Blog: Nebesa Chalets

Between earth, sky and reflections of one’s own horizons

Onto the lawn, bordering a steep slope, we drag robust, yet comfortable wooden chairs from the house and position them on the corner of the lawn. We sit down on the edge of Nebesa (heaven in English) and gaze at the 360-degree film screen that shows a heavenly view. This is the image you see when you visit their website and it will make you long to see it in person. We take a few selfies and then some shots of the majestic Krn mountains beyond the valley. We’re ecstatic. We don’t know where to look or what to talk about first. It’s impossible to take in all this beauty at once, not by sight or expressed in words.

A few minutes later, when the emotions calm down after the first encounter with such a splendid view, our conversation dies out spontaneously. The silence of this beauty is so eloquent that words are unnecessary. Sincerely enchanted by this place, which is even more wonderful in person than on photos, we enjoy the caress of the breeze and the sound of distant bird song. The weather is gorgeous for April. Warm with a fresh heavenly blue sky and white fluffy clouds. Lili dives into the book, Sun and Rain, by globally-acclaimed chef Ana Roš, whose family ties connect her with Nebesa. In the book, she also describes the places that we see right now, a land of green forests and crystal clean rivers next to which she grew up.
I sit in a chair next to her and cradle large binoculars, part of the equipment in each of the four houses and intended for guests to enjoy the stories conjured up by present inspiration while observing the surroundings. I zoom in on the bend of the turquoise Soča River at the bottom of the valley and car drivers outside the town of Kobarid, who have no idea that someone is looking down on them from far above. And the mysterious clearings of Mt Krn on the opposite side of the valley, which I scour one by one to find a chamois. The image in the eyepiece provides a perspective that mother nature failed to grant a human eye. It not only enlarges images of the physical world, but also reveals the dimensions of its less tangible forms, opened to the perception of a distant observer. Is there a better and more wonderful way to explore this heavenly place?

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NATURAL SANCTUARY HIGH ABOVE THE DAILY ROUTINE

In the embrace of pristine nature and the majestic peaks of the Julian Alps, a visitor reaches a small oasis of peace called Nebesa, five bends above the village of Livek. A hidden gem set high above the valley of the Soča River, the place is a unique blend of Alpine freshness and Mediterranean sun, creating a natural sanctuary in which people can connect with nature in a completely new way. Four small houses, like nests for couples, seem part of the natural environment, as if they spontaneously emerged from the ground. Large glass windows merge the interior with the surrounding landscape and create a sense of floating between earth and sky. 

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The serenity provided by this remote place in which time stands still serves as a connection between nature and the world in its purest form. On surrounding paths, it’s possible to encounter wildlife, murmuring streams bustling with life and exuberant flora and fauna. This spectacular beauty soothes on the one hand and inspires on the other. With every season, it brings new life and new miracles, from the blooming spring meadows to the white enchantment of thick snow cover. It’d be marvellous if I could see and experience all of these images in person.

IN THE EMBRACE OF THE SOČA AND THE CHANGING IMAGES OF TIME

Lili finds the poem, Soči (To the River Soča), in Roš’s book, which was written by Simon Gregorčič and reads it to me. I listen to her words and indulge in the view of the glorious river far below us. The most renowned Slovenian lyricist and Catholic priest, born in this area, not far from Kobarid, composed these verses that are so well known to all Slovenians. Just as our parents before us, we had to learn the patriotic poem dedicated to the Soča and its beauty by heart in school. But never before have I experienced the verses about the Soča so fully and vividly than with the view before me. Indeed, it is splendid, this limpid daughter of the heights.
The Soča carries with it secrets, wonders and life itself. It flows in the rhythm of primaeval nature reaching into the depths of time. It reflects the history, nature and soul of these places scattered between Kobarid and Bovec where the high-mountain kingdom lifts their beauty high into the sky. The crystal clear water is the home of many forms of life, the most renowned among them being the famous Soča trout. This wild and intelligent creature is the symbol of this place and a reminder of the fragility of the natural balance. Its story is one of struggle, survival and hope. It outlines how important it is to care for our precious heritage.
The Soča is a lifeline for the locals, combining the past and the present, nature and culture, peace and raw passion. Travellers and truth seekers from far and wide, each with their burdens and dreams, have long visited its embankments. Amidst the blending of peace and beauty brought by the river and while seeking relaxation and adventure, they soak up the magic of its curvaceous path. It comes as no surprise that several scenes from the epic series, The Chronicles of Narnia, were filmed here. 

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The Soča changes with the seasons and is adorned with colours that reflect its eternal power: the spring turquoise brings glacial freshness and abundant life, summer reflects the blue skies, the emerald green tears through the warm copper shades of autumn, and when winter approaches with its quiet whiteness, the river sings a song that goes beyond time.

