Pride of the Alps

What do you do when you find yourself in Slovenia with an endearingly  old-school Kia Pride at your disposal? Why, you head for the hills, of course!

This is the irrefutable logic which earlier this week, led to us taking on the Julian Alps’ epic 1611m Vršič pass; one of the road-engineering marvels of the 20th century. In what is pretty much a wheeled biscuit tin, with a less-than-psyched 1.2l engine sat up front.

The road was built during WWI by Russian prisoners of war, and consists of no less than 50 hairpin bends winding their way through some of Slovenia’s most spectacular mountainscapes. Against the odds, our plucky Kia seemed to relish the challenge of being manhandled around the endless giggle-inducing hairpins which make up this spectacular knot of snow-lined tarmac, though its brakes protested vigorously when asked to check our descent to the gorgeous Soča valley once the climbing was over.

So why is 80Breakdowns currently in Slovenia? Well, when not flinging Korean hatchbacks along mountain passes, we’ve been engaged in the mildly confusing process of buying a Renault 4 to drive back to the UK. As is traditional with such things, this process has involved copious amounts of paperwork, with the vehicle needing to pass a technical inspection, be registered, insured and fitted with temporary numberplates before we could hit the road in it; however it wasn’t all bad, as the process of buying a car in Slovenia also seems to require that you drink plenty of beer with the previous owner.  We finished both the beers and the paperwork yesterday, and so this afternoon I’ll be hitting the long road back to England in a 30 year old piece of Gaelic charm….

Wish me luck!


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