The first weekend in October, on Saturday, October 5th, 2019, we again went to the Littoral region, namely to Baška grapa, where every year in Grahovo ob Bači an organized hike along theme path of the movie On our own land happens. Last year, the movie celebrated the 70th anniversary of its origin, it was the first Slovenian feature sound film, directed by France Štiglič and marks the beginning of Slovenian professional cinematography. The movie was presented last year on the 13th Festival Echoes of Heritage. The first words spoken in the movie were: »Look at it, our grapa (en. ravine)! Baška grapa!« (si. »Glej jo, našo grapo! Baška grapa!«)
Baška grapa always offers great views and peaceful nature. — Travel-Slovenia
This year, the hike was organized for the seventh time, with the start at 10 o’clock in the morning, in front of Home of the locals in Grahovo v Bači. Upon our arrival to Grahovo, the road attendant directed us towards the village church of St. Anne, we parked on a small parking lot behind it. From here we walked towards the Home of the locals, when entering, we could immediately see the parts of the movie: On our own land, are being played. We signed in to a book of hikers, got a card with stamp and paid the entry fee for the hike. We took a look of the themed room of the movie, where the movie is presented, the filming locations described, the stories about the actors, maps, pictures and more.
A few minutes after 10 o’clock, we all gathered in the main hall of the home, where the president of Society Baška Heritage, Alenka Zgaga, spoke a few words about the hike, the novelties on the hike, about the movie itself and director France Štiglič. Then follows the speech of Vero Krajnik, who was also our guide throughout the hike. He introduced us the important points of the movie and points at which we will stop. The titles of individual excerpts are: Look at it, our grapa (en. ravine)! – Oh, my Jesus! – Capitulation – I will take off my shoes… – This is not a woman, this is partisan! – Light it, light it!. In the end, we watched a video of France Štiglič and the uncovering of the monument to the film. Soon after follows our departure to the first point, which is located next to the Home. It is the point named Capitulation. Down with the fascists!.
The information board is dedicated to the scene of joy at the capitulation of Italy, it is located at the corner of the Home of the locals, but today it is very different. We continue to the next point, which is located not far away, named Do you know her, birdie, huh?, at village trough at Štefacov garden. It is the scene when White Guard imprison Tildica. The next point stands below the village Grahovo, so we head through the village, past the church, where we soon come to the point, which offers a beautiful view of the railway stone bridge, Logar bridge, which is the part of the Bohinj railway. This is the upper part of the third point, named Light it, Light it!. The view through simulated binoculars shows the point of mining the bridge. In the movie, they showed the mining of this bridge, but in reality, they mined a bridge located slightly more to the left, named Sučec (en. Dry), which we see later.
Next, follows a descent to the river Bača, across Logar’s footbridge towards the mighty Logar bridge, where beneath the viaduct stands a board with a scene about the mining of the bridge. First comes the story about mining, some history and a speech of Mr. Cvetko Zgaga and reciting the poem There are only one million of us (si. Samo milijon nas je). The poem was written by Karel Destovnik Kajuh and in the movie is read by Boris – Orlič (en. Little eagle).
Baška grapa was in the time of the Second World War in the hinterland of Soča front and perfect location precisely because of the railway line. We walk under the mighty stone viaduct and begin our ascent along the slope of Spodnje Bukovo, towards the next point. In the middle, we step from the forest path to the asphalt road to Zakojca, on which we continue. Already during the ascent, a view of the village Grahovo opens, and along the road, a view to the surrounding hills and meadows. All the time we are accompanied by Slovenian music from an accordion. We soon reach the next point, named Stane, look at it, our grapa!. This is where the opening shot of the film was recorded, as well as the already mentioned first words on the film screen.
Here a beautiful view opens to the entire Baška grapa and the villages of Grahovo and Koritnica, as well as the other surrounding villages and hills, which revolve around the ravine. Then follows the presentation of this scene, some facts about the shooting in Baška grapa. Here is also a picture of Orlič’s story and the recitation of the poem There are only one million of us, which Cvetko Zgaga recited for us at the previous point. Our return back to the point of rest is closely watched by horses and a foal. A short break follows, with coffee, tea, and delicacies prepared by the locals and an aperitif. The music stops for a moment because the musician also needs a little refreshment. This is followed by a presentation of the new information bird houses that will be placed along the path, made out of wood to blend in with the surroundings as much as possible. They will also include brochures and other promotional materials.
