And here we are, our test traveling is in progress, just to see how good is this idea. For our first destination, we choose a small country – Slovenia. Slovenia is very diverse, and its scenery is real eye candy for a photographer like Ian. First, we headed to the mountains, because the summer is coming to an end. For our first location we find out Velika Planina would be super.
That place is truly magnificent in every aspect. The greenery is everywhere and it makes you feel really good. We were calm and cheerful at the same time, in a week, we completely recharged our batteries for the road ahead. Nature was so inviting that we challenged ourselves and started to meditate in the morning. Gentle cowbells were an award by itself. Let Wild’n’free develop in various ways that life shows us. We managed to film some amazing scenes and learned about a shepherd’s life, nature, and their customs.
Cows all Over the Place
We had the privilege to meet a nice old man who was looking after his herd of cows and was making dairy products. At the first glimpse, we were expecting a simple guy that lives off the grid. But we were surprised at how open-minded he was and about all the knowledge he had. For the first time in my life, I heard someone talking about cow intelligence and he got us begging for more. To satisfy our thirst for new things, he told us that he had a leading cow which is 15 years old and each year she can’t wait for spring to arrive. When the sun melts away snow and ice, she gets restless and lets him know that she wishes to have a taste of that fresh, juicy baby grass. The four-hour hike is easy peasy for them. The whole herd behaves at their best. They all love their summer residence and daily routine on the plateau is simple. At sunrise, he opens the fence and they go to graze.
After a good graze, they all come back around five p.m. each day completely on their own. He’s nice to them. That’s why they are used to an afternoon treat – his home-baked bread. Sometimes it happens that there is a cow that wants to sleep in and in that case he needs to be careful how he interferes. Every cow has a different character and he learned that the hard way. Some are more delicate than others. Once he was milking one and he told her that she’s as dirty as a pig. In a second, she stopped providing milk.
She was soaking for another couple of days and in all that time he couldn’t get even a drop of milk out of her. He told us also that there are days when they take a breather. In that case, he has a secret weapon, his shepherd dog Pika. Pika knows his cows by the name and they all like to play when there are no to-do lists. When she is sent on the mission to get the herd home the hierarchy is clear. Pika knows how to bring the whole herd home or just one specific cow. It’s pretty awesome how Pika recognizes them.
Next time someone calls me a cow, I’ll be honored. Cows are more intelligent than idiots who think that they offend me just by comparing me to an animal. They are more humane than us, I love them.
If you are super excited about this magical place, here you can read what to do on Velika Planina and maybe get a great idea.