“How do you perceive all of this?” they asked us. Last year we had very special visitors. A couple who stayed in our apartment thirteen years ago. They are now in venerable age and their son and daughter-in-law kindly drove them to Lepena to visit us and feel this paradise once again. “We who come to Lepena, see it as pure Paradise on Earth,” they said. Yes, yes and yes. For me, it is the deepest perception of paradise. Lepena, our dear valley, will you tell us where your name comes from?
Lepena, mystical, lush, unique. Have you ever strolled on its paths, breathing in the fresh air, resting your eye on the lush greenery, magnificent peaks and soft, murmuring waters?
In fact, it is the valley’s very particular landscape and natural characteristics that are the source to its name. In particular, a plant called lepenje in Slovene. You can see it on the photos of this post. This plant with really big leaves thrives in humid soil, on the lowland next to Lepenca river.
You can walk along the charming Lepenca river and see plenty of lepenje on your way to the waterfall paradise of Šunikov vodni gaj. The leaves are particularly big (usually as much as 5-6 times the surface of an adult’s hand) and as children, we used to pretend that we can use them as umbrellas.
But there are other inhabitants of Lepena that find special value in lepenje. Especially goats and sheep. “They enjoy it as salad,” smiles my grandma. Even more, people used to dry lepenje and store it as nutritious winter fodder. Back in times, there were significantly more small cattle in the valley than now and people struggled to provide sufficient feed for winter.
We will finish with a very pleasant, warm and meaningful thought that comes from one of our guests: “As soon as we arrive, all the burden of the modern world falls of our shoulders and only wonderful nature and kind people are left.”
A true Paradise indeed. Thank you for experiencing it with us, admiring and preserving it for the future.
Have a lovely day.
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