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Monday, September 20, 2010

Kanal ob Soči, Slovenia

A charming tiny town on the riverbanks of Soča


Kanal ob Soči (pronounced as "Canal ob Sochi") is a charming little town in Western Slovenia along the riverbanks of Soča, Slovenia's and probably Europe's most beautiful river. Let me introduce Kanal, the town and Soča, the river to you.

✰ Soča, the most beautiful river in the world

Soča near Bovec (photo by Marcus Obal, 2008)

Most Slovenians are proud of this river and would say it's not only the most beautiful river in Slovenia, it must be the most beautiful river in the world. Soča is famous for it's pure crystal clear water, which is drinkable almost at every part. But the most fascinating part about Soča must be its color, which is emerald green throughout its full length. That's why Soča is also called the Emerald Beauty. The 137km long river flows through Slovenia (95km) and Italy (42km). Its source lies in the Julian Alps, the highest mountains in Slovenia. Many poets (Gregorčič, Ungaretti) have written poems about this river. Today Soča is popular for rafting and kayaking, many people also like to swim here in summer as well, even though the water is very cold, usually below 20 degrees (info source, photo source).

The crystal clear water of Soča (photo by Nabiru.si, check their Holiday house).

✰ Kanal ob Soči

Kanal ob Soči actually means Kanal at Soča. The locals pronounce the name as "Canau" and the word means "channel, canal", because the Soča, that flows through the town is caught in a small canal of rocks. I wanted to bring my girlfriend further than Kanal more up north to Most na Soči ("Bridge on Soča") and Tolmin, but it was already so late and we had to go to Ljubljana to our hostel, which was at least 2h away by drive, so I skipped the towns north of Kanal and we just spent like half an hour here, took some photos and then returned to Nova Gorica and then off to Ljubljana. Luckily, we reached there at a normal time and still had the chance to see Soča and Kanal. It was a great day and don't forget, that we've seen Trieste, Doberdob, Gorizia and the Solkan bridge. I think it was a pretty eventful day. See some photos of Kanal:

The panoramic view of Kanal ob Soči.

The town is tiny. One short main road and one small square, where we parked the car.

The famous stone bridge, where every year a jumping competition is held.

This part of Kanal reminded me of Taiwan's Wulai. What do you think?

The emerald river Soča tamed between the rocks.

We went down to the river banks. A nice view of the old stone bridge.

Every year in August an annual jumping competition from the old bridge in Kanal is held. You can see photos and videos from 2009 and from 2010.

There was a bridge at this part already in the ancient Roman times.

The clear Soča river. I had to try how it tasted. And it tasted great. Wtf was this?


Kanal of Soči is a medieval town, that used to have a wall and four towers surrounding it. Some of the towers can still be seen today. The stone bridge you can see today was built after WWII. There is a church right at the center named the Assumption of Marry, built in 1430. A smaller church can be found in Kanal, built in the 16th century. There's also a famous Neptune fountain from 1815, the most important town square fountain in Slovenia.

The Assumption of Mary church in the center of Kanal.

The church closeup.

Back to the town square.

The way to the old stone bridge and Soča.

The Neptune fountain.

And then we said bye bye to Kanal and headed to Ljubljana, the capital of Slovenia.

My rating of Kanal ob Soči:

Great place for photos ✰✰✰✰✰
Well preserved and clean ✰✰✰✰✰
Toilets, parking, souvenirs ✰✰✰✰✰
Friendly to tourists ✰✰✰✰✰

Solkan bridge :Before [Slovenia Tour 2010] Next: Ljubljana>>

[All photos by MKL, 2010, except where otherwise noted]

19 COMMENTS:

indeed a charming town! i noticed that river is something very special in all european cities :) and is taken care of :) unlike those in asia... muddy and dirty >< anyway probably geographically speaking, we have muddy rivers but the beaches and underwater world...damn beautiful!! back to the post.. wow love the mary church :) unique bell tower :) ops and the neptune square would like to be there... but the water is.... is that a fountain? lol

gorgeous photos again, i love the one of the bridge with the swan on....like something off a fairy tale


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the river is absolutely breath taking. sigh. to have this in my stomping ground.. to be so lucky!

