Departing the central airport, a panoramic ride reveals the splendid sights of the Slovenian alpine countryside. In the distance rise the Julian Alps, magnificent in the gentle dawn. I check off the requirements for an ideal day outdoors: the atmosphere is brilliant, the sky’s as clear as a pond, there’s sunshine everywhere and the temperature is just right. Let the mountain adventure begin!
Reason #1 – morning in Trenta, the magical valley embraced by the Triglav National Park. A kind welcome in a rustic homestead filled with the scent of latte and freshly baked pastry. Homeliness in the truest sense of the word. Genuine Slovenian breakfast? Naturally. A jolt of energy to start your day? Absolutely! It’s time for excitement.
Breathe in, exhale in the crisp mountain air. Invigorating … Gazing across the peaceful landscape sprinkled with pine trees touching the sky, quaint wooden cottages dot the horizon, their roofs covered in skodle, the traditional tiles of these parts. The scenic natural backdrop impresses with its autumn radiance. Thoughts are clear, focused on the moment. Forward. Left, right, left, right … One after another we make our way to the common goal. Soil is humming underneath, flowing with the atmosphere of unspoiled nature. A harmony of calm enjoyment.
Reason #2 – Bled. The place where the mountain fairies used to dance; they called upon waters from the nearby hills to torrent into the valley, flooding, creating Lake Bled from which only a green rocky peak yet ascends. So – legend has it, was born the lake and its famous little island, an iconic image of Slovenia. It’s no surprise that Bled is a tourist gem and a leading destination for various meetings and events in the Alpine region.
After spending time outdoors, a rich meal of spoon food(as they call their variety of thick soups and stews here) is perfect for recovery. Treat yourself to a hearty alpine lunch, complete with a delicious Bled cream slice and a sip of mead, the elixir of health. Cheers to our continued success!Did you know Slovenia is a cradle of beekeeping, the ancestral land of the native Carniolan honeybee known as the world’s most peaceful bee species, nicknamed the Lady Bee? The Carniolan honeybee, a token part of Slovenian identity, is known for its gentle nature, diligence, resilience and extraordinary sense of orientation. And what do bees have in common with the Slovenia Meetings community? Hard work, modesty and enthusiasm – these are precisely the essential elements of the national brandI FEEL SLOVENIA. Together they constitute what we like to call Slovenian energy, the heart of Slovenia Meetings and our country’s congress and tourism sectors.
In Bled and its surroundings, team spirit can be fortified through a pleasant variety of api-programmes based on honey. Perhaps you’ll opt for api-activities in the fresh alpine air; planting honey-bearing flora, painting beehive panels or making traditional honey delicacies. Have you visited the land of milk and honey? The fascinating world of bees up close won’t disappoint! In the evening, it’s time for some api-relaxation. How about an api-therapy or honey massage? Slovenia offers a variety of wellness choices built on wholesome honey products. 100% natural, 100% healthy!
Reason #3 – the slopes. Half an hour’s ride across the beautiful landscape, some introspective relaxation, and we’re already under Mt. Krvavec, the popular ski resort in the embrace of the Kamnik-Savinja Alps. There, we’re met by a special surprise: the cable cars have been refitted into private little restaurant booths. An “airborne” gourmet experience best described by a single word – fresh! In the easygoing ambience of the ski lodge, we can enjoy some more coffee and cake. The crackling of the fire, the joy of good company, the spectacular sights of the mountain range, it all contributes to a profoundly satisfying experience. “This little subalpine country really is great. I wonder what the evening has in store?”
Reason #4 – the floral cornucopia of Bohinj and its surrounding mountain peaks is a balm for any soul chancing to visit. Charming sights and small pleasantries – from botanical wisdom to folklore custom, across the arts and insight that flowers aren’t just pretty but belong in many places, even in the cooking pot! A promised land for the lovers of Alpine nature, as well as a great location for creative incentives in the mountains.
“Three fascinating things about Slovenia? The first has to be the people, obviously, fantastic, down to earth, friendly people. Second is the landscape, as you fly into Ljubljana airport you see the forests and the mountains all around you, you can’t beat it, and the third is probably the little town of Bled, which if you haven’t been you should go to, it’s absolutely stunning.”
Carina Bauer, CEO, IMEX Group
Reason #5 – our grand finale begins in the autumn dusk. A walk through the promenade to the torch-lit castle yard, where the lords of the manor welcome us in style. Strmol Castle is a striking medieval chateau. At the gates, guests are welcomed by a stuffed crocodile – yes, you read that right! The Hribar family, once the owners, kept a crocodile pet in their time and it’s still hanging around at the door. Silk tapestries, vintage furniture, an impressive art collection, lace, silverware, crystal. All the pieces are in their place, a propos to a gala award ceremony for the organization’s most promising managers.
A rich variety of experiences in a single day? Check. Rested and refreshed for new business ventures? Absolutely! From outdoor enjoyment to rustic moments, api-experiences amidst flowers and “lords for a day”, each minute was filled with alpine traditions and personal engagement. We’ll be coming back, no doubt. As the castle bed softly rocks me into satisfying slumber, a melody rings in my mind: “Slovenia, whence thy beauty …”
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Welcome, and let us impress you!
Author: Jasna Jašič, Marketing & Communications Manager, Slovenian Convention Bureau
www.slovenia.info, photo: Nikola Jurišič