The end of 2017. No plans for New Year's.
The least we could do is spend a few days somewhere nice. So we went to Kras - Karst region of Slovenia, and spent 3 days in an amazing atmosphere. Our whole experience revolved around our accommodation - Hotel St. Daniel. The plan was to see Stanjel - a picturesque hilltop village.
Hotel St. Daniel is located in the neighbouring village Hrusevica. It's essentially a renovated and expanded old farmhouse and it looks and feels amazing. There's a huge common area / dining room with a bar and a fireplace. Everything feels so cozy. The rooms are great as well. We picked a duplex with a bedroom on the upper floor.
Shortly after we checked in we were invited to their saunas where we spent a couple of hours all alone. It was the perfect way to warm up after a rainy day.
Food. Their kitchen is based on seasonal organically grown local foods. We tried lots of new things as they support local manufacturers and try to bring back old recipes. The wine we had was also great, no need mentioning that.
The second day was cloudy and rainy as well but we headed out anyway. There are plenty of old villages worth exploring all around. Kobjeglava - Komen - Sveto - Volcji Grad. It's just so calm and peaceful in Karst. No wonder more and more people move here from the cities. Rain kept pouring so we were soon back at the hotel. Eating.
Day 3. No rain. I took some photos around the hotel, we had our breakfast and said our goodbyes to lovely Nina, Miran, Ana Pia, their dogs and headed out.
At last. Stanjel. The village we came here for. We parked at the foot of the hill upon which lies Stanjel.
Stanjel is one of the oldest settlements in the Karst Region, known for its old village centre. Due to its strategic location, the hill was already populated in prehistoric times and was fortified in antiquity. The characteristic defensive wall from the 15th century protected the inhabitants during the Turkish invasions. The settlement reached the peak of its development in the 16th and 17th centuries, as most of the architectural features of the buildings originate from this period. Between the two world wars, the architect Max Fabiani left his mark here. During World War II, the settlement was partly destroyed by fire and the castle was heavily damaged. The revitalization of the village centre started in the 1960s and has continued to this day. www.stanjel.eu
We strolled through the many narrow streets, enjoyed the stunning Ferrari garden, visited the castle for a cup of coffee and took a walk to a nearby church on the opposing hill.
After Stanjel we drove to nearby village Sepulje for lunch. Sajna Restaurant was highly praised and we weren't disappointed. The food was delicious. The village itself is nice as well. With our bellies full we went for a short drive and found an interesting church on the outskirts of the village.
On our way back home we stopped at Lake Cerknica, which was already partially frozen. It's awesome how a shy hour drive teleports you to a totally different season.