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Cross-border friendship march through Skutnik with cross-border participation

Cross-border friendship march through Skutnik with cross-border participation
This week, a friendship hike from Bovec, via Skutnik, to the Italian mountain of Cot, or Malga Cot in Italian, was organised by the Public Institute of the Triglav National Park (JZ TNP), the Natural Park of the Julian Foothills and the municipalities of Bovec on the Slovenian side and Rezia on the Italian side. As befits a cross-border march, the participation was also international or cross-border.

Over the mountains above Bovec to Skutnik (Monte Guarda)

Hikers gathered at the Kanin cable car station B. They took the mulatier from Gozdec over the Baban, Globoka and Kal mountains and climbed Skutnik, known in neighbouring Italy as Monte Guarda. Along the way, they learnt about the rich history of the area and admired the stone walls that have supported the route for decades and more. The route took hikers mainly through the forest, but in the open areas of the mountains, it offered beautiful views of the Soča valley.

From the top of Skutnik, which is adorned with a miniature Aljaž tower, there were also beautiful views of Rezija. From the summit, the hikers descended a well-maintained path to the Italian side of the mountain to the Malga Cot, where they were met by the Mayor of Rezia, Anna Micelli, and the Vice-Mayor, Giuliano Fiorini. On behalf of the Municipality of Bovec, Milan Štulc, Public Relations Officer of the Municipality of Bovec, greeted the gathered due to the absence of the Mayor Valter Mlekuž due to unforeseen commitments.


Hikes for the general public

Over lunch, the participants agreed to continue working together. The general public will, among other things, see it after the organisation of a hike for interested hikers next year. The route is also to be fully developed and signposted. This cooperation is also supported by the Director of the TNP, Dr Tit Potočnik, who is pleased that the links between the two municipalities and the two parks are being strengthened. The representative of the Julian Foothills Nature Park, Alessandro Benzoni, expressed similar satisfaction. The two parks have a long history of cooperation, as have the two biosphere areas they manage. In the future, the two parks will be even more closely linked, as they are preparing to apply for the designation of a single Transboundary Area of the Julian Alps under UNESCO's Man and the Biosphere (MAB) programme.

To build on the excellent cooperation between Bovec and Rijeka, it would make sense to include the route from Bovec via Skutnik to Rijeka as an option in the Juliana Trail long-distance hiking route, and to continue it from Rijeka via the Krniški sedlo (Sella Carnizza) and Učje back to Bovec, mentioned the representative of the Municipality of Bovec, Milan Štulc. The Mayor of Rezia, Anna Micelli, is enthusiastic about the idea as she considers that Rezia is still an undiscovered pearl with a lot of potential. She is also happy to see the new connecting role of the hills, which are shared by the two municipalities, the park and the country, as their role has historically been more of a divisive one.