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Old September 2nd, 2016, 06:51 PM   #6181
arctic_carlos
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kreden View Post
There are no worthwhile alternatives to the 111 between Piran and the Sečovlje border crossing, there's the 11 running from Koper to the border at Dragonja, which you could reach from Piran by local roads, but if there are queues on the 111, the 11 is probably very busy, too.
So I'm back from my trip to Slovenia and Croatia.

I really enjoyed driving in both countries, and the main challenge was perhaps the lack of navigator, as we thought the car we rented at Trieste airport would have a regular GPS but it ended up only having maps of Italy, San Marino and the Vatican City.

In any event we were very lucky at the border crossings between Slovenia and Croatia. On our way to Croatia we used the Sečovlje border crossing and we spent no more than 2 minutes there. However, after crossing the border we saw the huge traffic jam towards both Sečovlje and Dragonja border crossings in the Croatian side, which started well before the end of Croatian A9. That's why we decided to use an alternative border crossing on our way back to Slovenia.

As our destination was Ljubljana and we had just visited Motovun in Croatia, we chose the Sočerga Požane border crossing and it was totally worth it. It was almost empty and it would have taken us 2 minutes to cross it if the only other car that was driving before us hadn't been a Serbian car, which had to be thoroughly checked. We had to wait for about 10 minutes until the Serbian car was finally allowed into Slovenia, and then we were cleared as well after a quick glance at our ID cards. In any event that experience was much better than the prospects of a big traffic jam on the coast.

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Originally Posted by stickedy View Post
Vrsic is not really challenging, there just a lot (and I mean a lot) of hairpin turns. But the road is in good condition and no real challenge with normal car. And it's not really a detour, you will only need longer. Go for it! It's worth the drive
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Originally Posted by kreden View Post
The Vrsic Pass is a very scenic road, definitely worth the drive.
The Vrsic pass was definitely a very nice experience. We were amazed by the landscape, it was totally worth the drive. The only real challenge was the high number of cyclists we had to overtake when climbing the pass. It could be dangerous some times, especially near hairpin turns. As it was a Saturday in August, I guess there were more cyclists than usually.

Oh, and we were caught in a traffic jam descending the Vrsic pass as a bus had been stuck at a hairpin turn. Actually there was some kind of restaurant at that hairpin turn and it looked as if another bus had parked there, preventing other buses from driving the hairpin turn.

We managed to overtake the bus (or buses), as there was enough room for a car to do it, but caravans and vans couldn't do it and they had to wait. Unfortunately, many cars that were also able to overtake the bus stayed in the queue, simply because their drivers stayed inside the cars without going on foot up to the critical point to see what was happening.

EDIT: This is the place where the bus got stuck:

https://www.google.com/maps/@46.4075...7i13312!8i6656
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Last edited by arctic_carlos; September 2nd, 2016 at 08:39 PM.
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Old September 8th, 2016, 02:16 PM   #6182
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Originally Posted by kreden View Post
I'd go via Trieste, the road surface on the H4 is horrible at the moment and it's like that for 25 km.
Ended up going via Trieste on the way there and back through Nova Gorica, the temptation of a coffee in Trg Evrope was too much But why on earth is it still closed for passenger cars?

The toll station in Trieste is also a mess, and the H4 was absolutely fine on the way back.

Anyway, some thoughts about Slovenia now that I've seen more than just some villages between Ptuj and Mureck

The climb up to the Ljubelj Pass is brutal on the Austrian side. I had to stop at the top to let my car cool down, but from the top down towards the motorway, the road is amazing - I really want to spend some more time in the Karavanke region.

I didn't realise before just how much of a transit country Slovenia is. Both the A1 and A2 were crowded, even at night. The motorways were a pleasure to drive on, but the amount of traffic was incredible.

The climb up from Nova Gorica towards the A1 is amazing - I didn't expect that. But what's going on with the signage on the H4? Why is there some "end of motorway" signs halfway along it despite the motorway continuing?

Slovenian drivers are far too well behaved for my liking

Višnja Gora - what's the story with the A2 splitting there? I'm guessing the carriageway in the direction of Zagreb is part of the old Highway of Brotherhood and Unity?

Novo Mesto to Metlika is rubbish. Could you not at least build a motorway bypass of Novo Mesto, Slovenia?

