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September 2019

Firstly, I would like to convey my gratitude to ‘Radio SI’, for such a lovely opportunity being a foreigner in Slovenia, exploring Murska Sobota (Pomurje region) with such great details and experiencing the local traditions with local guide was just a memorable experience for me, which wouldn’t have been possible without Radio SI. On this tour, I was accompanied by my Slovenian friend, Andraž, I’m from India and currently pursuing my PhD in Maribor.

We reached late at Expano, but Monika was so kind, by showing us the exhibition and taking us around the pavillion. The most exciting part was the balloon ride and the movie about the history of Pomurje region. After the exhibition we had a visit to the mansion in Rakičan, but we couldn’t take a ride on the carriage. Instead, we had wine tasting with traditional preparation of eggs with  mayonnaise and pumpkin oil and pumpkin seeds, followed by hemp tea, which was my first drinking experience of hemp tea.

The specialty of Pomurje region are the chocolate pumpkin seeds. After the tour, we went back to the Expano pavillion to have traditional lunch in the restaurant there. Finally, the first day ended with beer tasting at the post-apocalyptic steampunk bar (Bunker) and a local brewery, where beer has some special good aroma, unusual for me. Locals say it’s made of special hops from their region, which makes the beer so tasty and different. Then we stayed overnight at hotel Štrk (****) after having lovely traditional ‘Prekmurje’ dinner at Lovenjakov dvor next to the hotel and relaxing in a jacuzzi.

The next day, we started with some lovely breakfast and visited the region of gypsies. Locals say, that their lifestyle is more developed compared to gypsies in other parts of Europe. Then we met Monika from the tourist office again at Hranilnica prekmurskih dobrot, where some boutique wine and traditional gibanica cake was waiting for us, along with some more toasts and snacks with pumpkin oil and pumpkin seeds. I tried honey and bought one for home. For me, wine was the top attraction, as I love muscat wine (sweet white wine). Our next destination was the Love Island on the Mura River, where we experienced more of their tradition. The most exciting part there was warming some rye bread on a stick in the traditional burner and applying garlic and pork fat (lard) on top of it. Due to the time constraint, we couldn’t use the water activities on Soboško lake, so we’ve decided to put that on our to-do list for next time.

Our trip ended, by finally meeting Lidija whom we’ve shared our experience with. I am planning to visit that part of Pomurje again and share the experience with my other friends, so that they can also plan a trip there.

Joyitri Sarkar from India

Photos: Joyitri Sarkar