Tanya, Pension owner of the Pension Inn in Psnak, Slovenia, immediately came out with glasses of Schnapps for us…that dulled the foot pain…and we plopped down on a bench with some of the people and carried on an English/Slovenian/German-type of conversation, using lots of gestures and charades.
They were a group of “pensioners” (retirees) day-hiking as a group in Triglav National Park and were astounded, not only to see two Americans out in this remote valley, but that we had walked so far! Perhaps, we’ve helped erase a perception of Americans as “wimps.”
All the Slovenes loved talking to us. One woman, Daniella, spoke excellent English and enjoyed a chance to practice it and relate some of the changes in Slovenia (formerly Yugoslavia) over her lifetime. These pensioners (retirees) were concerned that the change over from Tolars to the Euro was going to dimish their retirement income, but think overall it is good for Slovenia. Some of the group insisted on serenading Travels With Sheila in Italian and Slovenian. A truly wonderful moment. View image With absolutely lovely people.
Pension Inn Psnak (or firstname.lastname@example.org) only has 15 rooms and each one is basically an apartment. Living room-dining room-kitchen as one big room, a separate bedroom and bathroom with a wonderful hot shower. Tayna even puts two kinds of bath gel in the shower (the little things that become important) and the entire place was immaculate! Guests drive here, spend a week or so (if they are lucky enough to get a reservation), and do day hikes in this gorgeous area. I’m rhapsodizing because I did feel as if we were dropped in from another planet. We thought, “pension” – okay, it’s only for one night – and then you come across a place like this!
The Pension Psnak has been owned and run by four generations, since the 1700′s. They farm organically, make their own Honey Schnapps (I wondered why it didn’t burn out my throat chugging it down); don’t raise chickens because there are too many foxes in the area and their chickens have to be free-range. You get the picture – some yummy, easy chicken dinners running around. In the past, the Family Lipovec used to supply the high mountain huts in Triglav National Forest by horse, but now provisions are flown in by helicopters.
Today’s hike was a 23 km “jaunt”, every muscle hurts, and we’re STARVING!! No worries…portions in Slovenia are very large and the food keeps coming. Lots of soup, a big green salad, stew with polenta and dessert. If that hadn’t filled us up, they gladly would have served us more. Drank a liter of wine (equivalent to a bottle) for about $4.00, and here, they bring tap water to the table without an argument. A few Advil, lots of food, and I feel totally renewed.
Another French couple at the Pension is strictly here for the fishing. I would have liked to stay another day or two just hiking into the Triglav Forest. The “Psnak” was definitely a highlight of this trip. The warmth, hospitality and accommodations were superb, but we have to move on tomorrow…