Friday, March 6, 2009

Slovenia Road Trip - Pt. 2

Depending on how familiar you are with my music, you may know the song, "The Isonzo Waltz". It is about a series of battles fought during World War I between the Italians and the Austro-Hungarian Empire on the Isonzo River. Well the Isonzo lies mostly in modern-day Slovenia, and is called the Socha in Slovene. The Socha is a beautiful blue river, and it starts up in the Julian Alps that you can see in the background.

The Alps at sunset. Some serious WWI battles were fought up at the top of those peaks, with trenches cut into ice, snow and rock. Crazy to imagine such warfare.

This is a mausoleum in Kobarid filled with the remains of 7,000 Italian soldiers from the Isonzo Front. It was built by Mussolini in the 1930's when this was Italian territory, and those M arches are a standard architectural design of his time period. Mussolini had a massive ego, but then again, all dictators do. Kobarid is Caporetto in Italian, and you might recognize that name if you've read Hemingway's Farewell To Arms. Hemingway actually worked as a Red Cross ambulance driver in Caporetto during WWI, and based the book on his experiences here. He was present at the Battle of Kobarid, when the German-aided Austrians pushed the Italians out of the mountains and re-took the city. Caporetto is Italy's "Alamo".

The Socha River winds its way south through the valley and past the quiet town of Kobarid.

The Julian Alps in all their majesty.

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