Ljubljana is a great pleasure to drive in, and it's a great city. I want to go back.
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Old September 8th, 2016, 03:25 PM   #6183
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Originally Posted by Eulanthe View Post
Ended up going via Trieste on the way there and back through Nova Gorica, the temptation of a coffee in Trg Evrope was too much But why on earth is it still closed for passenger cars?
It will never open to vehicle traffic, it's meant as a pedestrian square, although right now it's more of a parking lot, apart from the central mosaic.

Quote:
The climb up to the Ljubelj Pass is brutal on the Austrian side. I had to stop at the top to let my car cool down, but from the top down towards the motorway, the road is amazing - I really want to spend some more time in the Karavanke region.
Next time, spend some time in the Julian Alps, too. The Soča Valley, Bohinj and Bled are amazing, as is Logarska dolina in the Kamnik Savinja Alps.

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I didn't realise before just how much of a transit country Slovenia is. Both the A1 and A2 were crowded, even at night. The motorways were a pleasure to drive on, but the amount of traffic was incredible.
Indeed.

Quote:
The climb up from Nova Gorica towards the A1 is amazing - I didn't expect that. But what's going on with the signage on the H4? Why is there some "end of motorway" signs halfway along it despite the motorway continuing?
The oldest sections are signed as a motorway, while the newer section from Selo onwards to the A1 is signed as an expressway, as it should be. The remaining part with green signs is about to be changed to blue in the coming year.

Quote:
Višnja Gora - what's the story with the A2 splitting there? I'm guessing the carriageway in the direction of Zagreb is part of the old Highway of Brotherhood and Unity?
Exactly.

Quote:
Novo Mesto to Metlika is rubbish. Could you not at least build a motorway bypass of Novo Mesto, Slovenia?
There are some plans to do just that, but overall the lack of traffic on that route is a problem. There are plans to build an expressway past Novo mesto and a tunnel under the Gorjanci hills to connect to Metlika. I don't think much of it will be built anytime soon though, apart from the Novo mesto bypass.
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Old September 8th, 2016, 03:56 PM   #6184
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Novo mesto bypass could be built in about 5 years.
As for A1 traffic: I just returned from a work trip from the coast and after A3 interchange up to Ljubljana my average speed was less than 100 km/h. There were just too many overtaking trucks and campers (those will disappear in few weeks). Every few days there is an accident that causes 10-15 km long queues.
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Old September 8th, 2016, 04:04 PM   #6185
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Originally Posted by keber View Post
Novo mesto bypass could be built in about 5 years.
As for A1 traffic: I just returned from a work trip from the coast and after A3 interchange up to Ljubljana my average speed was less than 100 km/h. There were just too many overtaking trucks and campers (those will disappear in few weeks). Every few days there is an accident that causes 10-15 km long queues.
We are approaching the point where Dars will probably have to ban truck overtaking throughout the day, not just during rush hour. There also needs to be more enforcement on the motorways.
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Old September 8th, 2016, 04:09 PM   #6186
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Truck overtaking between Ljubljana and Italy is not banned at all not even on Ljubljana ring, it is banned just on A1 Ljubljana-Maribor on rudh hours. Also more enforcement is needed as many truckers don't obey the ban.
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Old September 8th, 2016, 04:13 PM   #6187
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It's particularly annoying because many truckers think it's okay to pass other trucks with 1 or 2 km/h difference, blocking the left lane and traffic flow for an extended period of time. They may complain about passing bans, but it's their own fault.

There is really no need to pass other trucks with 2 km/h difference. If you drive an hour, it may be 1 minute faster.
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Old September 8th, 2016, 04:37 PM   #6188
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Originally Posted by keber View Post
Truck overtaking between Ljubljana and Italy is not banned at all not even on Ljubljana ring, it is banned just on A1 Ljubljana-Maribor on rudh hours. Also more enforcement is needed as many truckers don't obey the ban.
It's banned between Ljubljana and at least Postojna: https://goo.gl/maps/ue7LneodUP12

Edit: It's actually banned all the way to Koper, according to Street View at least.
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Last edited by kreden; September 8th, 2016 at 04:44 PM.
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Old September 8th, 2016, 05:15 PM   #6189
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Originally Posted by kreden View Post
It's banned between Ljubljana and at least Postojna: https://goo.gl/maps/ue7LneodUP12

Edit: It's actually banned all the way to Koper, according to Street View at least.
It was. There are no such signs now.
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Old September 8th, 2016, 07:27 PM   #6190
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Originally Posted by kreden View Post
The oldest sections are signed as a motorway, while the newer section from Selo onwards to the A1 is signed as an expressway, as it should be. The remaining part with green signs is about to be changed to blue in the coming year.
How do you know?
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Old September 8th, 2016, 10:11 PM   #6191
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Originally Posted by keber View Post
It was. There are no such signs now.
Interesting, the last time I was paying attention they were still there. I wonder what was the reason for the removal.

