Monday, 16 April 2018

Ocizla

On the crossroads of three worlds

The magnitude of the forests and meadows that spread in every direction and the richness of its underworld are only a few blessings that Ocizla offers to its visitors. This sunlit village that houses a little over a hundred inhabitants is so special due to its geographic position – it lies directly on the juncture of the Karst, Istria and Čičarija regions of Slovenia. Though the infamous bora wind doesn’t spare us there in the wintertime, it won’t reach us once we step into the woods, thus we can peacefully enjoy the natural jewels. 

@Author - Photo Sandro Sedran S-Team
If we hike along the three-hour memorial circular TIGR path, which takes us mainly through the woods, we learn a lot about the village of Ocizla.

The hike starts in the middle of the village at the pond, which gets its water from the nearby spring and once served to water the cattle. Water remains our faithful companion down the route and we are constantly cradled by water sources – some visible, others gone because of draught or disappeared underground due to limestone bedrock. The path will lead us alongside various streams; some we will meet, others cross, and for some we will bear witness to their disappearance underground. Small waterfalls and ponors won’t fail to astound us along the way, and nor will the impressive underground world, especially upon crossing the natural bridge. Luza, a natural spring that will greet us after several minutes of walking, is sure to impress, freshen and fuel us for the rest of the hike. The waters in the area are very clean and the first to prove that is the European crayfish, or the noble crayfish that still live here. The purity of the water is due to our ancestors, who exploited the water resources, but also nurtured them. Our ancestors were aware of the water’s importance, so they duly cherished it; they tended and tidied the surroundings and they put up watermills to alleviate their own work – the remains along the trail will testify on that. Our ancestors would catch crayfish in the streams, at certain points the women would gather and do laundry together and in time for koline, the pig slaughtering festivities, people would wash the animals’ bowels in the streams. The water was furthermore used to make slaked lime and many of our ancestors learned how to swim within the water pools.

@Author - Photo Sandro Sedran S-Team
So, as we hike this circular TIGR trail, let us think about the most precious of all worldly goods and the cradle of all life on Earth, water. And just as the water moves to make a water cycle, we will move and round up our hike right at the village pond of Ocizla, where we first started.

@Author - Photo Sandro Sedran S-Team
After the trail you are most welcome to spend the night at Ocizla’s Youth Hostel called Ociski raj, which translates as ”Ocizla’s Paradise” in English. We offer accommodation with a rich breakfast, and everyone with the Hostelling International Slovenia membership card is granted 10% discount on accommodation. Upon seeing the tremendous opportunities for hiking, rock climbing and cycling, we are sure you will want to extend your stay. For those of you who are keen on exploring on wheels, we rent bikes, while the hiking buffs we can always direct to explore the astounding Glinščica river Valley – or the nearby mount Slavnik, if you’re more of a daredevil. Rock climbers will especially enjoy the Karst Rim, where you can find two world-renowned climbing faces: Mišja peč (or “little mouse”, as it is affectionately known among climbers) and Osp. The beginners will appreciate the Črni kal route, which is only a few kilometers from the two aforementioned faces, Risnik, which is quite shorter, and the famous cave for bouldering, Črnotiče.

@Author - Photo Sandro Sedran S-Team
There is something for everyone in Ocizla or near, so we’re pretty sure you’ll enjoy your stay here.


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