The emerald water of the Soča river and its tributaries also arouses in many people a sense of irresistible excitement. They then began to descend the course of the river in large zodiac or kayak, to who we can also add amateurs of hydrospeed and canyoning who entrust their bodies to waterfalls and other chasms.
At the end of the road is waiting for us the nice little town of Kobarid, located at the historic crossroads of routes through the Soča valley towards Friuli. Many archaeological remains dating from the Iron Age testify to the strategic importance of the region during the Antiquity. The deepest impression was without a doubt left by the First World War when Austrian army, with the support of the Germans broke through the front of the Soča during the 12th battle. The history of the region and mainly the front of the Soča is told in the Kobarid Museum, named best European museum in 1993 and our next visit. But before that, it is time to have something to eat! We are given about one hour to do so, more than enough to settle down on the terrace of a nearby restaurant. Later on, we meet again in front of the museum and visit its different rooms filled to bursting with rich photographic material and multi-visions projections, subtly expose the difficult history and bloody hours on the banks of the Soča river.
After a very interesting tour of the museum and a small informative film, our guide informs us of the possibility to do a rafting descent in the area or staying in Kobarid. I chose the second option, first because I have no towel nor bathing suit, and secondly because I want to visit the city at my own pace. The mother and her two teenagers have chosen to try out rafting, a first for them. As myself had the opportunity to do in New Zealand, it’s not something I feel I miss and inform our guide. So I have about two hours of freetime to walk along the historic streets of Kobarid.
However, in less than 15 minutes, the sky rapidly covers and a titanic storm finally burst shortly after. So much for the trip in town, I quickly run and take refuge in one of the restaurants nearby and sit down in front of a window, admiring Mother Nature going wild. An incredibly powerful wind is blowing now in the streets and a heavy rain begin to fall. Within minutes, it’s literally the Apocalypse. The visibility is significantly reduced and many motorists stopped on the side of the road waiting for the rain to cease. I enjoyed a drink and think about the family who left to try out rafting on the emerald waters of the Soča river. I guess this weather gives a fun side to the experience, but when it suddenly started to hail, I tell myself that it is not fun anymore, but quite dangerous in fact. The storm will last for about 40 minutes and won’t weak during this time. Feels good to be inside, enjoy a drink and a book and having a look to the pictures I’ve taken already.
The time for someone to pick me up about two hours later, the sky has cleared and the weather is relatively nice again. I then ask the family if they could do their rafting, but unfortunately not: after a 30 minutes drive, time for them to reach the starting rafting point, it started to hail and rafting instructors have chosen to cancel the exit. Therefore they remained sheltered in the sports center with the guide for almost two hours, bad luck… Well, from my side too as I could not visit Kobarid, but this is only a postponement!
It is now under a serene sky that we hit the road again, always following the Soča river. Half an hour later, we stop and get off the car to start walking one hour first along an impressive gorge crossed by the emerald river.