Wednesday, 26 April 2017

Blooming Slovenia for under €50

Imagine the white of the daffodils covering the meadow, embracing you and shielding you from the stress of the every-day life. Sounds tempting, doesn't it? Well, luckily here is your always present saviour, the fairy-tale country of Slovenia that is just what you need. Right now.

@Author - Nea Culpa;
Wizzair will take care for your transportation for low prices starting at only €30,49, from London Luton to Ljubljana, the beautiful Slovenian capital. From there, the sky is the limit when it comes to Slovenia. Ljubljana has a strategic position therefore discovering other parts of the country is easy and comparing to world-wide standards, also quick.

@Author - Nea Culpa;
So let's say that the daffodil part of the introduction caught your eye and at this point you are already wondering why this particular flowers. Of course the perfect way would be your immediate departure because there is no proper way of describing this sight and it's belonging fairy-tale. Let your senses be the judge of the beauty that is reachable from Ljubljana with a national train connection of Slovenske železnice for only €5,80. In approximately hour and a half you will be transported from the lively city scenario to the town of Jesenice and a peaceful, fairy-tale land of Karavanke Montains. Under Mt Golica, on the meadows between the villages of Plavški Rovt, Prihodi, Planina pod Golico and Javorniški Rovt you will find yourself in a land of snow white daffodils, or Ključavnic – the Keyholes – as they are called by the locals. Deriving from the legend of God locking the honey into the yellow centres of the flowers to punish the greedy bees who gathered it also on Sundays and on holidays.

@Author - Miro Podgoršek;
You are allowed to take in all of the unimaginable beauty of the flowers, but beware not to disturb them as they are protected by Ordinance on the protection of rare or endangered plant species. Luckily, memories are everlasting and this one will certainly come back every time you will think of Slovenia or get stung by a bee.

@Author - Aleš Krivec;
For an extended visit there are a few HI hostels in the vicinity. The shortest drive from Jesenice is the Youth Hostel Bledec and your other options are the Youth Hostel Radovljica or the Youth Hostel Barovc. Either way, your stay in Gorenjska region of Slovenia will certainly be a pleasant one due to the amazing nature and hospitality of the people. But hurry, May is about to begin!

Tuesday, 25 April 2017

The path along the wire in Ljubljana

In the summer I decided to walk  the entire famous path around Ljubljana. It’s 32 kilometres long and each year in the beginning of May there is an organized march (this year it is the 61st). The route is also known as the path of remembrance and comradeship, a post-war reminder of the times when Ljubljana was surrounded by barbed wire. Along the way there are 8 control points, approximately every 4 kilometres. At each control point you get a stamp in your control card. You can get the control card and a map at the company Timing Ljubljana on Staničeva street 41. On the same day in May they organize a three-member team run on various routes and distances. The uniqueness of the run is that three runners as a team (men, women or mixed) have to run together and also cross the finish line together. Each team’s clock runs until the last member crosses the finish line. This running event encourages the runners’ spirit, which helps the competitors keep a respectable pace. Both the march and the run get people to appreciate one another. 

@Author - Saša Sladič
A one-day trip to strengthen your spirit and your legs
Of course, it’s best to start in the morning; not like me when I started early in the afternoon and then catching the last hours of daylight. If you do it at the organised event in May, it is (as my friends told me) quite crowded, but when you simply want to enjoy the nature of our capital peacefully, then I suggest that you walk the path another time.  Generally, you can start walking the path anywhere around the city because it is circular and very nicely tidied up. Most of the route is gravel and sand. Alongside it there are many trees and plaques with the names of different societies, most likely sponsors. According to the control card with stamps, the starting point is on Vič, near Dolgi most, and the path continues to the Koseški bajer, past the Žale cemetery, through Nove Jarše, over the Golovec hill, through Murgle, Mestni log and we are right back where we started. In certain areas where the path is not tidied up like I mentioned before, there are signs or writings on the ground which show the direction of the route. Signs with the word »pot« are along every kilometre and measure how far along we are, so that we know how much we already walked and how much is still in front of us. That information is very useful to know when near the end, since we are a little tired and we are only waiting for the sign to signify our last kilometre (32.). 

