Velika planina is practically a large pasture, that during the summer is filled with shepherds and in the winter, when the herds head down to Kamnik, the view changes, filling up with pure white snow to become one of the favourite ski resorts for people of the local area.
A nice cheerful girl called Andreja was my escort on this lovely day (not weather-wise unfortunately). She is a teacher and lives here during her summer holidays.
We met up in Kamnik, a beautiful medieval town protected by the fine arts, and then we took the car to Kamniška Bistrica where we reached the station of the cable car that leaves every hour from 8 am to 4pm (it runs until 6 pm from Friday to Sunday).
Unfortunately, as I hinted, the weather was not of the best and I couldn’t enjoy the wonderful view of Ljubljana.
Once you reach the top, you can choose if continuing up on foot and taking a lovely walk through the fields filled with flowers, or for who is a little lazier like me, you can take a chair lift up to the peak.
Once we reached our destination I noticed some typical little houses that I soon discovered to be a reconstructions of the original shepherd houses, built in the ’60 for tourist displays.
My guide tells me they have every comfort, even a lovely Jacuzzi, and that they were built by the architect Vlasto Kopač – trusted pupil of JožePlečnik.
The scenery is beautiful up here: peace, tranquillity and healthy living! It’s lovely to see the only example of traditional shepherds huts they have in Slovenia and all of Europe.
Inside the village there’s also a little church that was rebuilt in 1988, because the original, built in 1939 on a design of Jože Plečnik, was destroyed by the Germans during the Second World War.
As well as the little church (where they have a service every Sunday), there’s also a “parliament”, where they take decisions at the beginning of every season, and where they also have a little museum that takes its name from its builder: Andrej Preskar.
The huts are built with roofs covered in pine wood shingles called “šinkel”, the perfect protection from the rain.
Once the huts were arranged differently, in the centre there was a small room and there was the necessary room for the cows to stay during the night. Today the huts have well divided areas, one for the house, and one for the stables.
In the hut that serves as a museum, the concept is explained very well – look here…
I even managed to have a look at the house of one of the shepherds: they were storing freshly made cheese and I bought some too! (800gr – 7.00 euro).
It’s lunchtime and we head towards the chair lift because our next stop is the mountain house Zeleni Rob!
As we’re waiting for the delicacies of the house, Andreja gets me to try and make the trnič! This typical cheese in the shape of a pear was made by the shepherds in their period of solitude among the mountains, and then given as a gift to their fiancés once they returned from the pasture season, as a symbol of their love and faith.
To prepare it you mix fresh cheese and salt, making a bundle with your hands and then putting it in wooden moulds called “PISAVE”, carved in different shapes.
And here is my trnič, perfectly prepared!
But now the food from the mountain house is waiting for us and then, unfortunately, we need to head back home – our fantastic tour of Slovenia ends here.
All my thanks to I Feel Slovenia for all the tips it gave me and all the great places it took me to!
Goodbye Slovenia! This experience has been wonderful, rich with new experiences, new people, scents and enchanted places…