Discover the Land with Good People
We had the privilege of being invited to the region of Prekmurje to test an offer dubbed ‘’Discover the land with good people’’.
On the drive there we witnessed some storks in their nests which was so beautiful to see, then when we entered the village of Velika Polana the first thing we noticed was how beautiful and well maintained the village itself was, with flowers hanging from every lamppost. We arrived at the municipality building where we were met by Nina. She told us a little about our plans and told us about the municipality and the three villages it covered, the work they did etc. We were then given a goodie bag with lots of gifts for us and we were able to sample some local liquers, a cherry flavour and a walnut which were both very nice.
We then took a walk around the Stork Park and learnt some interesting facts about the storks that come there every year to have their babies and then hibernate to Africa for the winter. We discovered that they have partnered with other countries that also have storks and each year they take it in turns to visit one of the countries.
We then visited the homestead of Miško Kranjec and had a private guide around his once home that’s now been turned into a museum showcasing his life. Inside there was original furniture from his home, his actual typewriter that he would have used, books he read and many of his photos. There was also a collection of the books he wrote and many of his achievements. What blew us away the most was to discover he was not only a great writer but also an incredible artist with some of his paintings on display there too.
Behind his old house they have converted the old barn into a small apartment with a traditional feel inside including straw mattresses on the beds. This is where we would spend the night.
We then walked back to the municipality building where we were taken to St Martin’s wine cellar where we very pleased to be offered a wine tasting from 5 different wines. All made my the municipality from the former vineyard of Miško Kranjec in Lendava. We were even given a couple of bottles of the wine to take home as another gift.
We then had the evening to ourselves and decided rather than head out to a restaurant we would enjoy the accommodation and we got some local meat cheese and bread from the local store and enjoyed them with some wine while playing some cards in the converted barn. It was really nice to enjoy the surroundings and imagine what life would have been like.
In the morning after a surprisingly good night sleep on the straw mattresses we had breakfast delivered to the doorstep with local delicacies and even fresh eggs from chickens the municipality keep at the Farm at Copek’s Mill, one of our morning stops.
After breakfast we headed over the road to the municipality building to meet Nina again and we drove to the neighbouring village of Mala Polana and to the Sabol’s homestead and cooperative Pomelaj. Here they make many products from corn leaves and they also bake things from local produce. We were able to try some samples and couldn’t resist buying some things also. We watched the workers in action and were amazed at their skills. The biggest amazement to us though was when we were told that all the employees working there have a disability of some kind and cannot get work elsewhere. It was really heartwarming to hear this.
We then ended our visit with a trip to the farm at Copek’s Mill where they are currently setting lots of things up for the public to be able to enjoy. They have crops growing there that are used at the cooperative and also many kinds of animals like goats, sheep and deer. They also have a Stork hospital on site where people can bring injured storks they may find. We visited the river school they’ve set up to help teach young children and bring them back to nature and had a lovely walk through the forest trail.
We feel so lucky to have been given the opportunity to have discovered all these things and will definitely be doing back again some time.
Maz and Terry Rayner
Photos by: Maz & Terry