route from Vienna to Trieste was supposedly the one between Notranje Gorice and Preserje. The dykes, built during daytime, sank in the ground of the marshes over night. To find the cause of the sinking, many research boreholes were drilled, the deepest measured 52 metres, but the rocky riverbed was not reached (let alone crude oil). It was the last borehole, just below the Žalostna gora Hill, that the ingrown rock was hit in the depth of 42 metres. The drillings brought the discovery of methane (CH4) which is usually a product in the process of the decomposition of organic compounds. Similarly as CO2, it causes greenhouse effect or global warming; even 23 times more than the aforementioned standard source. It is known today that the Marshes' riverbed is even deeper: the bedrock in Črna vas village was reached at 117 metres and in Kozarje at 280 metres.
Gorice – not vineyard though
At the crossroads in Notranje Gorice, visit the chapel which is supposedly located at the centre of the Ljubljana Marshes – an appropriate spot for orientation . If feeling lost before, there is no need for that anymore. Still, one cannot be completely certain, because the geographical centre of the Marshes should be some five kilometres in eastern direction. The administrative centre is probably understood under this term (making you lost again). The chapel was built in memory of a severe smallpox epidemic which killed more than two-thirds of the villagers between 1850 and 1860.
Away, but not too far-away from the route, is Podplešivica, a settlement with an interesting Kušljan's Castle which was mentioned by Valvasor under the name Zablata (probably meaning za blatom – behind mud). There is not much left of the castle – below the steep slope of Plešivica, a small manor enclosed by the stone fencing is located, which is interesting due to its unchanged appearance over the centuries. It was built in the 15th century and has since not undergone fundamental reconstructions. It was named after one of its many owners – baron Kuschlan. If in the mood for a visit, it is best to cycle straight forward at the chapel, although the planned route continues right. You will make a circle around Plešivica and join the route again at the level crossing in Notranje Gorice.
So turn right at the chapel, past the quarry , where embankment material (the one that sank over night) for the building of the railroad was extracted, cross the railway line and you will soon arrive to Vnanje Gorice , . The town's peculiarities are the names of homesteads carved in wooden boards and hung on house frontings. One of the more beautiful houses in the village, Geršak Homestead (Pod Goricami 17), can be visited as it has preserved its original image from 1863 when it was built. All these sites are in the old part of the settlement, which is not scheduled for a visit this time. If you still want to go there, continue to Požarnice and then left up the hill, through the village and down on the other side and then right until the path joins the planned route.
From birch to Črni (Black) log
Through the new part of the settlement and to the crossroads before the level crossing where you turn right. Straight on is Brezovica, the next settlement on the edge of the Marshes, probably named after birches (breza) growing in the marshes. There must have been plenty of these trees to have named the settlement after them; this is, however, not your destination. The final spot will be reached via a shortcut over the Marshes through Črni log which was named after black alder trees. Soon after the branching, turn left to a completely flat road that leads to the vicinity of a forest and passes it. On the right is Veliki vrh (High peak) (its height could be debated though, because it measures only 373 metres) with the mountain bike ground and Črni log is in front of you. It is almost impossible to go astray if you follow the asphalted road. Cycle across the lovely fields to the next forest where the black alder trees are in shortage. Maybe there were more of them in the past. The path is nicely cool and the recently asphalted road is ideal for the cycling, so you can progress quickly . A sharp left turn is at the end of the plain, followed by the bridge over Curnovec Channel and the first Ljubljana houses or residential buildings can be seen, just behind them is the Transition Centre for Foreigners and industrial facilities somewhat further on. Indeed, this is Ljubljana. Cycle to the first crossroads, turn left and down Lipahova ulica Street to the next crossroads and turn right. Only straightforward from here on to the car park P+R where you switch your means of transport.