Alpina Weekend Adventures in Slovenia with the Alpina X Skippers Limited Edition
Leaving Switzerland has become a bit of an escape game of late, but some delightful destinations are starting to open up
The last time travel was this complicated was probably before motorized transport! Navigating COVID restrictions, quarantines, and testing requirements is almost enough to make most of us settle for a staycation, but there are a number of tourist destinations that are starting to open up and what a joy it is to be on the road again.
One such destination is Slovenia, a country that I only really knew about thanks to a European jigsaw puzzle that my son and I love to do together. It is often one of the last pieces to go in due to its small size and location between Italy, Austria, Hungary, Croatia and the Mediterranean Sea.
The country was part of Yugoslavia for most of the 20th century and became independent in 1991. It is a small country that is topographically diverse with its European Alps, karstic Dinaric Alps, Pannonian and Danubian lowlands and hills, and coastline on the Mediterranean Sea.
Ljubljana by bicycle
Arriving in the capital, Ljubljiana, our little group of journalists go on a guided bicycle tour of the city. Our local guide takes us on the “Moustache Tour”, an ingenious idea that allows tourists to discover the city via three of its most famous residents – architect Jože Plečnik, writer Ivan Cankar, and painter Rihard Jakopič, who all had spectacular moustaches and have left their mark on the city.
Ljubljana © WorldTempus/Sophie Furley
We pass by an intriguing water installation in the Prešeren main square where it mysteriously rains from the sky. Totally bemused, we try and figure out why it is suddenly raining, while our guide looks on amused by our confusion. This is no issue for my Alpina X Skippers Seastrong Diver Limited Edition with its 300-metre water resistance that can withstand much more than artificial rain.
Alpina X Skippers Seastrong Diver Limited Edition with its 300-metre water resistance © WorldTempus/Sophie Furley
As our tour comes to a close, we stop by one of the numerous riverside cafés and enjoy watching this young and busy city come to life for the weekend. Just down the road is a food festival where all the local chefs come to cook for the evening. Gastronomy is a big part of Slovenia’s culture as we later discover when we have dinner in the castle at Gostilna na Gradu that overlooks the city.
Alpine Adventures in Soriška Planina
The following day I strap on the Alpina X Skippers Limited Edition to test it out in the mountains. It is a great robust sports watch with its highly visible blue dial, white luminescent indications, and comfortable blue rubber strap. It was designed as a collaboration between Alpina and Skippers, WorldTempus’s sister sailing magazine and is limited to 60 pieces.
Alpina X Skippers Seastrong Diver Limited Edition © WorldTempus/Sophie Furley
The hike takes us up into the mountains and we discover wilderness as far as the eye can see. We stop by some of the old Italian fortifications from between the two wars when the border between Italy and the Austro-Hungarian Empire went straight through this pristine area.
The border between Italy and the Austro-Hungarian Empire © WorldTempus/Sophie Furley
Jeep Wine Safari in Goriška Brda
In the afternoon we drive over to the wine region of Goriška Brda where we meet Andrej Erzetič whose family has been farming the land here since 1725. Unlike in Switzerland, where the vineyards are in vertical rows to the hill, the vineyards here run horizontally around the vineyard to preserve the soil when it rains.
Winemaking Region of Goriška Brda © WorldTempus/Sophie Furley
The Erzetičs produce a number of different wines based on the yellow Ribolla and the newly-reintroduced Ribolla Nera grapes. Erzetič drives us up to the top of the property in his Jeep, where we have a tasting of his specialties that range from sparkling wines to young still wines, aged wines in barrels and amphorae, clay vessels that are kept under the ground in the cellar. It is a delightful gastronomical moment and we are reluctant to leave.
Wine testing with Andrej Erzetič © WorldTempus/Sophie Furley
Paddle boardig in Krka
Made for the nautical world, the Alpina X Skippers Limited Edition finally gets a proper water test the following day as we take paddle boards and canoes around the river island of Krka. The water is calm and ideal for paddle boarding, which also gives me a chance to take some pictures of the timepiece in its element. With a water resistance of 300 metres, the Alpina X Skippers can do much more than paddle, but it looks perfectly at home in this river environment.
Paddle boardig in Krka © WorldTempus/Sophie Furley
Lavender Fields and Gastronomy
Next stop is a visit to a lavender and herbal farm where we try creams, sprays cordial and schnaps made from garden herbs, along with traditional snacks. Everywhere we go, the generosity of the Slovenian people is heart-warming. Food is a big part of Slovenian culture and we end our trip with a six-course gastronomical meal at Gostilna Repovž, a typical Slovene restaurant that is reinterpreting traditional recipes in a totally new and innovative way that blew our taste buds away.
Lavender Fields © WorldTempus/Sophie Furley
Something tells me that the next time I do that jigsaw puzzle, Slovenia is going to be one of the first pieces to find its place! I definitely want to return in the future and discover more of this beautiful country, and with a bit of luck, I’ll take the Alpina X Skippers Diver 300 Limited Edition with me…if there are any left!
Alpina X Skippers Diver 300 Limited Edition © WorldTempus/Sophie Furley
All the Details
The author stayed at the Best Western Permier Hotel in Ljubljana, the Hotel San Martin in Brda, and the Tri Lučke in Sevnica.
Ljubjiana bike tours: visitljubljana.com.
Mountain guide: soriska-planina.si.
Erzetič wine tastings: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Lavender farm and shop: vonjpoletja.si.
Restaurants: In Ljubljana – Gostilna na Gradu, in Soriška Planina
Guest House Brunarica, in Krki – Domačija Kmečki hram, in Šentjanž – gostilna-repovz.si
To get your Alpina Skippers Diver 300 Limited Edition, click here.
Established in 1883, Alpina is recongised as the inventor of the sports watch as we know it today, having presented its Alpina 4 model back in 1938.Find out more >
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