We start on the summit of Sveti Jakob, a popular destination for day trips; in good weather it offers magnificent views of the Ljubljana Basin and a good portion of the Gorenjska region.
Not far from here, in the village of Topol, you will find an inn with a tradition of over 150 years. It was taken over by the Dobnikar family in 1924. Its beginnings were humble, but eventually wealthier guests started to patronise the inn, says Toni, a member of the third Dobnikar generation. Today it is frequented mainly by hikers, but also by a President or two. “While paving the way for Slovenia’s independence, noted Slovenian politicians would come up here to get into shape. They also held a few meetings at our inn.” When the results of the plebiscite were announced in December 1990, representatives of the first Slovenian government climbed Sveti Jakob to celebrate with the locals.
Slavkov dom is situated on the other side of the hill, overlooking Golo Brdo. It was originally built by German soldiers as a guardhouse. From here, the Germans could see all the way to the borders of the so-called Dolomite Republic, the liberated territory in the Polhov Gradec Dolomites. After the war, the building came into the hands of Medvode mountaineers, who named it after the first Medvode WWII hostage in Begunje, Slavko Čarman.
Twenty years ago the cabin was taken over by a local couple, Dušan and Branka Belšak, who revived it and transformed it from a mountaineering post into a culinary haven for people looking to enjoy excellent local food. Their son Matjaž is also one of the strongest people in Slovenia.
From Golo Brdo we continue towards Pirniče. This is where the patriotic priest Jakob Aljaž spent his youth. On our way, we pass Medno, the home of Aljaž’s niece Micka Žagar.
“She was given 300 florins for her dowry and, since she never got married, the money was used to pay for the tower on the summit of Triglav,” explains Vladimir Bertoncelj, an expert on the history of Medvode.
In Zgornje Pirniče – not far from Zavrh, where Aljaž was born – you will find the Mihovec Inn, the home of Aljaž’s great-niece Ivanka Petač. Although born in the year when Jakob Aljaž passed away, she is proud of her relation. She was presented with his zither, which is still kept in the house today. With the help of ethnologist Janez Bogataj, her granddaughter Mojca has redesigned one of the inn rooms in the spirit of their famous relative.
There is something interesting to be found at every stop on our journey, but most importantly there is good food made from local ingredients – the best combination for an enjoyable outing.