A virtual journey from Litija to Čatež represents the path described by the Slovene narrator Fran Levstik (1831-1887) in his literary work „Popotovanje od Litije do Čateža (The Journey from Litija to Čatež). The narrative describes the journey in the time of Saint Martin, which celebrates November 11th.
The visualization of the journey with the 360° surround photography was made in October 2010 and shows the fall colors of the landscape that pass from the morning fog in Litija to the sunny fall day at Liberga and finally to the sunset in the evening at Čatež.
On the basis of the story, every year on Martinovo Levstik's trail "Od Litije do Čateža" is taking place on a vibrant terrain, so I prepared the fieldwork thoroughly. The path for the hiker is not difficult, but carrying almost 20 kg of equipment and simultaneous work requires considerable physical effort and concentration. I intended to do fieldwork in one day, in one stage. Technological development goes very fast forward, so I wanted to work with the best equipment that will give the best results. On the way, I took a 21-megapixel camera, a few spare batteries, a stand that allowed up to 4 meters high, a portable graphics station with the i7 processor, 8 GB DDR3 ram and 500 MB 7200 rpm disk. All of them were powered by 9 cell batteries that were sufficient for all-day work. I recorded the route with a handy navigation device Garmin GPS 62s. Fieldwork could be started with suitable footwear and suitable work for such work. I took 2 liters of liquids, I restricted food to zero.
I started the journey cold and still in the mists of the wrapping morning in Litija. People watched me a little strange when I started the path in the center of Litija. Nothing strange, because I probably acted as a soldier who by chance in full combat equipment came out of crisis areas around the world. The path from Litija to Šmartno pri Litiji was carried out with curious views of passers-by and curious questions.
Above Šmartno I encountered a group of pupils, which were already listening to teachers on a school excursion, already during the first morning sun rays. The forest path and hours of solitude started when I did not meet "living souls", but walking, photo sampling and recording locations of documented locations with a satellite receiver. Although I am an experienced mountaineer and hiker, the decision not to take food due to weight reduction was proving to be wrong, very wrong ... The stomach started to protest already in the afternoon, and the body demanded its fuel. Here and there I rubbed an edible mushroom and swallowed it raw, quite untamed.
Probably I acted quite poorly, but obviously, Slovenian hospitality in these places is still very present. As I approached a lonely house on a forest clearing, past which led me, a couple called me to the garden and offered me lunch - a great goulash made with chestnuts. I have some cookery qualifications and I can say that I have not eaten such a good one for a long time - it is true that hunger is the best spice, but the goulash was also excellent without this spice. All praise cooks.
I continued along the ridge from Jelša to Liberga in the beautiful sunny weather, which enabled me to quickly work without correcting the settings during the shooting process. From Liberga to Preska, the wind was blown up and the sun covered the clouds. It became very dark in the forest, so I started to think about interrupting and deferring to the next term. I resolved this situation by raising the sensitivity of the camera sensor to ISO 6400.
I managed to document the trail to Gobnik despite the dark woods. The sun had already descended under the clouds at Gobnik, so I continued with the warm afternoon light, the rising sun. I had to hurry to do fieldwork in one piece. At Moravče, I was amazed at Tonina's house, I laughed at describing how Levstik spent his time to his unbridled bride. A few kilometers of evening scenes from the landscape, the last ascent towards Čatež and the last minute of the rising sun at the church in the village. The sun's sphere sank below the horizon.
I took it off, it made it! Now I had to go back to Litija, which was a bigger problem than I imagined. There is no public transport, except for an organized school bus in these places. How to get back? Walking? My thoughts on night-time walking with heavy equipment weren't tempting too much. But the problem of returning has not only been translated into a major problem. I asked a man (later I realized from the conversation that he was the owner of the restaurant on Čatež), who worked in a new building near the inn, about the possibility driving me to the 28 km distant Litija. Without hesitation, he offered me to transport, and after about half an hour I was back in Litija.
* Note: altitudes and geographical latitude and longitude are measured by manual GPS, deviations are possible.
More about the Levstik hiking trail: https://www.levstik.si .