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September 2022

”Our trip to Ravne na Koroškem ”

I Martina, my daughter Charlotte and Gabi were invited by Radio SI to discover the „Hidden gems of Slovenia”. This trip went into the mountain area around Ravne na Koroskem.
I am German and now resident in Ptuj since 2 years, Charlotte is a student in Munich and Gabi lives in the Black Forest Area, close to the French border.

On our arrival in Ravne at the Hostel Punkl, Tim and Nina welcomed us with a big smile and lots of information about the area, as well as some souvenirs, e.g. Ski-hats and pottery, made by some local people with disabilities – very kind, thanks a lot! The rooms were mostly equipped with private bathroom and nice open kitchen for all guests.

Tim gave us an overview about the places to see in Ravne and the surrounding mountains. Ravne has a big steel factory with a long history, in previous years there worked up to 8500 people, now approx. 3500. This factory does a lot for the wellbeing of its employees and created huge facilities for leisure, sports, fun and adrenaline-spots, as well as a swimming and wellness centre. The ski-lift is an all year attraction: for winter sport and from spring to autumn as transport for the down-hill bikers.

The hostel Punkl is next to the sport centres, next to the castle with a famous library, the park with plenty of steel art from a symposium „Forma viva“, including the attraction „Meteorit“ with the inbuilt solar-collectors for night illuminations, very popular for all photographers – a must see. Many other artworks made from steel are placed all over the city of Ravne.

Our next program was the steel factory museum, where Carla showed us the collection of 400 years of history of the factory SIJ Metal Ravne, which is on a huge area, 3 km long, and the workers homes that were constructed during the last decades. She explained all the various stages of the production lines, with original items in the show rooms from the past and modern times. Actual production can be seen in videos.
In a second room there are historical gems with impressive machines, like the an oven and other huge historical hammers and equipment from the various steel production lines.

Carla also drove us through the whole factory main road with all the actual production buildings with all the various products, from raw steel blocks to the various end products for the world markets.

We enjoyed a fantastic dinner at the DELALUT restaurant, next to the headquarter of the factory, the service and the over-all experience was great!

We finished our day in the indoor swimming pool, whirlpool and various sauna rooms. It was a relaxing end of the day.

After a good night in Punkl and great breakfast, our next stop was the lake „Ivarčko Jezero“ surrounded by mountains and lots of facilities for relaxing at the lake, drinking, eating, BBQ, sports like basketball, minigolf, table tennis, and of course hiking trails, especially to the Mt Uršula, the dominating hill of this mountain chain.
We proceed to the wooden cottage „Smučarska Koča“, where tourists, bikers, hikers and skiers have food and drinks, wood crafts and a spectacular view! We enjoyed a wild garlic soup, traditional music and the historical pictures of sportsmen in skiing, including the Olympic gold medal winner Tina Maze, who grew up in this area, like 7 other Olympic swimmers.

We proceeded to the traditional home of the local hero, Prežihov Voranc, a socialist activist, writer and partisan, with the original old style of wooden small farmhouse in a spectacular landscape in the mountains and Kotlje. The guide explained us the historical interior design and we bought local souvenirs with lilies of the valley, the favourite flower of his mother. He wrote a story or poem about it, but unfortunately none of his books is available there, many of his books were translated into other languages all over the world even into Chinese.

We proceeded to our last meeting point, the local traditional restaurant Gostilna Lečnik, where we met Ksenija, Tim and Nina, and enjoyed nice food and drinks, the local cider, called „Most,“ as well as a men choir with traditional dalmatian songs to honour the „mother of the restaurant“ for her 80st birthday.

We are all happy that we had the chance to see this part of Slovenia, with its beautiful typical alpine Corinthian landscape, with Hops plantations for the local beer, natural treasures, the food, the friendly people and we were blessed with fantastic weather, sunshine, and thank you all very much for hosting us in such a nice way.

Good luck for the future!!

Martina, Charlotte and Gabi

Photos by: Martina and Gabi