From Hotavlje to Čabrače
Hiking in Slovenia
The trip begins in Hotavlje, a village in the valley Poljanska dolina between Trebija and Gorenja vas. When you turn off the main road Škofja Loka – Žiri, follow the signs for Blegoš or Marmor Hotavlje and at the fork in the village turn right. The road leads past the Marmor factory and the quarry, then beyond the quarry but before the next fork you'll see a large parking area where you can leave your car. At the fork waymarks direct you to the path which leads past the house at the fork up a steep slope above the righthand road.
The path gradually rises through mixed forest, consisting mainly of beech and oak. Some minutes later you find yourself on a ridge from which here and there you can see on your left between the trees the slopes of Slajka. Here the path becomes gentler, and gradually changes into a cart-track, leading you onto meadows where the first proper views open up, though at first only of the surrounding hills (Slajka and Žirovski vrh). A bit further on a wayside cross greets you, past which you glimpse Čabrače, the first goal of this trip. The waymarks direct you to the left and then along a gentle cart-track onto the asphalt road that runs from the valley up to Čabrače. Turn right and you are soon faced by an interesting problem – the waymarks send you into a courtyard; you somehow sense it's necessary to climb up the steep meadow to the church, which you can see above you, but the way isn't actually obvious, and searching around other people's courtyards isn't too polite. You get out of this dilemma most easily by following the asphalt road through the village; in a few minutes this takes you to the church (sv. Jedrt – St. Gertrude's), which crowns the slope above Čabrače.
Before continuing the ascent, you should by all means take a look at the church you've just reached and also the view in front of it. A board on the church provides some details about its history (and the legend explaining why it was built so high above the village), while the interior has fine baroque altars (phone the priest's house in Gorenja vas before your visit).
Translated by Margaret Davis
© www.zaplana.net and Margaret Davis, 2007
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