It all sounds like a good idea at the beginning. You buy your new shiny hiking gear, the special shoes, a good windbreaker, and a new matching wardrobe to go with it. Because if you are going to start embracing the good old Slovenian hiking tradition, you might as well do it in style. You do a little test around the surrounding areas. Like hiking up to Rožnik Hill at the heart of Tivoli Park in Ljubljana. And you get super excited because you feel like you totally get it now.
“Yes, I love nature! I live for the fresh air! Wow, the feeling of accomplishment!” you say to yourself.
Then you decide to join your parents-in-law because they are part of the Slovenian Hiking National Group and they know where the all good interesting places are. You prepare a night before by going to the super market and stocking up for the perfect hiking snacks. Some granola bars, apples, and fresh bread to make some tiny delicious sandwiches. Because hikers know how important sugar and carbohydrates are. And you might have started or not a Pinterest board for Hiking Inspiration.
You are nervous and excited because they told you there is a chance of seeing a waterfall. You just can’t wait to finally say, yes people I did it… I’m so close to becoming more Slovenian now!
Then they tell you to set the alarm at 6 AM because a good hiking excursion starts as early as possible. You think, “It’s okay, you have woken up at 6 AM plenty of times before”.
Your alarm starts ringing the next morning, and you can barely open your eyes. You hop into the shower with the hopes that the cold water will wake you up and then start getting ready as fast as possible. You feel that it might take you longer than expected because your body is still in you-should-still-be-in-bed-at-this-hour mode. But you do it anyway, and manage to get your backpack ready for the day. Change of clothes included.
You put on your cool sunglasses and hop in the car, ready to show these mountains who is the boss. Then you get off the freeway and instead drive on roads with endless curves with no straight path in sight. So you keep your sight straight ahead and your mouth closed for the entire hour and a half drive to the destination because any false movement could trigger something that might ruin the whole day.
Then finally, you have arrived at your destination. The beautiful National park of Logarska Dolina.
And there it is! The proof that you are really going to see a waterfall after all.
The way there is a little bit steep but you can already hear the water from there, so you think it won’t be that bad after all.
And it is gorgeous! You think everybody would want to walk towards the waterfall and call it a day. But no, another surprise was waiting for us. A long rocky path actually, to Dom na Okrešlju.
At this point you know you are in for a little bit of (lots of) pain. Then you remember how they tell you that the higher you go, the more beautiful views you see, but you just can’t help but wonder if you could ever really feel 100% Slovenian if such measures are included.
You walk and struggle, and occasionally stop to catch some air, and complain (just a little because you know the way down will be so much worse).
You have an inner monologue where you question what is so good about hiking after all. The height and the amount of air makes you dizzy, your thighs are burning, and you can’t be one with nature because it seems like everyone in Slovenia decided to hike there for the weekend.
But then, after 10 minutes of flat surface. You understand…
That these views are way better than any lazy Sundays in your pajamas. Plus, it’s really seals the deal when your husband reminds you that you have the best of both worlds when you are together.
Luckily for me the Slovenian way of recharging your batteries involves some Laško, malice (midday snack), and Turkish coffee. Which gives you enough energy to prepare for the struggle of going down the hills. You shouldn’t also forget to greet everybody as you go down with Dober dan (good day in Slovenian) because we are all in these struggle together!
Plus all Slovenians know that any gruesome long hike isn’t over yet until you take some pictures with the most photogenic background ever.(okay, maybe this is not a Slovenian must but it should be by now because the country is gorgeous!)
Ah, and I almost forgot. You can’t really get to call yourself Slovenian, unless you get the complete Slovenian classical Sunday Lunch.
Mushroom soup, Goulash or Roasted pork & Fried chicken with potatoes, salad (not pictured here because I ate it before I remember to take a picture), and dessert. Now this is what it really takes to really be more Slovenian!
So there you have it. The first part of the never ending story of How I Pretend to be More Slovenian. Don’t worry mom, I still pretty much love being Mexican (we have tacos & burros).
But you tell me guys, how did you think I did this time around?
From the sunny side of this,