ECOLOGICAL FARM TRNULJA

The Sleeping Beauty in Slavic

Slovenia is considered the greenest country in Europe and the place where our mobility was discovered. No wonder that one of the best organic hotels in Europe is located there. At the Trnulja eco-estate, a healthy and deep sleep is guaranteed. This is not only due to the mattresses filled with hemp.

My Stages

ECOLOGICAL FARM TRNULJA

The Sleeping Beauty in Slavic

Slovenia is considered the greenest country in Europe and the place where our mobility was discovered. No wonder that one of the best organic hotels in Europe is located there. At the Trnulja eco-estate, a healthy and deep sleep is guaranteed. This is not only due to the mattresses filled with hemp.

My Stages

Vacation destination Slovenia

Where is Slovenia anyway? There’ s not much you can do with Slovenia. Especially as a vacation destination. It is often confused with Slovakia. But the relatively small EU country is one of the greenest countries in Europe and known for its sustainable tourism. Recreation by the sea, in the mountains or in the lowlands – there is something for every character. Culinary delights and culture are not negligeable either.

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© Mirella Sidro

Fitting the occasion, I drive to the organic hotel Trnulja in a sustainable way. With an electric car, this time the Tesla Model 3 Dual Performance. It takes me about five hours, including charging, to get from Munich to Ljubljana, the capital of Slovenia. The eco-farm is located on the southern outskirts of Ljubljana in a settlement on the Ljubjanica River, called Crna Vas, less than ten kilometers from the city center. While life pulsates around the capital’s castle, it is like being in another world and time here. The area is located in the Ljubljana marsh in the midst of pure nature.

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© Mirella Sidro

Why does the wheel turn?

The old wooden house is full of history, you can feel it when you arrive. We unlock the door of the house. The first thing I notice puts me in absolute awe! Hanging on the wall is a replica of the Kolo Wheel 5200, the oldest wheel in human history with an axle! The surprising sensational find happened unexpectedly in 2002, when archaeologists took a wooden sample in a drainage ditch of a field of the about 5200 years old pile-dwelling in the Ljubljana marsh near Vrhnika, about 20 km from Ljubljana.

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© Matevz Paternoster

The reason why it is so unique in its creation is that it does not occur in nature in this way. The author Jürgen Kaube explains it aptly in his book “The Beginnings of Everything”: “The hammer has been explained as an organ projection after the model of the clenched fist, the millstones from the dentition and the mechanical levers from the arms … But for the wheel – a structure which turns around 360 degrees … – neither the human body nor the environment give suggestions. The limbs cannot rotate, and even the sun is only round for the view, but it does not rotate. The wheel therefore cannot have been invented by imitation of nature …”

The Sleeping Beauty in Slavic 4
© Mirella Sidro

Even the fob of my room key is a Kolo Wheel! Ursa and Micha, husband and wife and owners of the hotel, smile when they notice my endless enthusiasm and are amazed that I know about it. I tell them that I first visited the wheel in the museum in Vrhnika almost three years ago. Micha thinks about it and makes a phone call. Even though I am from the former Yugoslavia – I hardly understand Slovenian. But what I notice is his smile during the conversation. “I just got off the phone with the acquaintance in whose field the bike was found. If you like, we’ll go there.” I am excited like a little kid! I get to go see the place where one of the most important inventions of mankind was found! The drive there is an experience in itself. We pass old villages and the nature is very pristine.

The Sleeping Beauty in Slavic 5
© Mirella Sidro

We stop on the bank of the Ljubljanica with its sometimes blue or murky waters flowing leisurely past us. It is so quiet. I wonder what’s still lying underneath there from the pile dwellings, which date back to the Neolithic period? Micha shrugs his shoulders: “I’m sure there’s still a lot there!”

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© Mirella Sidro

We drive up to the field, the place of the sensational find. Not a soul is there. The sun shines on the bales of straw scattered across the field. Only the mooing of the cows on the opposite pasture can be heard. Micha opens a photo on his cell phone. “Look, this is where it was found.”

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© Mirella Sidro

Trnulja - Sleeping Beauty wakes up

He compares the current nature with that of the photo and navigates me to the spot. “A little to the right and a few steps back. Yes, that’s it … And a little more towards the ditch … Yes! That should be it according to the location of the trees in the background!” He joins me enthusiastically, “I could get used to working days like this!” Thoughtfully, we stand side by side and stare at the ground in awe. I glance at the Tesla, gleaming in the sun. I wonder if it would exist if the wheel hadn’t been invented. 5200 years of development history in one place – that makes me humble!