@Author - Saša Sladič
Control points and collecting stamps
The route is accessible the entire year, you just have to be careful that the control points from which we get our stamps are open. The opening hours of the control points of the path along the barbed wire are on the website of the path along the barbed wire.  Usually the control points are pubs (they are opened the longest), a bakery and AMZS (a national automobile association). The route runs along very different terrains; in the nature, away from the roads, and on the asphalt, between the apartment buildings. Generally, it is marked quite well so it’s not likely for you to get lost but if it happens and we lose our way a little we can ask passers-by for help as to where the path of remembrance and comradeship is. We will soon return to »the right one«. I admit it, on the Golovec hill we can get a little tired waiting for the end and the path there goes mostly uphill. Otherwise on the path we can run into other pedestrians, parents with strollers, bikers, children who are learning to drive bicycles, well, everyone who wants to do some sports or recreation away from the traffic and concrete. Along the path there are boards with the description of the history of the route, how it all started and how is it maintained. I missed the first control point and I said to myself that I will return for the stamp there at the end of the day, however I ran out of time because it got dark. That is why it’s best to start in the morning, so you have all day available to do it in peace. In a couple of days, I went and grabbed my last, technically my first stamp in the control card. At that time, they asked me if I'm using a taxi for transport to collect all the stamps to get a medal or an award. I looked at them very surprised and said that of course not, that I'm walking like I am supposed to be. They said that the past week some foreigners came to them with taxis to collect stamps which is not fair. People find all sorts of shortcuts. At the end, you deliver the control card with all the control stamps to Timing Ljubljana, on Staničeva street 41. For one completed walk of the path you get a bronze medal and for more times a silver or a golden one and you are also entered in the database of people who walked the route.

@Author - Saša Sladič
If you want to walk the path a bit at a time or to see more of what Ljubljana can offer, then the best idea to spend the night at a hostel.  Hostel Vila Veselova next to park Tivoli is a good spot to explore our capital because the main attractions are close, there is also hostel Tabor which also has a hall for  different events near the main train and bus station, and quite affordable is hostel Ljubljana which is located in the suburbs of Ljubljana near the BTC shopping centre. We shouldn’t overlook hostel Tresor, which lies in the heart of the very crowded Čopova street and only 50 metres away from the Prešeren square, and hostel DIC which is located in the shelter of the castle hill and offers accommodation only in the summer. 

@Author - Saša Sladič
Well, my intention was to see where and how the path goes, to figure out why it is still so popular and to do something good for my well-being. Along the route you can encounter interesting scenes like a small green dragon, made of green plastic bottles on the top of a fence of a primary school or kindergarten. It reminded me much of the dragon Tabaluga from the famous cartoon, on the other hand the dragon is also a symbol of the city Ljubljana. 

@Author - Saša Sladič
However, warmer days are coming; the end of March and April was too hot for me, so just hit the »path« with an appropriate pair of shoes (no calluses). To get motivated and to catch the hiking bug, you can attend the hike as soon as next month and the entries are already open. Good luck!

