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:
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.
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.
And then we said bye bye to Kanal and headed to Ljubljana, the capital of 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.
My rating of Kanal ob Soči:
Great place for photos ✰✰✰✰✰
Great place for photos ✰✰✰✰✰
Well preserved and clean ✰✰✰✰✰
Toilets, parking, souvenirs ✰✰✰✰✰
[All photos by MKL, 2010, except where otherwise noted]