Monday, 16 September 2013

Valley of adventures

We were standing next to the car that betrayed us. Despite the fact that the rise was not too difficult, the car was just about to overheat. The red light was flashing, the temperature of water was rising and the two women who have no idea about car mechanics ... We had no other choice but to turn and go back. 

We wanted to climb the mountain Menino, 1500 meters above sea level, which promises spectacular views. Locals say that in the nice weather with one view one can embrace on the one side Maribor and on the other Ljubljana. But even when climbing up the dirt road we were accompanied by views of green meadows, pastures where cows lazily mooed and roads in the distance that appeared as white strips separating the areas cultivated by local farmers. The houses, scattered next to the narrow paved roads, are occupied by people who live in contact with nature. How they would not. They are surrounded with lush forests that overgrow surrounding plateau; in the distance, the snowy peaks of the mountains reveal from the clouds; trough the valley the Savinja and Dreta rivers flow in gentle meanders, and respect for the tradition and culture of the ancestors is still in awareness. Upper Savinja Valley is a typical alpine landscape where the high alpine karst plateau Golte Menina and Dobrovlje are hiding hollows of Gornji grad and Mozirje.

Adrenaline, action and fun - all year round
As the locals say: "Savinja is cool." Why? The abundance of water that flows from the alpine valleys feeds the river that in summer reaches a comfortable 26 degrees Celsius. At the banks of the Savinja river the attractive girls are sunbathing, children are building rocky bridges over the river, eager adrenalin freaks don lifejackets and get into rafts or kayaks to descend the rapids and pools of Savinja. The underwater world of the river can be discovered by snorkeling; you can discover the river by dropping on small and large waterfalls in wet suits (canyoning).

Even when you drive in the Upper Savinja Valley it is clear that this is a place for hikers. For those that are in great shape as for those who want only light exercise and for families. Turska mountain, Ojstrica, Grintovec, Golte, Raduha... so many options that you will need the whole holiday if you want to reach all the peaks. Mountain bikers will also feel right at home. Local guides organize tours for ladies, gentlemen, young people and experienced riders. Tours include visits of tourist farms, which serve excellent local food. However, when snow covers the landscape, it's time for the winter fun. On Golte the ski slopes for both skiers and snowboarders are arranged.

Romance, relaxation, adventure
The smell of freshly cut grass was not able to transcend the fragrance that came out of the kitchen. The fishes were being backed, trouts. Probably the ones were just recently pulled out of Savinja that flows nearby. Lush treetops are as green canopy that the hot summer days have a cooling effect in this paradise in the heart of Alpine valley. In Rečica ob Savinji on a large area Camp Menina is stretching. Surrounded is by lush greenery on which you can set up your tent. If you are not the type to sleep on the floor, Camp Menina has a wide range of advanced mobile homes, and few trekker huts. In the complex Youth Hostel Menina lies also and is ideal for young travelers, groups often find place there after parties. Through camp the stream flows, and it is filling the lake. In the summer 200 children and playful adults there find the refreshment. Everything that embraces the view of campsite is done carefully, neatly and with a sense of familiarity. In wooden restaurant pizzas, stews and typical local food is being served; there is also adventure park which stretches across the camp, children's park, “Spirit Laboratorium” (to spice up holidays there are always available crazy owners ideas), and a sauna. Ah, the sauna is right on cue for romantic souls. In the evening by torchlight visitors will relax body and mind. For those who are into crazy adventures in camp is a list of activities - tandem flights, canyoning, rafting, grass skiing (yes, that exists), water sports, guided tours by bike, and much more. In short, when in Camp Menina you will not be bored.

Youth Hostel Menina
To lick your fingers
On the way to the heart of the mountains, in the picturesque Logarska valley, where breathtaking waterfall Rinka is, you cannot miss Gostišče Pevc & Hostel Ljubno ob Savinji. On Fridays meat lovers will definitely stop for a roasted piglet or lamb on a spit that are rotating in front of the hostel. House with wooden balconies, brown shutters and plenty of beautiful flowers promises familiarity. The family-run guest house and hostel serves the guests with seasonal dishes that are picked in the garden and freshly baked bread in the wood oven. Besides that, of course, they serve zgornjesavinjski želodec (dry meat product) žlinkrofi filled with smoked minced meat, or dumplings with hemp seed. Even the hemp grows on the field few meters away, but this is of course without THC. Guests who stay overnight in one of the 17 beds are the most enthusiastic about homeliness as in small hostel with the hospitable staff they feel like home.

Youth Hostel Ljubno ob Savinji
Marof, hayrack, house of youth
Although it is right by the road, you will not see it. You have to stop at the Youth Hostel Šmartno ob Paki where the hayrack stands. If you ever had a desire to sleep in the hay barn, this is it for you. However, you will sleep on the mattress stuffed with spelt, but the atmosphere is right. In this hostel mostly a group of young artists and athletes are hosted. In the house of young, as they call the complex, you will find the hostel in the true sense of the word. Bunk beds in the attic stand side by side so that youngsters in the evenings, when the lights are off, share their secrets. Next to the hostel is completely renovated marof, a former outbuilding, today the place where creative, dance and educational workshops take place.

Youth Hostel Šmartno ob Paki

Anja Turk

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