Swiftly from Domžale
Straw plaiting begins at the car park of the Mercator Shopping Centre by the Domžale Sports Park . In the middle of the car park, there's a tall brick factory chimney . What on earth is it doing here? It's reminiscent of one of ten straw plaiting factories in Domžale. From the car park, head towards east over the River Kamniška Bistrica. Cycle around the Šumberk Hill or 'Domžale Tivoli' on the southeast side below the treetops. Join the cycle lane on the main road, go past the monument and over the bridge over the Rača Stream to Podrečje, where the cycle lane, unfortunately, comes to an end . The numbers on the traffic sign represent cycling routes. The Straw Plait bears number one; otherwise, the cycling route is not specially marked. Empty hayracks in Podrečje are reminiscent of the past times . In the direction of cycling, there's the Church of St. Martin in Dob and you can also admire the Kamnik-Savinja Alps on your left .
Double castle pattern
Carefully cross the wide busy road leading to Količevo and you're already in Dob. The settlement got its name after lowland flood oak or English oak (dob in Slovenian) forests, just like the neighbouring settlement of Želodnik (acorn – želod). Only individual trees have remained of the vast forests. The old houses in Dob remind us of what village life used to be like . The priority road leads towards Krtina, while you go straight on and turn left at the hydrant . Carefully cross the main road towards Trojane. Cycle across the field to Češenik Manor, which the locals refer to as Čemšenik , . The manor is surrounded by greenery and mighty trees, which have remained of the once rich manor park, so that it is almost unnoticeable. What did it look like when ladies of the manor were walking around ? And you're in Turnše . At the end of the settlement, there's the secluded Črnelo Manor, which doesn't have a tower . Who knows, perhaps it used to have it. A renovated chapel is located next to the manor and a neat pond in the park behind it .
Where people liked to mill
You're in Radomlje, where people liked to mill and plait straw. At the roundabout, you can really quench your thirst at the Šporn Inn . The Kralj Mill is still grinding, only mill wheels are not driven by water anymore. The mill wheels at the roundabout are reminiscent of the past times. Before the roundabout, there's an old farmhouse with the year 1885 written on the portal . Just before the church, there's a renovated old homestead, which houses the House of Slovenia with an interesting collection by a restorer and manufacturer of organic furniture , . At the Church of St. Margaret, there's a mighty linden with a five-metre-diameter trunk . If you look at it closely, you'll notice that it consists of several lindens grown together. Proceed towards the settlement of Hudo. It isn't exactly known when the settlement got its name, but it was probably really bad (hudo in Slovenian). The neat gardens next to the houses show the influence of the arboretum in Volčji Potok.
Towards Volčji Potok
The landscape along this route is really dreamy . The interesting estate on your left is the Repanšek Inn and Gallery . The road going straight on leads to the settlement of Rudnik , while you need to turn left to the golf course of Golf Arboretum, which is located in a rolling forest landscape . Descend along Volčji Potok Arboretum . Supposedly, the place got its name after wolves (volk – volčji in Slovenian), which plundered the surrounding forests. It takes quite a few hours to see the entire arboretum. Descend back towards Radomlje along a quite busy road, where speed is reduced by speed humps. There are several opportunities for snack along the road , . At the roundabout in Radomlje , turn right, cross the Kamniška Bistrica River and you'll find yourself in Homec.
Ascent to panoramic Homec
In the distance, you can see the church belfry on Homec rising above the treetops . Before the turn, there's an unusual pyramid-shaped chapel . Cycle below the southern edges of Homec, a solitary hill in the middle of the Mengeš Plain. At the chapel, turn sharply right past the well . Clean your lungs and stretch your legs, as pilgrimage routes are quite steep... While shifting into lower gears, listen to the buzzing coming from the nearby bee house . On the first plateau, there's a chapel , and the Pirnat Villa , designed by Jože Plečnik, on the left. A few more turns to the Church of the Nativity of Our Lady . The wooded hill top offers a beautiful view of the Kamnik-Savinja Alps and the Ljubljana Basin in the south . Return to the Mengeš Plain the same way.
Across the Mengeš Plain
At the traffic lights, the old Repanšek Inn invites . After the unprotected level crossing , turn right onto macadam in poor condition. You need to pay extra attention to the crossing of the Mengeš–Kamnik main road. It's best to do this on foot. The route leads you across grain fields , which enabled the development of straw plaiting in the past. In previous centuries, straw plaiting used to be an important craft around here. This provided people with bread, connected and joined them.
While you're still plaiting straw in your mind, your bike is already in Mengeš. Cross the Pšata Canal, which was made as a spillway at high water levels. At the chapel after the bridge , turn left and cycle along the canal. At the next bridge, drive straight on across the road where cars can't cross it . Drive straight through the town; nevertheless, be careful at the crossroads! At the end of Mengeš, the asphalt road becomes a neat macadam cycle lane . There's a traffic light for you to cross the bypass easier. If only there were more crossings like this. Cycle past the plague sign to an old linden-lined alley , where there's no shortage of strollers and cyclists. Go through the tree-lined alley to the Church of St. Hermagoras and Fortunatus , which is one of the most eminent monuments of the Baroque art in Slovenia. There's a younger linden-lined alley from the church to the railway station in Rodica.
Back in Domžale
The northern end of the straw plait has been braided, now it's the southern end's turn. Carefully cross the ring road around Domžale. After crossing the southern artery into Domžale, you'll notice the France Bernik Culture House on your left, one of the most beautiful Art Nouveau buildings in Slovenia built in 1910. Then you'll drive into a one-way street past the fire station so be careful. On the hill, you'll catch a glimpse of the Church of the Assumption of Mary . Cross the railway and you'll get to the Menačenk Homestead or Museum House . At an intersection in Študa, today a part of Domžale, one of the oldest houses in Domžale – the Markus House is located. The house is wooden with small windows, protected by iron window mesh . Go past the fire station and sawmill, and at the end of Študa, turn onto a macadam road intended for cyclists .
Across the plain around Domžale
The remnants of the once large oak forests will accompany you along the road. In Šentpavel, you will be greeted by the Church of St. Paul , and at the beginning of Dragomelj, by the chapel and mighty willows . In the centre of the settlement, turn left between two deteriorating houses onto a narrower road . Cross the motorway in Pšata. When cycling through these villages, it's easy to forget that you're only a few kilometres from Ljubljana. The rural surroundings have changed considerably, but the farming past can still be felt at every step. At a small crossroads in Bišče, turn towards Mala Loka . In the centre of the village, there's a set of yellow houses with a chapel in the middle – the Sisters of the Holy Cross Convent . From Mala Loka, cycle along the Mlinščica Stream to a motorway overpass and continue along the Green Axis – cycling route and footpath along the River Kamniška Bistrica . At the intersection, turn left through the Sports Park and you're back at the starting point. The plait is done and the straw plaiting tradition lives on.