After our meeting in Maine in October, I believe the consensus seems to be to start at the western beginning, near Postajna, in the small town of Predjama, and hike the trail as it comes.
This would be a fairly easy start with the only mountain in Slovenia, Sneznik (1800 meters or almost 6,000 feet)
But other options are listed below.
Option 1: Fly to Venice, take train or ferry to Trieste, then bus to Postojna (22km from Trieste) and meet to start the trail. Stay in Slovenia for a week hiking that beautiful part, then move to Croatia and do a week there, then on to Bosnia, then Montenegro, and lastly, a week in Albania
(Seems the further west we go,the less touristy this part of the world is.)
Trieste is in Italy, border stationis Sezana, not far away. Postojna (near the start of the 2000 km trail) is about 25 kms from Trieste I think.
Venice to Trieste is 2 hours by train.
Option 2: Start again near Potojna, Slovenia and hike the trail without skipping around, and do what we can in the time we have.
I was looking at airbnb for Potojna and we could rent a whole house for about $75 a day and all group up and get supplies there to start.
Option 3: Form a general plan, by consensus and then burn the schedule, keep our minds open and talk to other trekkers and play it by ear.
Option 4: Look at that guys favorite parts on the summit post webpage, and try to hike a few of them.
Option 5: From Triesta (in Italy) get a bus or train to the town of Ilirska Bistrica in Slovenia, then catch a ride to this point somehow:
And start with the best part (although oprobably only 2 days ) of Slovenia, then cross over into Croatia. Here is an interesting starting B&B for our 1st night
Slovenia has some nice sections but a lot of roadwalking it seems too.
His favorites start in Croatia and go eastward from there. I'll keep researching this.
Option 6: After reading through comments and researching maps of each section, starting at the beginnins (Slovenia), Section 7 seems to be the 1st positive commented section and the pictures look beautiful.
So, that is just south of a town called Delnice, in Croatia, and I found a house for rent (on AirBnB) for $50) that sleeps 4 RIGHT near the startt of section 7 in a place called Begovo Razdolje. About 1 mile (through the woods), from the start of this great section. So, THIS is my new preferred option for a start.
After talking in depth to a friend of mine from Austria, I have some new options for getting to the start.
Since there are direct flights from Phuket to Vienna Austria, (and I have some friend there I would love to visit and see their house), I would fly there and theprobably take a short flight from there to Zagreb in Croatia. (or train, but he thinks flights would be just as cheap)
Zagreb would be a short (2 hour?) bus ride from the beginning at Option 7 above.
Then, when we are finished, it is not all that far to Dubrovnik, Croatia (from Montegro or Albania), which he says is a big airport with lots of flights to lots of places. So, probably fly back to Vienna for me. Another option for others could be Rome, Italy whichi is a gub and not too far from either end. (much bigger than Venice, like my option above)
This is also the section that is the 1st "Favorite" on the list, for that guy in the yellow box below
Here's the link (about 1/4 way down the page highlighted in yellow "My Favorite Sections"
Never mind, here they are: (my input is underlined)
My favorite sections
Section Samarske stijene - Bijele stijene Croatia
Sections Zavižan – Veliki Alan Croatia
Section Dabarski kukovi Croatia
Section Zrmanja – Krupa (detour) Croatia (rafting Krupa river?)
Sections Čvrsnica Bosnia/Herzegovina
Sections on Prenj Bosnia/Herzegovina
Sections Zelengora Bosnia
Sections Maglić to Bioč Bosnia
Sections Durmitor Montenegro
Section Komovi Montenegro
Section Tepishta – Grebaje Montenegro/Albania
Sections Gusinje – Maja Jezerce - Thethi Montenegro/Albania
Section Thethi - Valbona Albaniaania