Most of the rest of the flight was spent practising anabatic soaring on the Dobratsch, until that ran out off puff. We were gliding down to land, observing that the valley was filling up with haze, when we found an 'evening thermal', possibly an odd bit of wave which took us back to 8,500'. Robin called up to say the car was fixed so we returned to the airfield, landing at 1910.
We slowly worked our way to the top of the mountain overlooking Lesce Bled, sharing the slope with several gliders from the airfield. Pressing on eastwards, we had a good run under some rapidly building clouds, then went to explore a spectacularly jagged mountain in the heart of the ridgeline.
Austro-Slovenian border
Sunny again! Today's forecast was for reasonable thermal conditions but with the high ground producing storms and overdevelopment. We towed out to the western end of the field to find a huge launch queue consisting of a German Club on holiday at Nötsch. They were very relaxed and were going to have lunch before aviating, in true continental style, so Roger and I were able to get ready quickly and go without offending anyone.
We started by pushing out to the West, thought better of it as showers were already breaking out not far away, then ran along the mountain range which divides Austria from Slovenia. This was producing some meaty cumulus on the Austrian side and good anabatic lift on the other.
Having passed Nötsch we diverted towards Italy and flew around the edges of the National Park area, hoping to spot some eagles, which we did. The local Nötsch mountain, the Dobratsch, looked enticing and gave 7.5Kts to 10,000'. We used the height to explore to the NW, where it was getting quite showery and overcast.
Nötsch airfield
Another good run followed and we pushed out from under the last cumulus, 20Km short of Slovenj Gradec. We could see a few clouds near Maribor but as the ridgeline behind us was now sprouting cu-nims and (minor point) we had no retrieve car, we decided to turn back, 100Km from base.
The Dorbratsch dominates the airfield at Nötsch
Mist gathers as evening approaches the Juliana Alps
It had been a good day, over 400Km flown with forays into Slovenia and Italy. Andy Jude flew in from the UK to join us for the rest of the trip and was initiated into 'Club Schnitzel' by the regulars.