Wednesday, 19 April 2017


Small enchanted town full of stories, good people, and fine wines. Maribor’s history began on the top of the hill overlooking the magnificent river Drava that was for centuries the river of rafters. Also, Maribor is a small town that is known worldwide because of the oldest growing vine in the world. But that is not all Maribor is known for: the city also hosts FIS world cup for women – Golden Fox, summer festival Lent, and finally we cannot forget the rich history of Maribor and all the great people, who will give your travelling a very special meaning.
Maribor is just perfect for people looking for quiet place, where you can combine sightseeing and outdoor living. We invite you to take a stroll among the paved city streets full of history or spend the day in the nature on beautiful green Pohorje, in forest where you will relax and recharge your batteries.
Only in hostel Pekarna there is definitely a smell of freshly baked bread in the morning. Today, Pekarna (Bakery) is no longer the bakery, but is a home of wonderful people who are making the complex unique. Pekarna is a home of alternative culture, youth projects, and people with hearth, ideas, and creativity that will blow you away. Pekarna is the place of fun and is the place where you can go for a drink and end up staying until breakfast − in hostel Pekarna of course. Pekarna has a lot to give and is the place where you can express yourself without being judged. In the complex, you can find hostel, second hand bookstore – Bukvarna, MC Indijanez – a home of music, Gustaf, where you can dance all night long and of course the building, where young people are heard and can create their life. 

@Author - Rene Strgar

What is HOP?
You know something that you always want to have with you, but is not always possible. Something that makes you relax, where you can be you. The place where you are happy and the place that gives you energy for a new day. Of course that is your home. 

@Author - Zdenka Borak
We know how important home is and that is why we decided that we will give life to walls and turn rooms into a home away from home. We also know that home is not just home, but it is a feeling and that is why we gave to our hostel content and that content is cosiness of a home. 

@Author - Dejan Bulut
In the last year, the hostel changed a lot. We think that it changed for the better, but that is for you to decide. The feeling of home will already welcome you in our yard, where you will find our pride and joy - floral and vegetable garden. We had a vision and a wish to be self-sustainable, so we came up with the idea of International garden, where we exchanged seeds with or guests. The seeds mean a lot to us, because they are the source of new life and the source of new and connected beginnings. And the most important thing − home grown vegetable creates relaxed and welcoming atmosphere. 

@Author - Zdenka Borak
A walk around the hostel will take you between items that were given a new home by us. In the spirit of Pekarna, we decided that we will give new life and meaning to old furniture. Their new purpose is to give our guest wonderful memories, which they will take from the temporary to the real home. 

@Author - Zdenka Borak
Of course home is not home without fun and games. That is why we created fun size games that will keep you busy and where can you meet other people and just have the time of your day. For those adventure-kind of people, we created a treasure hunt that is full of enigmas, which are going to take you to the real treasure. 

Hop is definitely home of people and home away from home. 

Youth Hostel Pekarna
Ob železnici 16
2000 Maribor
+386 (0)5 918 08 80

Tuesday, 4 April 2017

In the heart of Slovenia for only € 35

Sometimes the only way to reach your destination is to combine some means of transportation. So in this case, a plane–bus duo is the prefect option for you to reach the capitol of the most sustainable country in the world, Ljubljana. And from there, the whole country is reachable within a day, no matter in which direction you travel.

@Author - D. Wedam;
So let's say you start your journey in Dussedorf, Germany, where from Dusseldorf Weeze airport Ryanair kindly takes you to Milan Bergamo, Italy for only € 9.99. You may ask yourself, where does Slovenia fit in into this scenario? And this is the queue for Flixbus to sweep you off your feet with a generous offer and takes you to Ljubljana for only € 25.00. Amazing! Both fares also fit the timeline perfectly, so you start your trip at breakfast from Dusseldorf and you already have an early dinner in Ljubljana. So be sure to check out some authentic restaurants, where you can really taste Slovenia.

@Author - D. Wedam;
 And then what? You can spend your whole Slovenian visit just in Ljubljana. But it would be a shame, if you have the whole country waiting for you. So maybe, just maybe, treat yourself with a trip to another dimension, to Kamnik, where Slovenian fairy-tale is told through nature. With its Youth Hostel Pod Skalo, Kamnik can be a perfect starting point to the one of the most magical places in Slovenia, to Velika Planina, where the time stops. 

@Author - D. Wedam;
Countless cows wandering around typical cottages transport your soul into a world without a single worry. Another heaven like destination near Kamnik is also Jezersko, where the breath-taking nature enchants you with numerous activities. Interested? Than hesitate no more, and book your escape soon, because the weather is starting to be just perfect!