Cycle road trip: Jeruzalem and Haloze

It was the perfect end of the perfect day: sitting with a glass of home made wine above the steep vineyard, looking at the sunset. 

Almost kitchy :-)! We were the only guests on this small tourist farm near Ljutomer, the »capital« of Prlekija, a region in the North-east Slovenia, known for its hilly terrain with lots of vineyards and lonely paths through small towns and villages. 

It was the end of the first day of a weekend cycling road trip. We started our first spring tour in Ptuj, the beautiful Roman town at the river Drava.

»Jesus, have the inhabitants of Ptuj ever heard of cyclists???« I felt like moving in time ... Thailand and Laos years ago. It was obvious who was the boss of the road there: the bigger the more powerful. No way that a truck would wait for a bicycle to pass the junction. And it was quite similar in the beginning of our two-day tour. 

But – let's not exaggerate ... It was just a short shock and that slowly faded away. And a journey started: we were gently sliding through the land full of growing wheat, dancing in the wind, fields with flourishing poppies, vineyards with a promise of a good wine ... Jeruzalem.

Yes, the same name as world known Jerusalem! It was centuries ago when crusaders came here. When they saw the view they were totally astonished. They cried out: »That's a holy place! Just as Jerusalem!« A real belvedere forces you to stop and enjoy the views on the terraces – like the rice ones but only with grapes! And later that evening: what a view after a proper home made dinner and a glass (well, honestly, glasses :-)) of home made wine. And the serenity that is so precious after a working week.

Day two started in a bit gloomy weather but who cared? Through the small valley, vineyards on the left and silent woods on the right, to Haloze, also a well know Slovenian wine region. You could say it doesn't appear special at all: just some vineyards, some woods, some meadows, some villages. Wrong. It is special. The serenity allowed us to hear all the noises of the nature: the birds singing, the wind blowing, the trees whimpering ... And a lot of houses with wine cellars that welcoming you to knock on the door and ask for the goodies. 

We returned to Ptuj just from the right side to enjoy the view on the old caste boasting above the old part of the town. 

It was an up and down ride, lots of nature but also lots of small and bigger castles, some of them integrated with towns and villages some welcoming you from the top of them. 

It was simply: lovely! 

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