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How do you know?
It was in the news a few weeks ago. Obviously until the tender is actually out we won't know for sure.
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Old September 9th, 2016, 12:23 AM   #6192
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Originally Posted by kreden View Post
It will never open to vehicle traffic, it's meant as a pedestrian square, although right now it's more of a parking lot, apart from the central mosaic.
Yeah, I parked there as well. It was a pleasant surprise - though it would be far nicer if they actually removed much more of the border fence. But actually, what surprised me is how small the area is - surely with Schengen, they could actually expand the square and use the Italian side for through traffic?

The whole area screams to me that it was "symbolically" opened and then completely forgotten about/ignored.

Quote:
Next time, spend some time in the Julian Alps, too. The Soča Valley, Bohinj and Bled are amazing, as is Logarska dolina in the Kamnik Savinja Alps.
I'll bring my new car next time (just bought a new car, but it hasn't done enough mileage to take it on such a long journey). It's certainly on the list though, as the country is just so remarkably pretty.

Quote:
The oldest sections are signed as a motorway, while the newer section from Selo onwards to the A1 is signed as an expressway, as it should be. The remaining part with green signs is about to be changed to blue in the coming year.
What's the reason for the oldest sections being signed as motorway?

Quote:
There are some plans to do just that, but overall the lack of traffic on that route is a problem. There are plans to build an expressway past Novo mesto and a tunnel under the Gorjanci hills to connect to Metlika. I don't think much of it will be built anytime soon though, apart from the Novo mesto bypass.
I was quite surprised how poor the connection through Novo Mesto was - it looked to me like the motorway access there wasn't really thought about.

But yes, the traffic wasn't much. The route is dreadful, but it's not like there was huge amounts of traffic on the way.

Quote:
Originally Posted by keber
Also more enforcement is needed as many truckers don't obey the ban.
I always thought in these cases, it makes much more sense to pull in truckers disobeying the rules and simply make them sit for 72 hours. It would certainly discourage the vast majority of truckers, as they might not be that bothered about a fine, but the truck being parked will certainly anger their bosses.

I'm surprised the technology doesn't exist to fine them automatically though. Shouldn't be too difficult to set up radar-based cameras to automatically fine trucks in the overtaking lane. I was caught behind several idiots overtaking like this.

Ah yes, another observation. That downhill section near Ljubljana near Postojna scared the hell out of me. I went down at 120km/h at night and actually hit the brakes because I thought the car was out of control.

(speaking of which, when I bought the vignette, I spoke in Polish to the guy selling them. He replied in German. I have absolutely no idea why, especially when I said "dober dan" to him. I was almost tempted to tell him that it's offensive to speak German to a Pole, but I'm not a Polish native speaker. I got even more confused when he asked me how long in German, I replied in Polish and he looked bewildered. Eventually I told him to speak in Slovenian because I barely understand German)
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Old September 9th, 2016, 03:47 AM   #6193
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Originally Posted by Eulanthe View Post
Yeah, I parked there as well. It was a pleasant surprise - though it would be far nicer if they actually removed much more of the border fence. But actually, what surprised me is how small the area is - surely with Schengen, they could actually expand the square and use the Italian side for through traffic?

The whole area screams to me that it was "symbolically" opened and then completely forgotten about/ignored.
The current administration of Gorizia isn't as interested in these things as the previous one was (when Slovenia joined the EU), so it's effectively left there unfinished. There's no need for further road connections in that area in my opinion, the two crossings to the north and south serve current needs just fine.

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What's the reason for the oldest sections being signed as motorway?
No idea. The change occurred in the late 90's as far as I know.

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(speaking of which, when I bought the vignette, I spoke in Polish to the guy selling them. He replied in German. I have absolutely no idea why, especially when I said "dober dan" to him. I was almost tempted to tell him that it's offensive to speak German to a Pole, but I'm not a Polish native speaker. I got even more confused when he asked me how long in German, I replied in Polish and he looked bewildered. Eventually I told him to speak in Slovenian because I barely understand German)
Hehe, can't say that I'm surprised. Polish, especially spoken, is very difficult to understand, at least in my experience. I'm surprised he didn't just default to English.

