Mountain Houses of Medvednica: The Homes Above Zagrebian Homes
Have you ever felt the need for a short getaway? Our daily routine can be rather exhausting. Daily work from week to week can be somewhat repetitive, and working a lot can lead us to the situation where we don't exactly have as much time for ourselves as we would like to. It's normal that we sometimes feel fed up and in need for change. More and more people each year are choosing an active vacation rather than just lying at home, sleeping, making up for the lost hours of sleep from the working week. Personally, I'm not very much of a hiker or a mountain climber, I prefer team sports that keep scores, but on the other hand, I can't resist the fresh mountain air, and I find the spring water from Sljeme one of the best I've tried (yes, you can drink water directly from the springs in Croatia). If I had to, I would divide people that go to the hills into two groups - hikers and commuters. The hikers are, naturally, those who hike on a mountain or a hill, and the other type, the commuters, are the people who, much like me, dislike hiking for any of the possible reasons. Those people usually opt for some form of public transport or even their own cars if they're going to the mountains. The beautiful thing in all of this is that both of these groups of people meet up at the same destination in the end - mountain houses.
Photo Credit: Renato Pučak/ Glavica
All Paths Lead to Mountain Houses
When it comes to hiking paths and mountain houses, Medvednica has around ten of each. One more beautiful from the next. Mountain houses of Medvednica usually offer some food you can use to regain your strength after hiking. The famous sausage and beans meal is an ever-popular mean of strength restoring for all the mountain homes visitors. There's nothing like the feeling of taking your hiking jacket, loosing your hiking boots, and inhaling the fresh mountain air on the terrace of a mountain house. People around you are energetic and red-cheeked from the cold, but fresh mountain air. Some bigger mountain houses even offer beds to stay overnight. If you've never experienced a night in the mountain, especially when it snows, I would warmly recommend it. One of the bigger mountain houses at Medvednica got its name after an endemic plant species, Runolist. The paths of Ranger road (Šumarev put) lead to it, but you will also be drawn closer by the fine smells of their food. Runolist doesn't offer a place to sleep, but if you're interested in an overnight stay, a mountain home called Glavica does. Besides a comfortable bed, they often tend to organize special events such as the New Year's Eve celebration and other special occasion events.
Photo Credit: Miro Bilić/ Runolist
Medvednica and Sljeme
Nature Park Medvednica, a mountain north of Zagreb is often by mistake called Sljeme, even by people from Zagreb. Sljeme is, in fact, the highest peak of Medvednica which rises just over 1000 meters above sea level. Sljeme is a popular tourist spot, reachable by road or on foot. Medvednica divides Zagreb from the Zagorje region whose name could be directly translated to "behind the mountain."
A Place Above Importance
One of the lower mountain houses at Medvednica is the restaurant sawmill Bliznec. Although I'm not entirely sure why it has the "sawmill" part in the name, Bliznec is one of the first mountain houses you see along the way when you decide to hike up the Medvednica. Mountain bikers usually stop there before the climb on their two-wheeled climb up the hill. Among the better-known mountain houses, I would undoubtedly state Hunjka and Kladešćica, and you can see all other mountain homes on the site of Medvednica.info.
Photo Credit: Restoran Pilana Bliznec
When geographers and historians describe Zagreb, they generally state that Zagreb is situated on or under the slopes of Medvednica. That alone proves the importance of Medvednica and the mountain homes of Medvednica to Zagreb, and to Zagrebians. Once a man sets the foot up there, he inevitably always returns.
Header Image Credit: Restoran Pilana Bliznec
Author: Tibor Trupec