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August 2022

”Travel Through Time in Ptuj”

Ptuj! Just as fun to visit as it is to say. (Make sure a visit to the “chicken’s neck” of Slovenia is on the top of your travel list!)

Hospitality is in the details. Do we have impaired physical mobility? Do we enjoy active versus relaxing experiences? Will our dog be joining? I love the inclusivity and welcoming spirit that Radio SI and the Ptuj team showed us.

The way the guest house Hiška pri Tisi was arranged and stocked with tasty vegan goodies, our gracious host, Natasha, welcoming us in person, and the care we were treated with each step of our “Travel Through Time.”

Beginning with all these comforts allows for great adventure! When there is a cozy home-away-from-home structure, that makes it all the easier for tourists to get going and explore and enjoy the new atmosphere.

I loved our “Ptuj-Travel Through Time” package. It was flexible yet also had a lot of options to participate in. One aspect that meant a lot to me was incorporating time for nature and e-biking. As an athlete I don’t like to take days off from exercising. The bike-ride from Ptujska Gora to the Ptuj castle was a delight. Crossing over the Drava River and traveling up to the castle by bike made it more memorable than simply going by car.

Toni is the history buff and can share more specifics on the castle, but what caught my eye was the ornate ceiling decor and detailed wall murals. Keeping the spark of learning alive is wonderful (even writing this I’m now researching the proper name for the ceiling decor- so much to continue to explore!).

*Side note! Seeing the concert hall in the castle encouraged me to do some researching for future events. I came upon the website “Castle Road” which lists several castles in Austria and Slovenia and activities such as classical music, opera and even a balloon ride!*

The “Herberstein Cellar” was a charming and delectable event. One of my favorite parts happened even before we went down to the cellar! Our hosts took us around their property and pointed out various cities and regions in the distance. They explained that it was the perfect place to watch the view of the vineyards and the sun from its rising to its setting (how many places have you stayed that are that picturesque!). I found it so special.

They began explaining visions of expanding the house and even installing an infinity pool! (Holy smokes: overlooking the vineyards of a traditional family farm, a glass of wine in hand, leaning over an infinity pool to watch the sun dip down for the night. Count me in! We’ll be back for sure!) The passion and care with which they run their business is admirable. And the actual tasting of the wine and the meat/cheese platter was flawlessly enjoyable.

Toni was especially eager to scout out such delicious wine (and vegan goods provided by Hiška pri Tisi) with the idea of making them available in the Ljubljana market through Prodajalna Rž, his mother’s health food store, on Celovška cesta.

There is so much to include… I’ll try to wrap it up! The “living museum” Herberstein House on Štotperk is a gentle haven. It’s no wonder to hear that international and Slovenian tourists alike seek it out even as it’s off the beaten path. The thatched roof and the ceiling of logs spoke to me the most.

Our next stop, the restaurant Rozika in Ptuj, filled us wonderfully with traditional Slovenian dishes such as beef soup and “štruklji”. Slovenia’s blueberry liqueur, “borovničke,” was the perfect conclusion. The servers were very warm and friendly to us.

How could this trip get any better? It did. We met with SI Radio’s lovely Lidija for coffee at Huda Liza on Vurberk castle. The view was incomparable and the conversation and reflection were delicious (as was the coffee).

Had we been able to fit in just one more thing, we were keen to try out the high ropes course in the Pustolovski Park Vurberk. (The more one explores the more one finds!)

A HUGE thank you to Radio SI for inviting us to participate in “Slovenia’s Hidden Gems.” Thank you to all of our incredibly gracious hosts, and thank you to Toni, the best adventure partner. Adventure on, friends!

Briza Bohne and Toni Hočevar

Photos by: Briza & Toni