Situated at the border between the Julian Alps and the Prealps, mountain Stol invites you to explore its slopes, abounding with lovely flora. When you reach its 1673 metres, you are awarded with magnificent views stretching as far as to the Alps in the north, the Dolomites in the west and all the way to Trieste Gulf.
Which special memory from this hike do I treasure? Continue reading …
It’s July 2020.
I’m walking on early summer meadows above Božca alpine pasture. Lucky me, enjoying the pleasant sunshine, admiring the views and just letting myself emerge in the middle of this paradise-like world.
And then all of a sudden … I step right into one infamous cow’s poo. Oh no! My neat and tidy green hiking boots got dirty and oh … it’ll take ages until I make them clean again … But in the middle of getting annoyed and bitter, I manage to change my perspective. Why? Right next to me, I suddenly perceive one of the loveliest, super blooming, enchanting alpine flowers.
Chocolate-scented wild orchids
“It smells like chocolate,” I was told. Not until did I smell that gorgeous flower myself, couId I believe it. Gymnadenia rhellicani, commonly called dark vanilla orchid or black dark vanilla orchid.
Just closing my eyes, thanking for this precious opportunity, happy and free as a bird. Not to mention: there wasn’t only one, there were more than a dozen orchids blooming nearby.
All of which I wouldn’t have seen if I hadn’t stepped into that poo and taken a step off the path to clean up my boots.
Charmingly smelling, more than intense dark chocolate, with a light vanilla twist – those wild orchids really made my hike unforgettable.
Plan your hike to Stol
If you plan to head up to Stol (by the way, stol means chair in Slovene), you can start your day above Žaga village – right before the border with Italy (Uccea), or in the picturesque village of Breginj.
The path isn’t technically demanding. However, keep in mind that the hike might get quite long (at least 3 hours the way up), so you have to take enough water as the path (especially the side from Breginj and the common last part) abounds with sun. And as usually, you’ll need good shoes.
On your way, you can even stop at Božca alpine pasture (planina Božca) — about one hour before the peak — and buy some of the local dairy products. Yes, there are indeed quite some lovely cows strolling around 🙂
Stol is the highest peak of a 34 kilometres long ridge, the longest ridge in the Julian Alps, stretching from western Slovenia all the way to the Italian region Friuli.
If you are not lucky enough to catch the clearest weather … It is the path itself that matters and enriches you … And in the end, you’ll have a reason to come again, to soak in more of the breath-taking views. Again and again.
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