Prlekija is located in eastern Slovenia, where hilly Slovenske gorice (»Slovenian hills«) and endless fields of the Pannonian Plain meet. With its fertile plains and slopes, covered by vineyards, Prlekija hospitality smiles on visitors who find time to get off the beaten track from Slovenian must-sees. Read a full story by our author Sonja Bezjak.
Off the beaten track …
On the crossroad of the two completely different landscapes, a unique dialect and culinary specialties have developed, which distinguishes people of Prlekija from the people of Prekmurje and Štajerska, two nearby Slovenian regions.
Even today, the landscape is characterized by strong activities related to agriculture and viticulture, which is also reflected in the tourist offer.
Experience of pre-modern life
Despite modernization, that has reached these places a long time ago, the Prlekija tourism industry relies in particular on the remains of pre-modern life. To curious visitors, the locals gladly show how the first Slavs have lived here.
In the town of Veržej we stepped into a wooden hut, which is characterized by the furnace, around which the ancient Slavs were creating their dreams. In the warmer days, travelers and cyclists are housed in bivouacs, where they can find some retreat from the everyday life.
In the nearby handicraft center they are taking care for preserving the knowledge associated with domestic crafts; among these the most recognizable are pottery, weaving and blacksmith work.
Products which the residents of the surrounding villages are manufacturing in their own homes, are on display here and are inviting to take some of them with us.
The rivers are calling us
But a good, sunny day is calling us out into the open. It is worth seeing some other specifics of this region by the rivers Mura and Drava. Therefore, we go further.
Just a few kilometers away, on the bank of the river Mura, we embarked on “brod”, ancient vessel, which took us to the other side, into Prekmurje.
Two boats tethered to a steel cable in the past represented the only link with another bank; today they are witnessing about human ingenuity and cooperation with the nature.
The power of the river flow takes us on the Island of Love, a smaller place in which Prekmurje food growers are presented.
The shelves are weakening under the weight of thick pumpkin oil and sweet honey. From the window a little girl made of corn husk is waving, on the counter there is a hand woven wicker baskets filled with roasted pumpkin seeds. And friendly sellers who like to explain under which hands came certain product.
Wooden wheel in Ižakovci
Only a few steps away, on the surface of the river Mura another vessel rests: it is the floating Mill on the Mura. The land in the eastern Slovenia has always been marked with mills, either on the surface of the river, in streams or windmills.
Just as in the days before the electrification the wooden wheel in Ižakovci is today operated by a complex mechanism and it is grinding the flower from the cereal. Romance, however, quickly ends when the boatman explains that river sometimes shows its strength and pulls in its waves human inventions.
But no worries, as the people here are accustomed to its whim, since they have been living with and by it for centuries.
Translated and edited by: Marijana PodhraskiFollow @letsgoslovenia