After our refreshment, we head further along the road towards Zakojca. Soon, the descent to the homestead Pri Kobalu (en. At Kobal) follows, where we are welcomed by a friendly dog. Here, the hikers sing accompanied by accordion the song titled In the silent valley (si. V dolini tihi), created by the Lojze Slak Ensemble. From here follows a descent along the narrow meadow path that soon turns into a forest path. It is a steep 15-minute descent. Past the point where we stopped and sang a song In the Silent valley on our last hike. We head along the road, parallel to the railway line, followed by a short ascent to the viewing point, where we see a covered informational board and Koritnica in the background.
It was the uncovering of a brand new informational board along the path, namely dedicated to miner, saboteur and NLS fighter Rudi Bašelj. Rudi Bašelj is known for his campaign in Postojna cave when he participated in the destruction of the main warehouse with 700 barrels of motor fuel, which was stored in Postojna cave by the German army, as a miner of the sabotage group of the 31. Division. He was awarded the Merit for the Nation medal, the Order for courage III. degree and with Partisan star II. degree. By the end of the Second World War, Rudi has carried out 37 challenging mining operations, participated in the destruction of three out of seven bridges in Baška grapa and in an attack on the enemy outpost in Koritnica. He was acclaimed for his reputation as a reliable, cold-blooded miner with steel nerves.
Upon our arrival to this point, first speech follows from Toni Obid, a member of Society Baška Heritage, who is in charge of maintenance of this site, named Photo point. Alenka Zgaga, who reads the impressions of the Upper Carniola group when they visited this point and the thematic trail. A speech from Rok Uršič, president of ASF NLS (Association of Societies of Fighters for Values of National Liberation Struggle) Bovec, Tolmin, Kobarid. The information board was uncovered by Zdenka Bašelj, sister-in-law of Rudi Bašelj. The flag-bearer was our guide Veri Krajnik, then follows the speech by Cvetko Zgaga, a member of Society Baška Heritage. After the speeches and uncovering the board follows photography and reading the text and departure. Through the stone tunnel below the railway, stone bridge over river Bača, then follows a short ascent. The walk next to the river Bača, past artificial rapids and a hydroelectric power plant towards village Koritnica. On the way to Koritnica, a beautiful view of the surrounding hills opens when we look back.
In the center of Koritnica is the point after which the film most likely got its title, named I will take off my shoes because I am going on our land for last time. At this point, the Nazis forced the villagers to the square, because of their collaboration with the Partisans. Adolf Kutscher chooses the first hostage Travnikarica, the mother of three young children and the sister of the partisan Sova. Angelca Gradnik, Stane’s and Tildica’s mother volunteered by saying, »Leave the children their mother.« (si. »Pustite otrokom svojo mater.«). Kutschera picks two more men, who are then taken to the place of the shooting. Before that, Angelca says: »I will take off my shoes because I am going on our land for the last time.« (si. »Sezula se bom, ker grem poslednjič po naši zemlji.«). A final speech from Veri Krajnik and Alenka Zgaga. On this occasion, a candle was lit for a deceased during the movie shooting.
Again we refresh ourselves with coffee, tea or aperitif and homemade delicacies, small pizzas, bacon rolls, cake, and other delicacies. Some domestic songs follow and departure past the memorial to the fallen in internment and victims of the war. Next is the last part of the hike back to the village Grahovo, to the sports playground, where we are served with drinks and food, with yota. We sit down for a bit, socialize and soon after that first hikers start to leave. With that, the hike and our day in Baška grapa slowly ended. A short hike towards the village awaits us, but before that, we make a short stop for photography, and afterward departure home.
As the last hike, this was also well-executed, it showed us life during the war, revived the memories of the film, and above all, we enjoyed good company and beautiful nature and views. The hike was slightly different from the previous one, which makes it interesting to visit again and find out something new. Uncovering the information board and showing the effort they put in shows that these places have a good future and that they are moving in the right direction. Unfortunately, this time there was no monument to the movie, as it was taken to a museum, and a replica is being created, which will soon occupy the old place. We spent our day in a beautiful weather, full of thrilling stories and memories. We will definitely return to these places in the future, as we have more exploring to do. The journey back to Ljubljana was full of new stories, old memories, and new impressions. Slovenia is truly beautiful and offers amazing stories in every corner.
We also recorded the hike and made this short video report.
We invite you to see the gallery from the hike, evoke impressions and stories. In any case, we invite you to visit Baška grapa at least once and see for yourself about its beauty. Of course, we will be grateful for every like or share. And do not forget, you can follow our new discoveries and stories on Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, and Tik Tok.
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