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© Mirella Sidro

We drive prudently back to the hotel, which has a wonderful history. Ursa, actually an economist who had studied in Vienna and thus speaks perfect German, and her husband Micha, actually from the IT industry, have discovered this old house completely entwined with blackthorn for themselves as private accommodation. “It looked like Sleeping Beauty in a deep sleep! At first we wanted to call it Sleeping Beauty, but that was too banal for us. So we call it Trnulja, the Slovenian term for blackthorn. After all, that”s what protected this wonderful house.”

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© Mirella Sidro

I am quite happy. This term is also difficult for me to pronounce. Sleeping Beauty is Trnuljčica in Slovenian, which is pronounced something like trnuldsh-chitsa. Tongue twister at its best. Now they have turned it into an organic farm and welcome guests who want to become one with nature and enjoy its tranquility.

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© Mirella Sidro

The sympathetic couple renovated it along the lines of the oldest house in the settlement, using natural materials such as wood, clay plaster and hemp insulation. And turned it into an organic farm. Today, in addition to the large and cozy apartments, the spacious complex includes a wellness area, sauna and fitness area incl. personal trainer on request.

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© Mirella Sidro

Hemp as an everyday object

The breakfast is a blast! Everything is organic, regional and seasonal. “We barter with our farmers in the neighborhood. Just like in the days of the pile-dwelling population,” Ursa tells us. The clay dishes were fired especially for them. Beautiful bowls with incised patterns are also in my room. I love the goat salami, the warm onion tart with curry sauce, the homemade spreads, the hemp muesli from their own cultivation.

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© Mirella Sidro
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© Mirella Sidro

Hemp – this plays a very big role in the family. They were the first to be allowed to grow hemp in the country. Today they make valuable and healthy cold-pressed oil and muesli from it. Cooking courses around hemp are also offered. And guests sleep on organic hemp mattresses. Furthermore, they grow different types of grain, which they grind into flour, and they have almond trees. Today it is among the five best organic hotels in the country. “Our ambition is to become the best!” We immediately believe the self-confident Ursa.

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© Trnulja
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© Mirella Sidro

Slovenian forests...

Micha wants to show me the historical area. I want to get the Tesla, which is charged at the private wallbox. Of course, they also drive an e-car. But the mountains can only be climbed with an off-roader. We drive his pickup truck, which is actually only used for work purposes. “Now I’m going to take you to a place where I like to stay to find my peace.” We drive through a deep forest along a gravel road. The road is uphill. I’m surprised and didn’t think Slovenia had forests like this. And only about half an hour from the center of town. It is sunny and warm. But the trees give us shade and the temperature is pleasant.

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© Mirella Sidro

He takes me to a clearing at the rock wall, which hangs like a small outstretched tongue over the invisible valleys. Around me only deepest forest as far as the eye can see! I just sit there. Nothing can be heard except the chirping of birds. “Down in the valleys are the springs for our Slovenian water, which we like to drink,” Micha tells me. “Now it’s very peaceful. As soon as the sun goes down, the forest starts to live here. There is a high population of bears and wolves.”

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© Mirella Sidro

The wheel keeps on turning

In the evening the late summer dinner is served. You can make a choice between hearty and light. And the vegetarians and vegans are not neglected. Homemade bread is served with in-house organic cold-pressed oils as an appetizer, including hemp oil.

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© Mirella Sidro

While we dine, three attractive musicians play traditional sounds. We do not stay long on our chairs. Cheerful dancing ends the beautiful day and evening.

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© Mirella Sidro
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© Mirella Sidro

The next morning I leave the hotel with a teary eye. Ursa presses a paper bag into my hand. Inside are goodies from her farm. Hemp oil, corn flour for pudding, cookies. And then they have another surprise for me. A keychain in the shape of the Kolo Wheel! I know I will be back. The Kolo Wheel of Slovenia – how many people from different regions it has brought together since its creation 5200 years ago! According to the reconstruction, it belongs to a cart pulled by cattle. Were they as amazed as the ladies and gentlemen back then when they saw the first car? Was it accepted or rejected at first? We do not know. Where has the wheel taken us to this day? Exactly! Very far! Me, in this case, to the organic Hotel Trnulja, where every guest, whether traveling alone, as a couple or a family, can experience their own fairy tale.