Written by Sandra Jurišić. Quite near the beautiful Bohinj Lake and within the Triglav National Park, a small river named Mostnica flows its course. Named Mostnica for the four bridges and two footbridges that cross it – most is the Slovene word for bridge – the river is not the biggest, the widest, or the most winding. In fact, it probably cannot be described in superlatives at all. But however subdued it may seem compared to nature’s more grandiose efforts, Mostnica’s quiet, low-key beauty is captivating in its modesty. The fairly easy trek along the river is absolutely ripe with understated wonders that would go unnoticed in a different setting. The aforementioned bridges crisscrossing Mostnica go from sturdy constructions made of stone, bringing to mind scenes from a medieval romance, to precarious-looking footbridges which evoke a little thrill of adventure when crossed. The most interesting of these bridges is the Devil’s Bridge, built to facilitate the transportation of iron ore and charcoal from the woods to the ironworks nearby. Legend has it that it was built by the devil himself – hence the bridge’s name. Once upon a time, while the bridge was being built, the workers became frustrated as they worked all day to build it, only to find it destroyed the next morning. So someone said, well, let the devil build it then. The devil accepted, but only on the condition that the first soul to cross the bridge would be his. This ended up being a dog, tricked to cross the bridge by its owner, which upset the devil, who then swung his tail and destroyed the fence, but left the bridge standing. The Devil’s bridge offers views of Mostnica’s dramatic and somewhat ominous-looking gorge below. A walk along the river will reveal more and more of the gorge, 20m tall at its highest and only one meter wide at its narrowest. Looking down into it is thrilling, as the water is veneer clear, the swelling walls smooth and mossy, and if you look hard enough, you can almost see faces in the eroded limestone, perhaps of some mythical creatures long forgotten, still haunting the river banks centuries later. Walking onwards only reveals more wonders – small cascades burbling along here and there, and rocks shaped into twisted forms by centuries of erosion. One such rock is called the Little Elephant, as the river’s flow broke through it to create a formation bearing similarity to the animal. As you move away from the river and deeper into the forest, it never really leaves you, and you can always hear it, murmuring in the distance. The trek eventually opens up into the Voje valley, where the rumble of the river is replaced by the tranquil sounds of nature. Birds chirp and various insects buzz around, but the overwhelming serenity of the valley is what really stands out. The views of the mountains from here are humbling, the immobile giants surrounding the valley entirely, as if they were guarding it from trespassers. Summer homes built in the typical Alpine fashion dot the valley here and there, but aside from other visitors, there are not many people around. The experience of walking through the valley alone can be meditative, as there’s not much distraction, aside from the green meadows and the stunning mountains surrounding the valley. The valley narrows again into a small footpath as it nears Mostnica river once more. The ground becomes wetter again, and the dryness of green grass is replaced by mossy stones everywhere. Walking along this path will lead you to the crowning glory of this short trek – the Mostnica waterfall, also called the Šum waterfall, aptly enough, šum meaning noise in Slovene. And noise is the first thing you notice as you approach the waterfall, but that’s only before you catch your first glimpse of its silver tail. At twenty-one meters of height, the Mostnica waterfall is charmingly subtle at first sight, but becomes more and more striking upon closer inspection. And, this being a lesser known tourist destination, you may even have the chance to experience the waterfall all by yourself. It is quite an experience, too, as the waterfall thunders down from the rocks above and plunges into the pool of water below, throwing up bubbles of spray and chilling the air around it. The scent of moss and lichen hangs heavily in the damp air, and the roar of the waterfall muffles all other sounds. The whole area seems like a place where fairies might live, natural but somehow still magical. On a hot summer day, visiting the Mostnica gorge and waterfall is a phenomenal idea, as the whole area is shaded and damp rather than scorching hot, and it’s a good place to cool off. However, the area is quite known for its fickle weather, and even on the sunniest of days the weather can turn sour and rainy really quickly. This shouldn’t discourage you from discovering it, even though, in the rain, it’s quite a different experience. The quiet forest becomes damp and full of puddles, the Mostnica river rises and changes colour from crystal clear to an odd brown, and the peaceful mountains nearly disappear behind the fog and the foreboding dark clouds. The views are still stunning, even in the bad weather, and quite different from the serene vistas of a sunny day. Whatever the weather, the Mostnica gorge and waterfall are definitely worth the five or so hours it takes the trek, particularly if you’re visiting Bohinj already. They may not be the biggest, the most stunning, or the most spectacular you’ve ever seen, but the small dose of absolute wonder they have to offer is close to unforgettable.