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February 2018

The drive from Ljubljana to Muta was peaceful and quite agreeable. We had a little problem when our navigator took us to the wrong exit on the highway and had to drive along some really small and narrow streets until we found the national road again. But in the end we arrived even sooner than we thought we would, given the snowy weather conditions.

In Muta, we were received by the very kind staff of Pri Lipi homestead, who showed us to our room. It was a small room with a nice view of the church of Sveti PrimoŽ (Saint Primus) placed between two hills. The bathroom was new and modern, but the main room was furnished with vintage, restored furniture, which gave us the feeling we had just stepped back in time.

Afterwards, we had a typical snack and got to meet the manager, Mrs. Helena, who told us interesting stories about their homestead and its surroundings. Then we visited the Rotunda church, which is right next to Pri Lipi, and is one of the oldest churches in Slovenia. We had a guide who explained more about the architecture of the building, its history and the paintings in it.

After our visit to the church we drove to a small ski resort, where we were able to ride a pležuh. It is similar to a sleigh, but it rides on one ski only and is meant for one person. It can go very fast, too! I must admit we were a bit intimidated by this strange invention at first, but once we learnt how to use it (and to brake!) it was a lot of fun.

We had dinner at Gostilna Pri Lipi, where we could enjoy their special dinner called Mizica, pogrni se (inspired by The Wishing Table tale).  We got many different typical dishes to try, all of them homemade with carefully selected ingredients. We liked how Helena puts her personal touch in everything they prepare for their guests. Breakfast the next morning was wonderful, too, and included things such as homemade yogurt, cheese and bread, many kinds of fruit, eggs, etc.

The drive to Maribor from Muta lasts approximately half an hour. We parked near the river Drava and had a nice walk in the winter sun along the riverbank, which is known as Lent. We then found the Hiša stare trte (The old vine house), where we were able to admire the oldest vine in the world. Inside the house it is possible to visit a museum and enjoy Slovenian wine tasting.

Our last stop was at Tinjska gora, a half an hour ride from Maribor. The homestead Gora pod lipo is located at the end of a road, surrounded by trees. The house itself looks warm and charming, and its owners received us very kindly and guided us to our table in a small private room called The black kitchen (črna kuhinja), because it has a real coal stove, like the ones they used in Slovenia in the old times. We were served a slow food lunch, and they had no problems in adjusting to our special requests related to the menu. Actually, that was not a problem anywhere we went. Finally, we were also greeted by their world famous chef, Andrej Kuhar.

All in all, it was a short but delightful weekend break, highlighted by great food and interesting touristic attractions. But we will mostly remember how kindly we were treated by everyone. We really felt like home when visiting those small and lovingly run homesteads.

Eva and Rok Tomšič

Photos: Eva & Rok