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(September, 2004)

Oliver Cannell

River Severn Bridges

Boštjan Burger

The Great natural bridge of Rakov Skocjan

Rakov Skocjan, Notranjska Region, Slovenia

20th September 2004 / 18:45 CET

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© 2004 Boštjan Burger, All Rights Reserved.

The Great natural stone bridge (old name of the bridge: "Velb"): The stone bridge was formed more than 100 millions years ago. The height of the arch is 37 meters. On the top of natural stone bridge leads a macadam road. Between the Cerknica polje (Cerknisko jezero - lake)and Planinsko polje is located the picturesque karst valley of Rakov Škocjan. The creation of this karst valley was the result of a junction of two types of valleys: 'the gable end valley' where the river has its source and the 'blind valley' where the river flows underground. In the upper part, the gable end of the valley there are the remnants of the tunnel, which is the Little natural bridge and about 2.5 km down the Rak River is the Great natural Bridge. The Rak River flows from Zelske jame (caves)... (as a fact from the sliplands) and continue its way to Tkalca Cave. The area of Rakov Škocjan was protected as Regional Park since 1949. The valley received its name from the church of St. Kancijan, which is abandoned, now in ruins. *The story 'how the pano was created': I originally wanted to present one of the most famous bridges of the world (at least I thought so...). The bridge was connecting two parts of Mostar (Bosnia and Herzegovina) and actually two nationalities: Muslims ( not 'muslim') and Croatians. The bridge was destroyed by Croatian troops (even it was protected by UNESCO) during the Yugoslav wars in nineties and rebulit this year. Unfortunately, I was very busy and Mostar is as far as Paris from here... I was couple of days in Budapest where I shot some nice panoramas of great bridges connecting Buda and Pest into 'Budapest'- it was 18th of September. I came home to Slovenia in Sunday and changed my idea - there are some great panographers in Budapest so there will be surely at least one pano from there... The Sunday was a nice bright and sunny day, so I went with my family to Rakov Škocjan - it is a karst feature only 40 km east from Ljubljana where I live. The area is usually flooded with the waters from the karst area and I was surprised that the riverbed was completely dry. It was an ideal chance to climb down to the bottom of the Great natural bridge, which has arch with the height of 37 meters. However, there was very dark and I had no assistants and equipment to lighten the area... so I was not satisfied with the pano - to much contrast, even with different settings on camera and post Photoshop adjustment... I had convinced my wife - she has some experiences shooting panoramas, and she did some VR projects for her school lessons (she is a teacher). So on the way home the same day we stopped nearby the highway and she did a pano of the subway - bridge which was build in purpose that animals from the forest which was separated by a highway can pass from one side to the other... I did a stich of panos the same day - evening, but the result was not so O.K.... The next day was very busy ... my daughters study music beside the regular school and am their personal cab driver in Mondays when I need to drive them from one place of Ljubljana to the other. I had only one hour of time while they were at classes, so I went on a highway and broke all rules of speed limits and came to the Great natural bridge when it was almost dark ... it was exactly 18:45. The light contrast was not as high as the previous day but I needed the expose time of about 8 seconds for each photo - I used a self-timer and put myself before the camera... I had a lack of time so I climbed up to my car and drove again to the city. It was just at time when my kids come from the school...very busy day...
Rakov Skocjan

Caves and the karst area in Slovenia

Slovenia Landmarks :: Utrinki iz Slovenije
Nikon CP5000/FE-8 adapter/tripod: Manfrotto+qtvr head/expose time: 8s each photo(8+2)/stiching software: Photovista/GPS unit: Magellan 315

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