So now that our Kite society KAP Jasa is all set, we got busy thinking how to do some community outreach, how to bring the kites – kite making, kite flying, and kite aerial photography – closer to the people. In Slovenia there is no kite tradition, apart from those kites your father bought you, those that didn’t fly and if they did they ended being eaten by a dreadful kite-eating tree. We thought we really should do something about this – and fill the void in the sky …
We had an idea: what if we bring a couple of folks along on our kite aerial photography trip! We’d take them to an interesting and photogenic place where we’d show them our kites, explain the principles of flying, set up the gear for KAP, talk about the nature or the history of the place – and then kites up! They could even do KAP with their own cameras, or make an epic selfie if they’d be fearless enough to let their phone fly.
And this weekend we had our first KAP Jasa Kite Adventure. With a couple of friends and their kids we went to explore Ljubljana Marshes Landscape Park on foot and from the air.
Our first stop was at a natural monument Mali plac, a unique example of a raised bog, the southernmost remaining natural habitat of this type in Europe. It is the only surviving remnant of once vast, moss-dominated bogs of Ljubljana Marshes.
Mali plac bog from a kite.
Unfortunately the wind gods weren’t on our side, the turbulent, gusty wind preventing launch of the kites. The walk through the forest to the bog itself was interesting, if it weren’t for all the mosquitoes there. So we didn’t linger too long and just headed to the middle of Ljubljana Marshes, to the banks of Ljubljanica river near the village of Bevke.
Everyone listening attentively about the history of Ljubljana Marshes
Ljubljana Marshes are a vast, flat, 160 sq km plain of mostly grassland, fields and occasional forest. Its open nature is perfect for flying kites; there are few trees, no buildings, no heavy-traffic roads or powerlines. There is usually a nice, steady wind blowing, and both the diverse nature – Ljubljana Marshes are a Natura 2000 site – and rich history starting with Neolithic pile-dwellers make them a superbe KAP site with a lot to talk about while the kites are up.
Ljubljanica river that slowly flows through the Marshes is one of the most important archeological sites in Slovenia. From Neolithic boats, and Bronze Age weaponry to Roman border stones and Medieval jewellery, so many thing were found in it that it’s now completely forbidden to dive here for its treasures if you are not a professional underwater archaeologist.
Ljubljanica flowing through the Marshes.
But the most fascinating archaeological find is actually Ljubljanica itself. When the Romans arrived here in early 1st century CE and established Colonia Iulia Aemona, Emona for short, the precursor of Ljubljana, they found a quarry of supreme building stone at Podpec on the southern edge of Ljubljana Marshes. But transporting the blocks of stones proved almost impossible – there were no roads through the marshy land. So the Romans did something very Roman: they moved the whole river – almost 10 km of it! – closer to the quarry to move the blocks by boats.
Ljubljanica on the right, flowing towards the hill and the Roman quarry at Podpec. The old, almost parallel channel on the left, marked by trees.
The old river course is still visible from the air, and this was our KAP target at the first KAP Jasa Kite Adventure.
Anyhow, those who were there said the Marshes KAP Jasa Kite Adventure was really cool. They learned a lot about the place and its fascinating history; the kids were having fun with the kites, the weather was nice and the scenery beautiful.
Flying a kite that big, and with a camera attached – it’s serious stuff!
So here is an offer – if you are in Ljubljana and have an afternoon to spare, come and join us and spend an interesting day outdoors! If the wind gods permit, we’ll fly kites – and we have a lot of them! -, we’ll talk about nature and history and flying and whatnot, we’ll lift cameras with a kite and do an epic kite selfie, and have a beer or two. It will be fun (and not expensive), and kids are very welcome!
Kite aerial video selfie!
Thanks to all who joined us on our first Kite Adventure. All kite aerial photos made with Nikon P330 on a Rokkaku kite.