What do you do when ominously dark clouds gather and thunder claps loudly just a few minutes before you’re about to set out for a short drive to a mountain peak?
On this day, we accepted the dare. And, for the most part won. Above is a view to the southeast from the summit of Slavnik, at 1028m (3373 ft), one of the highest mountains in Slovenia’s Istria, a region in the country’s southwest. This view faces Croatia; the border is just a few kilometers to south.
The spare mountainous plateau on which Slavnik sits is known as Čičarija (pronounced Chee Cha Ree Yaa) –Ćićarija in Croatian, Cicceria in Italian– one of Slovenia’s least populated areas, which spans much of the area between The Bay of Trieste and the Kvarner Bay near Rijeka and Opatija, Croatia.
The mountains in this immediate aren’t as picturesquely dramatic as their northerly Alpine cousins, but it’s nonetheless an inviting area whose attraction lies in the views its position affords. Nothing in Slovenia rises higher than Slavnik to the west, thus offering clear views of the Adriatic, the Bay of Trieste, Slovenia’s Julian Alps and Italy’s Dolomites.