The art of hiking.

My fellow companion – the Drava.

The Drava. A place of life, a storyteller, a treasure trove. It accompanies us and imperceptibly sets us riddles and hides an array of unknown valuables – some of the stones found here have not yet been classified. The flow of the Drava brings them here from the whole of Carinthia and carries them with it on its journey.

The Drava carries something else with it, too…and the mere thought of it makes many people's heart beat faster – gold! Yes, really!

With a bit of luck and a keen eye, tiny fragments can be seen in the shallow waters. The wealth that we gather lies at our feet, since we are standing in the middle of luck itself. The less it is evident in our purses and wallets, the more it will remain as a pleasant memory.

With these pleasant feelings, we head off towards Bleiburg. Along the way the terraced gravel pit of the Drava glacier can be clearly seen – the river accompanies us onwards.

As we walk we will come to the zig-zag border between Austria and Slovenia, which goes hither and thither in its various corners. The history of determining the border leads us to the small village of Liefling (Libeliče), which is half Slovenian and half Austrian.

Although the majority of the inhabitants wanted the village to be in Yugoslavia, following a referendum in 1920 it initially remained in Austria. It wasn't until there were decisive protests, negotiations and another referendum that Libeliče became part of Yugoslavia. The new border ran directly through the village – the border separated the school from the main village centre!

The hilly Kömmel mountain range, with the highest peak at an altitude of around 1,000 metres above sea-level, also has an interesting history and could tell many a story.

Next we arrive in Bleiburg, which was once the capital of mining, while today it is known for its exceptional cultural scene. Kiki Kogelnik and Werner Berg are two important people, who contributed significantly to the aforementioned development. We mustn't miss out on the chance to see their art up close – the cultural pinnacle in the centre of the geopark is sure to impress!

As we continue on our way, we focus into the wonderful nature in the distance, mainly Mt. Peca, whose magnificence reigns ahead of us.

It is easy to make out the edges of the landscape and the circulation channels, which were formed in the Ice Age, and which today shape the landscape in their own unique way. And drumlini, too! They sound rather unusual, but they are actually lovely, elongated hills in the form of drops, which were formed by the movement of ice of the Drava glacier.

Thus, the Drava is also our companion as we travel through historic periods and not just on the trail itself.

It's not just the Drava that sets riddles, we can do so, too!

For example, what do pike, sheatfish, whiting, tench, bass and carp have in common?

They all live in Pirkdorfer See!

After this interesting and varied tour, perhaps some of us will also want to dip our feet in refreshing water.

Lakeside Petzen Glamping is splendid waterside accommodation. We really can treat ourselves to a few moments of pampering after such a long hike.

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