Finishing the Trail

Our trip to Medjimurje, filled with vineyards on rolling hills and hospitality of its people, was ending.
Along the village pond.

Walking in Medjumurje.

We ended the Vincek March in the sports hall in Mursko Sredisce. Local women dressed in traditional costumes accepted us with bread, salt and a glass of slivovitz. Eating, drinking, music and dance followed.

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First Cut of Vine

In Medjimurje mostly white wines are produced.On St. Vincent Day a ceremony of the first symbolic cut of vine is performed.
My vine awake I am going to cut you!

The vine gets food (sausages) and drink (wine).

And songs are being sung and wishes for a good grape harvest in the new year are being expressed.

Sausages for hungry stomachs.

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Kapelscak Hill

The Kapelscak hill is historicaly important. Here the Croat-Slovene peasant rebellion ended in blood in 1573. The leader of the uprising peasants Matija Gubec was defeated and captured here.
Chapel of St. Margareta on Kapelscak, built in 1775.

View from the hill Kapelscak.

Kapelscak on the day of the Vincek march. View from the chapel.

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To the Kapelscak Hill

Wine cultivation started in Medjimurje in the ancient times. The Roman writer Plinius admired the wines of Medjimurje.
Descending one of many hills.

Walking on a sunny winter day.

There is the chapel of St. Margareta on top of the hill Kapelscak.
We will pass it.

Traditional wine cellar on the Kapelscak hill.

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Medjimurje, Vincek March II

I am going to post some pictures from the Vincek march in 2008. 2 years ago the weather was fine, the sun was shining and the hills of Medjimurje were green.Ascending Vjenac.

Passing the chapel in Gravescak.

Hiking in Medjimurje.

Vineyards and villages on hills.

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A Gray Day in Medjimurje

Medjimurje is called Hortus Croatiae, which is Latin for flower garden of Croatia. In January we didn't see many flowers.
View of Medjimurje near Mursko Sredisce on a foggy winter day. In front is the village pond covered with ice.

Walking in Medjimurje.

Approaching our goal Mursko Sredisce.

We closed the march in the sports hall in Mursko Sredisce.

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Dancing Hikers

The Vincek march is organized every January around St. Vincent day because it is believed that it is the beginning of the vegetative cycle of vine.
Every few kilometers there was a stop. We were offered hot tea, wine, food ... And there was music ...
... and dance.

Merry dance around ...

Join in!

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Medjimurje in Winter

The trail is easy, about 15 km long, the hills are only about 300 m high. The goal of the Vincek march is to show Medjimurje, a less known part of Croatia.

Walking in Medjimurje.

More than 2000 people were walking together.

The chapel of St. Margareta on the hill Kapelscak.

The trail was well marked.

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Medjimurje, Vincek March I

Last Sunday (24 January) we participated in the Vincek March in Medjimurje, Croatia. It is organized by mountaineering club Bundek in Mursko Sredisce. The march takes place every January on the first Sunday after the St. Vincent Day, 22 Jan. St. Vincent is the patron of winegrowers.

We gathered in the spa resort St. Martin on Mura in the morning.

The trail twists and turns among the numerous vineyards on hills.

This was the 12th march. Hikers from Croatia, Bosnia, Hungary and Slovenia walked in a long row.

People of all walks of life and almost all ages took part in the march.

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Descending Smarna Gora

To return we chose another trail, on the northern side. This is possible because we have our own bus.
Passing a farm just bellow the summit of Smarna Gora.

View towards the north. Above the trees are white peaks of the Savinja-Kamnik Alps.

The last part of the trail is very steep. And it was all ice. It was almost impossible to descend without crampons.
Trees covered with snow late in the afternoom

Trees in winter.

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Smarna Gora,669 m

Mt. Jaterbenk and St. Jakob were not enough for one day. On returning we decided to climb one more peak: Smarna Gora near Ljubljana. "The pilgrimage to Smarna Gora, as we are apt to call it - because hikers and traditional pilgrims alike ascend it day-in and day-out, like ants - has recreational as well as spiritual conotations." More about Smarna Gora here.
Start in Tacen.

The Chapel of Mother of God at the Turkish Hoof. According to a legend the chapel is situated in the place where an old hermit stopped the Turkish conquerors with a fiery sword. When the mare of Osman Aga, the leader of Turkish troops, hit a rock with its hoof for the last time, the Turkish soldiers turned into rocks , scattered around. On the rock you can still see the prints of the Turkish hoof.

There is a church and an inn on the top of Mt. Smarna Gora. I was too tired and cold to walk around and take photos. I only needed a hot tea.

Returning late in the afternoon.

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