Then again, English isn't as widely spoken among foreign drivers in Slovenia. I was at a petrol station in the Gorenjska region during Putin's visit in July and I had something like four Germans approach me at various points asking what's going on and why is the motorway closed. Not a single one spoke English, so I had to use my broken basic German to explain.
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Old September 9th, 2016, 03:36 PM   #6194
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Eulanthe View Post

The toll station in Trieste is also a mess, and the H4 was absolutely fine on the way back.

I didn't realise before just how much of a transit country Slovenia is. Both the A1 and A2 were crowded, even at night. The motorways were a pleasure to drive on, but the amount of traffic was incredible.

The climb up from Nova Gorica towards the A1 is amazing - I didn't expect that. But what's going on with the signage on the H4? Why is there some "end of motorway" signs halfway along it despite the motorway continuing?

Slovenian drivers are far too well behaved for my liking
1) there is no physical space for a toll station at Trieste-Lisert, that's why. It is surrounded by railway bridge, Timave river and Kras plateau.

2) H4 is absolute garbage Ajdovščina-Šempeter in my opinion.

3) A1 is so crowded it isn't safe to drive anymore. Together with ignorant truckers and popular tailgating culture to spice it up a bit

4) H4 signage indicates change from motorwas to expressway category. Agree with the climb.

5) I have an exactly opposite opinion about slovenian drivers

Thank you for your feedback, hope you had a nice time.
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Old September 9th, 2016, 03:41 PM   #6195
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Originally Posted by kreden View Post
The current administration of Gorizia isn't as interested in these things as the previous one was (when Slovenia joined the EU), so it's effectively left there unfinished. There's no need for further road connections in that area in my opinion, the two crossings to the north and south serve current needs just fine.

They are improving other things now (I don't know who exactly). There are 2 new bycicle path connections between the two towns, 2 new roundabouts at the italian side near the bordercrossings to improve the traffic flow, and easternmost 'bypass' of Gorizia (frequently used as Nova Gorica western bypass) was completely repaved.
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Old September 9th, 2016, 09:27 PM   #6196
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Quote:
Originally Posted by keber View Post
As for A1 traffic: I just returned from a work trip from the coast and after A3 interchange up to Ljubljana my average speed was less than 100 km/h. There were just too many overtaking trucks and campers (those will disappear in few weeks). Every few days there is an accident that causes 10-15 km long queues.
Right now a 27-km queue from Unec to Ljubljana because of an accident. This is just crazy. This motorway is becoming unreliable.

Edit: 30 km already

Last edited by Verso; September 9th, 2016 at 10:22 PM.
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Old September 9th, 2016, 10:08 PM   #6197
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And multiple/chain collision on the paralell road near Vrhnika.
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Old September 9th, 2016, 11:06 PM   #6198
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Originally Posted by Eulanthe View Post
The whole area screams to me that it was "symbolically" opened and then completely forgotten about/ignored.
It wasn't ignored, they simply wanted to make the square for pedestrians. There's plenty of local streets to drive between Gorizia and Nova Gorica, that were closed between 1947 and 2007, except, during daytime only, for holders of a special permit released only to people living less than 10 km from the border (called lasciapassare in Italian and propusnica in Slovenian).
Now it's hard to imagine that until not so long ago, there was only an open border crossing between the two cities (Casa Rossa/Rozna Dolina, on Slovenian road 444).
Between 1st May 2004 and 21th December 2007, there was a special agreement between Italy and Slovenia to make a free transit area (for pedestrians) between Piazzale della Transalpina and Evropa Trg. Once one crossed into the other side, it was illegal to leave the square and continue to walk into the other country. It was mandatory to get back to the country you came. Many people violated that rule, although there was often police around.
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In real life, electronic toll collection was first introduced in Bergen, Norway in 1986, and well into the 21th century many countries still struggle to implement it.
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Old September 12th, 2016, 04:50 PM   #6199
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German sign for speed limit:

https://www.google.si/maps/@46.15494...7i13312!8i6656
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Old September 12th, 2016, 10:00 PM   #6200
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Maybe the road authority made a cheap deal on Ebay.
Seriously, if one is fined for speeding there, can he challenge it in court, claiming that the sign isn't valid?
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In real life, electronic toll collection was first introduced in Bergen, Norway in 1986, and well into the 21th century many countries still struggle to implement it.
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