Heading up into eastern Slovenia sees changes in the landscape. The route is through rolling forested hills that follow wide valleys of farmland. The landscape is more agricultural with round hay bales awaiting collection in the fields rather than the traditional hay ricks. Cattle, proper cattle with white patches on brown or is it brown patches on white, graze in the swathes of snooker table green meadow. In a patchwork of farmland and forests, small allotments and meadows have given way to larger fields of maize, alfalfa, hops (this must be beer country).
Gradually the land rises into the Pohrje Massif, an adventure land of outdoor activities and historical centres with castles, medieval streets and alleys and ancient churches. Sounds like Slovenia all over. Our chalet is on the edge of this region of forests, mountains and highland meadows and made for outdoor activities like skiing, hiking and biking.
It is Sunday. The hills and mountains stretch away into the distance. I can count at least 14 layers of pastel-hued greens and greys laid out for my eyes to feast on. Forests, fields, farms, barns, hills, mountains, clouds. The only movement is the slow plod of chomping cows making their lazy way up the field, a soaring eagle or buzzard (a big bird anyway) and a rickety tractor crunching its gears around the tracks. The only sound is the chirp of unknown birds and a gentle breeze whispering in the trees. Twice a church has peeled its bells up the valley. This gives the place a historic, almost timeless feel. I’m going to like it here.