SEEKING SENSE AMONG THE ECHOES OF THE PAST

While I persistently search with the binoculars for wildlife on the plateaus of Mt Krn situated on the other side of the river and its green valley, I see a small group of mountaineers in a small clearing. Tiny dots, they move towards the peak, millimetre by millimetre. I wonder if they hear the whispers of the past between the murmuring Soča and the rustling of leaves. They are walking in the footsteps of soldiers who fought and died many years ago on the cruel battlefields of the slope. Does any one of them recall the image of the battles that destroyed this quiet corner of nature?
The history of this area is underlined with the drama of the First World War, which left an indelible mark here. Even today, many people come for the military memory that hangs over this area as a haunting spiritual portrait of the past. The mountain peaks carry the combat scars of the First World War and their ridges still silently testify to the human tragedy. Every rock and every shrub hides the traces of history, everything remains trapped in time. Whoever steps onto the trails of Mt Kolovrat and Mt Krn is not only walking through the landscape, but through the stories of soldiers that were immortalised in Hemingway’s novel, A Farewell to Arms.
Possibly in connection with the name, I am struck by a memory of the epic film, Kingdom of Heaven, from 2005, which deals with the background of the Crusades in the 12th century. The idea of the kingdom of heaven, as the goal for which Christians and Muslims fought, is shown as a symbolic search for peace, reconciliation and spiritual nobility at the centre of war chaos, the swirling flames of fiery passion and religious fanaticism. The film and the historically marked landscape before me touch the depths of the human soul, reminding us that peace is a fragile jewel that must be appreciated and nurtured.
Is this finally all behind us, this part of history? Are we transcending into a higher dimension of human development? How far away are we from high vibrations of the heart and pure love?
Sun rays in Nebesa have just broken through the last mist above the peak of Mt Krn. Just as in the film, Kingdom of Heaven, the light of hope shines even in the darkest of moments. I look for the mountaineers through the eyepiece, but I can’t see them anymore. And I also haven’t found a single chamois.
Nevertheless, I see something very clearly: when the sun shines, this place becomes the most spectacular in the world.

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WOODWEGO_Nebesa_Chalets

IN THE MOMENT OF CONNECTION BETWEEN EARTH AND SKY

Silent peering into distant worlds has opened up the door to my own peace, allowing me to spontaneously transcend into a meditative state. What demands effort in an armchair at home, happens naturally here: the brain switches off. There’s only the soft whisper of the wind, the gentle undulation of the grass underfoot and the occasional rustle of pages in Lili’s book. The endless blue of the sky and momentary exaltation above everything that is earthly, physical and burdening become my only companions when travelling within.
On this peak where the sky touches the earth, every worry and unrest of the world seems small and insignificant. This astonishing place between sky and earth focuses on the now, which is the only important moment in the entire glorious cycle of life and carries within it all life’s potential. To sit in front of the view of Nebesa means to open the door to your soul and allow it to be filled with a sense of gratitude for every breath, every moment you have in this wonderful life. Isn’t that something exceptional? Quiet observance of the clouds, which I could almost touch, is my last remaining thought right now. It fills me with a sense of connectedness with everything that surrounds me.
La vita è bella!

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A dive into the silence of my inner self is interrupted by the Bernese mountain dog, Ash, who happily pushes his large head between our two chairs. I forgive him instantly for distracting me from the idyll of blissful silence. In fact, there’s no one in the world that I would be happier to see right now. Ash isn’t just an important member of the family of Maja Roš Kanellopulos and her husband Sam, who manage Nebesa, but is certainly also the most frequently photographed creature in this boutique tourist destination. You can’t help but love him and, of course, we both run our fingers through his soft black and white coat. Finally, he falls on his back from pure pleasure and lifts his front legs towards the sky. 

ON ENTERNITY IN THE SHADOW OF MORTALITY

Ash radiates immense canine benevolence. His warm and gentle eyes personify love, loyalty and unconditional trust. Unfortunately, this dog also reflects the transience of life in its ruthless and unstoppable cycle. He has bone cancer. Some days, he feels better and then doesn’t walk much on other days. The family looks with unease at his bed every morning to check whether he’s gotten up yet. It was said that the day he won’t be able to get up anymore, his journey will come to an end. The Roš family finds this difficult to talk about. Every new day is a gift for those who have the privilege to share their time on earth with him. With this pure dog’s soul that personifies this sacred place. 

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WOODWEGO_Nebesa_Chalets

Ash feels just fine with the two of us and after a while we all start gazing somewhere into the distance, amidst this immense beauty of nature. My admiration of its uniqueness is now overwhelmed by gratitude. Gratitude that I am who I am and where I am. Thank you to the universe for this heavenly beautiful place. Thank you to all who give meaning to it and take care of it. The sublime disclosure of nature reminds us of our own small size. It exhorts us to remember how precious everything is, even that which we take for granted in our lives. Nebesa is a place where one meets one’s own boundaries and connects with eternity on the edge of reality.

Why is the Nebesa Chalets one of the TOP 9 Slovenian boutique destinations

One-minute videos of our adventures at the Nebesa Chalets

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