“Whenever he came home from touring for a short while, we would go and visit Begunje,” said Slavko’s wife, Brigita Avsenik. “When we reached the junction at Podvin and turned towards Begunje, my husband would say, without fail: ‘Look at that, isn’t it just the most beautiful place in the world?‘”
Slavko’s son, Gregor Avsenik, added that his father was most taken with the surrounding hills, from Begunjščica to the charming Saint Peter. It is not just the sight of them, but also the beautiful views from their summits, over the flats of Radovljica all the way to Bled and the Julian Alps, that delight any hiker who happens to wander into these parts. It is no wonder, then, that the trails leading from the Draga valley over Planinca and Poljška planina to Roblek, and onwards to Begunjščica or St. Peter and the mountain hut Sankaška koča, have always enjoyed such popularity among locals and visitors alike.
In the past, Roblek was a popular meeting place for the young, avoiding the “powers that be” down in the valley. Young Slavko was always happy to join them. “My husband would grab his accordion and he’d have everyone dancing in seconds,” said mrs. Brigita.
The mountain hut Roblekov dom had an important place in the hearts of the young people of Begunje. Avsenik’s generation put in hundreds of hours of work to rebuild the hut by 1946, after it was burnt down in WWII. These young people were up there the whole summer long until the cabin was done.
In his adult years, Slavko Avsenik loved to climb St. Peter or “the Mountain”, as he called it. From here he could drink in the beauty of Gorenjska. He would bring guests up in his lada niva and happily meet with locals, or come up alone to relax and find inspiration. Brigita Avsenik remembers a special family moment when the children were still young and they all climbed St. Peter with Franc Košir. Slavko wanted them all to spend the night in a hayloft, and they did. “In the morning, Košir walked to the edge and played his trumpet. It was wonderful, I’ll never forget it.”
Choose any hiking trail in the Begunje area and you are sure to come across the love for this region that Slavko Avsenik carried in his heart. And he was absolutely right – “happiness has a home in these mountains”.