Running Man (RM) had described to me the beauty of the Soca many times, and his photos of the river verified it. But the only way to truly witness the Soca's exquisite magnificence is to see it in person. It was a clear, sunny day in Slovenia when I first laid eyes on it. I saw above me the blinding white snow-covered peaks of the Julian Alps standing against a flawless blue sky and at my feet, the crystal clear blue-green waters of the Soca tumbling over pristine white limestone. It was, perhaps, the most awe-inspiring sight I've ever seen, and one I couldn't survey without feeling touched by God.
The Soca is home to the rare marble trout, making it a favorite river for fly fishing. Its fast current and crashing whitewater near the top of the river attract kayakers. And it was the location for
Its awesome beauty inspired the Slovene poet and Catholic priest, Simon Gregorcic, who was born above this river and spent his life near its banks. His poem, Soci, which translates as To Soca, pays tribute to it. But during
Slovenia bears the marks of the Roman Empire and the scars of
RM wanted me to see the source of the Soca River which, I found out, involved climbing up a long and winding, steep and narrow and sometimes treacherous path to an opening in the Julian Alps, out of which tumbles the river's magic waters. It is not surprising that this body of water has inspired poets, peasants and priests. I've been unable to find an English translation of Gregorcic's poem about the Soca but RM said he will help me translate it. My goal is to someday be able to read it in its original form while sitting in the sun on its white rocky shore.
There is an old story here about the creation of this tiny country. It's said that on the eighth day, God decided to give pieces of His creation to the various countries on the Earth. The Germans, Austrians, Hungarians, Italians and the Slovenes all showed up to get their land. But the larger countries kept pushing the Slovenes aside. When no one was left but them, God said said He'd already given everything away. But they persisted and so God told them He had only one very small piece of land left. He had planned to keep it for Himself to live in because it was the most beautiful place in the world but instead, gave it to the Slovenes.
On that day, looking up at the alps and down at the stones on the bottom of the Soca, I thought the story just might be true.