It seems I have finally found a silver lining to the long, ghastly (well at least for me!) winter. As it went on so long, spring lasted all of 2 weeks and the past week it felt like summer was here already, yippee, shorts and t-shirts all round! However, one mustn’t get too carried away as the view out of my window today is distinctly more spring-like than summer (hopefully it’s just a temporary hiccup), but who cares, as long as its not snowing!!
This past week there were two public holidays – the 1st and 2nd of May. On the eve before the 1st of May Labour Holiday, it is a tradition in Slovenia to hold bonfire parties (kresovanje). Most towns and some villages have a bonfire – either somewhere in the town or many are also held atop a hill or at mountain huts and people gather in their masses to socialise and raise a glass (or two) beside the bonfires. In Radovljica, the bonfire party is always held next to the SPAR supermarket, at the entrance to the town, and there was live music to accompany the festivities. One of the biggest events is held on the Rožnik hill in Ljubljana (which I wrote about in the post entitled ‘A change of scenery’), where up to 40,000 people attend. On the 1st May numerous other events, such as organised walks, also take place across the country. Today’s weather got me thinking about the problem of what to do on rainy days when on holiday. Therefore, I thought I might add a new section to my blog entitled ‘Rainy Day Activities’. If you are visiting the Radovljica area, from abroad or from elsewhere in Slovenia, there are still things to do even on wet days and therefore through the course of my blog, I will aim to provide some ideas for rainy day activities as well as of course ideas for hiking and other outdoor activities. By the way, if anyone in the local area has any activities, ideas etc. to add to this list, please do get in touch. I’m open to ideas and willing to add additional links to my blog.
So let’s begin with museums – they are always a good rainy day activity aren’t they?! Although not a large town, Radovljica and its surroundings, have more than their fair share of museums. In Radovljica itself, in the old town centre, there is the Museum of Beekeeping (Čebelarski muzej), the Town Museum (Mestni muzej) and Šivec House (Šivčeva hiša). In nearby Begunje there is the Museum of Hostages (Muzej Talcev) and in Kropa the Blacksmith’s Museum. (Kovaški muzej). I have added links to all these museums in the Tourist Information section of this blog.
If you are fortunate enough to be in or near Radovljica on Saturday 18th May, you could visit any of these museums (and also elsewhere throughout Slovenia) for free to mark International Museum Day.
As the snow gradually melts, I’ve been able to start to walk a little further and higher. This week I made my first trip of the year to the Preval mountain pasture (Planina preval). From home I cycled to the start of the walk from the Draga valley. However, Preval can also be reached from other directions too. Although I didn’t visit it on this occasion, the mountain hut Koča na planini Preval-a, reopened this week after the winter closure. The Preval pasture lies on the 1311m high Preval saddle between the Draga and Šentanska valleys and was originally the property of the Lords of Kamen. The hut serves delicious food (try the štrukli!) and is always very popular during the summer months.
Here’s a bit of interesting history about the Preval hut. According to the first written sources, the first herdsmen’s hut on the Preval pasture was built in 1808 and stood on the sunny side of the slope, approximately 300 metres from the current hut. Due to the ever present danger of avalanches, the co-owners of the pasture built a new hut during the period from 1936-1938. This new hut was subsequently burnt down just before the end of World War II and in 1952 the hut was restored to its original design.
There are a number of options for walking onwards from Preval, especially to Begunjščica (2060m). However, on this occasion I didn’t go any further because at this time due to the snow, it is sensible to wait a little longer before making trips higher into the mountains (unless you are very experienced and well-equipped for winter hiking conditions).