Unplugging a bit is healthy.
I have just returned from a month of long flying (with two young kids), welcome and goodbye kisses, visits to relatives, ‘pigging out’ on summer berries of all kinds, cave visiting, gondola riding, kids first touches of snow and fun with it (high altitude), balmy strolls, visits to farms, family barbecues, nice tweet-up(s) with outstanding, switched-on e-practitioners Alja (@ialja), Danilo (@dkozoderc) and Arjana (@abfromz) , hiding from summer hail, running and hiking in valleys, hills and mountains, playing dragons and knights in countless castles with our older one, trying of all kinds of solid and liquid delicacies (many home made), connecting with childhood friends, lunching with and attending a concert of a local musical legend, swimming, checking ‘what’s new’, right-hand side driving on the road, crossing borders to neighbouring countries at a drop of a hat, (re)living the emotional highs and lows of the local World Cup team heroes, gaining two kilos, watching my parents loving the play with their grandchildren whom they see in the flesh so seldom, introducing backyard cricket, and, believe it or not, a lot more of these things in my home country Slovenia.
But the highlight of the trip was a climb on Triglav, the highest (2864m), almost mythical mountain of Slovenia and one of its most prominent and well known national symbols. It has long been an important ‘to do before…’ item on my list.
The preparation for the climb started long time before we set foot on the mountain. After a few months of running to get in shape, getting the right gear and listening carefully to our guide (“… you have to be darn clumsy to fall but you have no business there if you are scared of heights or suffer from vertigo.”) we set off in the afternoon from Vrata Valley (1000m alt.) and made it to Kredarica hut (2514m alt.) before nightfall, just as Spain and Germany started their World Cup semi-final on screen.
The next morning, a smaller party of us set off right into the just about vertical cliffs and narrow ridge for the summit, standing at 2864m alt., then took our time on our 5.5 hour return hike to the pick up point at 1200m. You can see a few shots below but that is a fraction of the magic we experienced on the mountain (for accompanying notes, you can check the set on Flickr)
Yes, one would need a poet to describe the beauty of the view from the summit (and many those below too). It’s a different world. A world where the silence sounds differently, where an Australian ‘cooo-eee’ magically reverberates from the cliffs and valleys for an incredible time and amount of echoey replies, where you wait for the chamois and mountain goats to rest and show their amazing rock-stepping skills, where you see cliffs, sprinkled with plaques in memory of those who met their death right there by slipping, being struck by falling rocks or lightning (very common in bad weather!), where you see how crumbly and fragile the whole mountain really is, eked away by the constant cycle of ice, heat, lightning strikes, even human intervention (yes, the once mighty glacier has just about melted away!!!). In one word, the two days on the mountain were – humbling.
In all this time, I fired up Twitter maybe once every day or two, checked the goings on at Mt Orange Moodle Demo Site (kinda my baby I am now looking forward to working on, made a promise to Martin, will write more about in near future), checked my email for any fires burning … and it felt so good to ‘lie low’ and unplug a little that I am now glad to ‘reconnect’ online and jump into a pile of projects refreshed, inspired and with a picture of Triglav on my desktop to remind me to be humble and to stop and unplug every once in a while.
I’m back 😀