Metal Days trip: Day 5 (Tolmin Gorge)

With day five of the festival not kicking off until 5:30pm, I had plenty of time to explore the local area. Within a short walk of my hostel is Tolmin Gorge, a local beauty spot which was recommended by the lovely lady who sits at reception.

While there is a bus once an hour which goes there for 50c, it’s only a 2km walk so I made my own way there in the morning sunshine. There is an entrance fee, which gets you a map and a sense of knowing that you’re helping to maintain a lovely piece of the countryside. It’s usually €6, but with a festival wristband you get €1 discount which is nice.

The gorge is enormous in terms of height and scale, as any good gorge should be, and contains a couple of particular features to see on the circular path around it. Expect to spend an hour or so on the route if you come here, and beware the 300-or-so steps towards the end! There are rest spots, so don’t panic too much.

The first thing that struck me was the colour of the water. Other than a slight blue tinge, it’s so clean and clear it may as well be tap water. It is the main water source for Tolmin so this is perhaps a good thing!

I’d set off fairly early as the weather for after lunch was set to turn to more rain, but even then the air around the gorge was pleasantly cool due to the cold water. There is a spot with warmer water as there are some underwater thermals, but it doesn’t take the chill out of the air!

A couple of bridges have been put in place for crossing the water, all recently installed and maintained, and the path is generally wide enough for a couple of people, as long as anyone coming the opposite direction is polite. Or friendly enough to squeeze.

Towards the top is Dante’s Cave, apparently somewhere the famous poet visited which inspired his “Inferno” opus. Only the opening 20m or so are accessible, but you do get the feeling that they could lead to somewhere… unsavoury.

The views were fantastic and there are a few photos scattered here for you to look at. Obviously, they’re no substitute for the real thing.

A quick run back to the hostel and a visit to Hofer (Aldi) ensured I had some snacks for after the festival tonight, as well as a cheap dinner. Usually the shop closes at 3pm on a Sunday, but with Metal Days officially opening today, they’d extended the hours to 8pm. Given the size of the queues, this made sound business sense! The place was absolutely full of people in black t-shirts buying everything from cheap local beer to Haribo and barbecue supplies.

An alarm kept going off over by the tills. I assume this was a metal detector.

Sorry.