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Cycling the footprints of my childhood

4 Jan

Cycling the footprints of my childhood

Last year I bought brand new bicycle. Bianchi. Not just because our champion Primož Roglič uses this bike, but also because it’s a gorgeous color 😊. Can’t help my feminine side: buying things because of color. Of course, nowadays electric bikes are more popular, but I still prefer the old-fashioned style.

One day, when I was visiting my parents in the Alpine region of Slovenia (Upper Carniola), I decided to cycle on the path that I traveled so many times during high school.

My first stop was “Žegnan Studenc,” or Baptized Spring. It’s been there since merchants from Klagenfurt and other Austrian towns traveled to Ljubljana and Trieste to sell their goods. The spring provided refreshment for people and horses.


The path to the neighboring valley was called “Under the Mountains.” Today, it’s used for cyclists and pedestrians. Everybody else uses the highway—and they’re missing a lot! Beautiful old houses, breathtaking views, and meadows of cattle, sheep, and horses grazing on the fresh mountain grass.


The very first thing on the other side of the hill is Grad Kamen (Stone Castle). It was built in the 12th century. It has a beautiful backdrop—surrounded by the Begunje village, which serves as a good starting point for hikes.


Village Begunje offers a guesthouse (“Pr’ Joževc”) for the community. But more famous than that is the Guesthouse Avsenik, named for Slavko Avsenik, the accomplished Slovenian composer and accordionist.


As the story goes, one day Avsenik was working at the weaving mill, when a song went through his mind. He wrote it down, and it became the unofficial Slovenian anthem. Still today, it’s the most popular Slovenian instrumental.



Of course, this was important for me. Slavko was the same age as my father, and his band was just starting out when my father was young. Slavko and my father were well-acquainted, and I heard many stories about Slavko that I couldn’t have found anywhere else 😊!

Another family legend is the story about Elan, the renowned ski making factory. The idea for this factory was first pitched to my father’s uncle, who was the best ski maker in the Upper Carniola Region before WW2. He refused it. So, the government built the factory in Begunje.


The legendary skier, Ingemar Stenmark (SWE), has won every possible competition using Elan skis. Some of the old ones were found in Paluse Treasure in Pullman, Wa.


Besides downhill skis, carving skis were also patented by Elan. Recently, Elan Skis developed portable touring skis that fold in half. What a lightweight change of pace!

Curtesy: ISPO (

With only a little ways to go from Begunje to Lake Bled, my final destination became more popular over the years. However, it is still as beautiful as it was then.


Would you like to experience Slovenia on bike? Our guide will take you to all the tried and true beauties. Safety is our top priority, so if you want to see and experience Slovenia in unique way, book a trip with us today!


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