That river made me want to go swimming! It's September! Who goes swimming in September??

But really, that is such a beautiful place!

@FuFu: Well, those Alpine rivers are usually not used for traffic like in Asia. Mostly for sports or swimming and they're usually protected. Besides, we're not as populated as most Asian countries :) Ya, that's a fountain :)

@Hannah: Thank you. Happy you like the pics :)

@Linda: It is breathtaking indeed. Hope you can see it one day :)

@Gnetch: Thanks. Let's go swimming.. in the bath tub O.o

I think my favorite part of this town would definitely be the Emerald Beauty river! You took such a gorgeous shot of the tunnel/bridge with a goose.. or swan under it, such a beautiful view. Wow did you really taste the waters?

Slovenia seems a lot like Canada in that it's very diverse and beautiful geographically.

We have quite a few lakes and rivers that are really pretty like that because they run from glacial mountain streams.

I love learning about your experiences in Asian places, but I'm also enjoying hearing about your own country as well!

PS. I'm 5ft 7, my goal was 5ft 8 but I didn't quite make it. :P

Now that you said it, it does remind me of Wulai, minus those many hot-water pipes that extends across the river.

very quaint & serene. simply sweet

Slovenia was the dark horse on my trip around Europe. I was not expecting the mindblowing vistas and sleepy towns that I visited during my stay there.

It was gorgeous and your pictures accomplish the difficult feat of doing that beauty justice. Great stuff.

Woah, nice place. Your previous posts made me remember the places that i used to visit to when i was in europe. But i have not been to Slovenia before. Looks nice.
I envy you for going to so many places. (:

OMG that second pixx is really gorgeous!!! It looks like that scene from LOTR where the nazgul are chasing arwen across the river. Just gorgeous!!!

since when MKL became a travel blog?! :O
im not complaining im just jealous :(

@Karen USA: Yes, I did taste the water. It was clear and tasted good.

@Becks: Thanks a lot for liking my posts. I know I'm like a FB album with longer captions, but I love to write about this trip :)

@Shingo: Exactly :) And it's much smaller than Wulai.

@Lily: Indeed.

@Luke: Wow, you've been here? When and where? :)

@Roxy: Thanks :) Come to Slovenia, always welcome :)

@Saby: You know, they shot The chronicles of Narnia II near this river? Oh yes :)

@Sharon: I became a travel blogger since my trip to Taiwan early this year. Then came Macau, Seoul, Vienna, Slovakia, Slovenia and Italy and I couldn't help myself but write down my awesome trips :)

Wow now I know what you mean about the emerald type body of water that I saw out West in Canada and how Slovenia has some too!
But wow, look how close some of those houses back up to the river and they're on a cliff/rock bed...

You know, the first important thing I learnt form your country is: you keep the nature as its original scene. Unlike us, we use to deploy the area beside the rivers, our government likes to make park, sport grounds or playground there. But every time if we get typhoons attack, the places would be ruined and needed to reconstructed again. And we move trees from other places to the riverside, but slashed the original trees there. I felt their way was silly...

Hope one day we would understand to stay with nature with the original scene is the best.

@Karen: Looks like we can match up with Canada :-P

@Lily: Well, we do try to keep nature intact, but you have to know, where's 66% of the size of Taiwan, but we have 12 times less people here. We don't have big cities and not so many factories, so we can't pollute so much. There are spots in Slovenia, which are not so clean, but of course I didn't bring you there :-)

i want Soca! I want to slim and fishing there! I hope to fish a Slovenian gf too! hahahahah

Some of the words is hard to pronounce in your country. It would be easy for me to be there a stay for a month to learn more :D

@Netster: Hey, bro. You can't fish Slovenian girlfriendsssss. Your wife will spank you :P

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