When you feel like things are piling up, when even your favorite music is too loud, it is time to retreat. To look for some peace and silence - both of which you will find plenty of at 'Nebesa' (Heaven), the Slovenian mountain retreat.
Above the village of Livek near Kobarid, 900 meters above sea level, one finds Heaven. A fromer ski resort offering spectacular views, today serves as the location of four luxury cabins, which - at least on the outside - look a little bit like typical mountain chalets. The married couple who owns the cabins, Katja and Bojan Roš, chose architect Rok Klanjšček to take on a designer role for their project, because he is very familiar with the surroundings. "The standard materials used here are stone and wood, preserving nature is our primary concern. Since pure nature is also the core of what is to attract visitors to stop by our Heaven, the architecture had to reflect nature as well," explained Katja to Plugin Magazine.
And so it does. Even getting to Heaven, driving BMWi3 REX, is magical. Despite the somewhat narrower wheels that make you feel like those curves ahead are going to be a bit less than comfortable, the drive is a pleasant one, as the tires have no influence over the car's overall road positioning. At least not in dry weather which we were lucky to enjoy. Similarly, the steering wheel responds quickly and accurately enough to ensure a profound feeling of safety.
If you have fears about getting stranded on the road with a dead battery, forget all about them. One can find fast charging stations along the highway to make a quick, 20-minute recharging stop. When you start using the side roads and eventually begin driving uphill, there is still more than enough energy to reach the top. Moreover, there is also enough energy to make it to Kobarid the following day, which is also where another charging station awaits. If you take the regional road between Bovec and Idrija, also known as the Zelena Keltika (The Green Keltika road connecting the towns with public electric vehicle charging stations), you will be pleased to see that the basic infrastructure for the charging network has already been set up – it comprises of eight charging stations, each equipped with two chargers.
There is no charging point up at Heaven at the moment, but that might change very soon, as the entire facility is fitted with fotovoltaic systems. "Solar cells produce all the energy we need to function. They can be seen on all structures here, even on the jutting roof over the garage. Its total power output is 38 kW, it produces 40.000 kWh," explained the owner.
Because we arrived at night, our electric buddy was left on the parking lot. We simply couldn't wait for the break of dawn to see it for ourselves – are the views from up here really as mesmerizing as they claim?
Early morning hour, sun rays fondling our cheeks, while we still lay in bed and yes, they were right. The view is breathtaking. Right from the moment you open your eyes. Large surfaces made of glass open a broad view of the green surroundings. If you move to a lawn behind the cabins, you'll be able to see way down to Gradež by the Adriatic Sea. When you enter the cabin from the living room or from the patio in front of it, you can see the mighty Krn and the entire Soča Valley. It leaves you speechless. If our stomachs hadn't made us get some proper food, we'd be indulging ourselves in this feast for the eyes for hours.
Breakfast time. The refrigerators in the 51 m2 cabin for 2-3 guests are well stocked with local foods and irresistable goodies, but if you still feel like something's missing, you're most likely to find it in the common room with the large kitchen, a terrace and a wine cellar.
"Our guests will not be getting the kind of luxury and attention they might be accustomed to from the hotels they've stayed in in the past. Here, everything is available to you, from the kitchen, the gym, to sauna and our swimming pool, but guests tend to themselves. We provide the luxury of immaculate peace and silence, so the guest can concentrate on oneself and the nature around us," Katja said. And some peace and quiet is what the guests of Heaven are after.
If you love nature, you will not be disappointed. You can go and explore only the immediate surroundings, but if you decided to visit Heaven not only to rest, then you will find much pleasure in various sport activities. We decided to take a walk to Kolovrat and visit the Outdoor museum of the First World War, where the natural colors yet again result in loud sighs of admiration.
Driving downhill makes up for the large portion of energy we used for our 'climb', but BMW engineers also built a smaller 2-cylinder diesel engine inside the i3 REX that charges the battery when empty. We returned to the valley without having to worry about looking for a charging station.
We intend go to back to Heaven – we need to see it in other seasons of the year, even though winter mist has its special charm as well.