Staying on a mountaintop pasture in Slovenia

IMG_4661.JPGVelika Planina, translated to “big pasture” in English, is, as described, a large pasture, located at the top of a mountain in the Kamnik Alps in Slovenia.  Traditionally (and still today), herdsmen would take their cows up to this big pasture to graze over the summer months. They built huts they would live in while caring for the herd and producing products like cheese and sour milk.

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Some of the herdsmen’s huts

We booked a two night stay in one of these herdsmen’s huts.  The only way to get up to the pasture is via cable car and chair lift, so we packed everything we would need (including drinking water) in four backpacks (C had to fly back to Scotland while we were here so it was just me and the kids), and headed up the mountain.

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cable car ride up the mountain
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A and L in the double chair lift in front of us (this is technically the ride back down the mountain, but this direction has better views 🙂 ) Note the cows relaxing below them.

Once we got off the cable car, we had a short hike to our hut.IMG_4589.JPGThe hut had a huge field in front of it, perfect for the boys to play soccer, which they did for hours, while I sat on a lounge chair, reading a book and looking up periodically to glance right to see the boys, or glance left to appreciate the mountain view.IMG_4661We explored the area a little bit the first day, having dinner at the one restaurant on the mountain top, followed by ice cream at a small kiosk (also the only one on the mountaintop).

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Even the ice cream kiosk has an amazing view!
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Taking a break from playing soccer and enjoying the view

Since we were at the top of the mountain, the weather was (refreshingly) cool, and by evening, we had pulled out blankets to use while sitting outside.IMG_4757.JPGThe next morning we woke up and walked up to the very top of the hill (the cable car goes one stop past where we got off to get to our hut) and enjoyed the 360 degree views.  IMG_4672.JPG

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Special day for this kid – what an amazing way to spend his 10th birthday!
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View down the other side of the mountain

Then, we headed down a path that would take us to the herdsman’s village. IMG_4695.JPG

IMG_4705.JPGOnce we got there, we stopped at a small hut serving food to try all of the local specialties.

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Local specialties –  sour milk, locally-produced cheese, buckwheat porridge/spoonbread (yum!), and a sweet pastry

After our food stop, we walked through the village, checking out the local church and walking by the other huts.  Being high up on a pasture, there were no trees to block the great mountain views, and enjoyed it all the way back to our hut.  Once we got back to our hut, we got back to it – soccer playing and relaxing!  We continued that way all day, with just a brief stop for dinner and ice cream.IMG_4718.JPG

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The next morning, it was already time to head back to civilization, so we headed back down the chair lift and cable car, and back to reality.  It was a wonderful, relaxing way to spend a few days, and we hope to get back up there again someday!

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