SLOVENIA IS A HIT!

The subject line says it all Slovenia has been one of my favorite places. It has it all Mountains, plains, beautiful coast, wonderful villages and a great capital city…but most important are the people…they are some of the friendliest I have met…and last but definitely not least…Slovenia is CHEAP!!! We stayed at a farmhouse B&B near this great old village named Skofja Loka in the Mountains…we had breakfast every day and a wonderful homemade dinner one night and the hostess did our laundry…all this cost 60 euro(approx. 82.00) each for ALL 3 nights!!! AND this family made our experience…they were a wonderful old Slovene family…all extended relatives living there…on the last night I sat in the kitchen sipping wine with the 2 brothers and father along with some other cousins…They played the accordion and sang and we chatted about Slovenia getting into the EU(a hot subject right now over here). Travel, Farming and of course my favorite Politics!!!..! have been trying to get a feel for how Americans are perceived…for the most part, no one seems to have a problem with Americans…BUT they all have a serious problem with our government…Literally everyone we have talked to(and you all know how I talk to everyone when I travel       Tucker can attest to this!!) has an issue with our President and our foreign policy…

But I digress…Slovenia was a part of Yugoslavia and it became it’s own nation about 12 years ago…they did have a short war(10 days) with Croatia…but besides that they have been relatively peaceful BUT they definitely have their opinions about the Croats, Serbs and Bosnians.,.I got an earful sitting at the kitchen table…

We spent some time sightseeing in Skofja Loka and decided to see a local Church…Only to find the doors locked. An older gentleman walking down the street saw us and motioned for us to “get the key”. His Hand signals were clear but we were confused…So the man went across the Street to an apartment building where he buzzed someone. The man, in hand signals, let us know a man was coming down to help us. We waited…but no man with a key…Only about 5 minutes went by when the same gentleman came by again. he seemed quite annoyed that the man with the key had not come down…He called again and this time a man appeared on a small balcony…the 2 had some words and before you know it, the Key man arrived! He opened the church and motioned us to go in. He spoke no English.  I didn’t speak the language, other than to say “Hi” “Thank You” “I’m sorry i don’t speak(whatever language)” and “Do you speak English”. BUT as with all countries with this issue, we all seem to speak “Hand Signals” quite well. After our visit, the man locked the church back up. At dinner that night at the farm, I mentioned it to out hostess and she said that all the Churches stayed locked and they have a “Key Master”. It seems that person changes from time to time…so it’s always a mystery who that “Master” might be.

We have not been graced with good weather on this trip…but we have been making do with alterations of our plans…Tucker and I have adapted well to the constant weather shifts..I had been quite excited about hiking up to a waterfall in Bohinj…Tucker on the other hand wanted to see the falls but the hike was not as enticing for him. Lucky for him, it was pouring by the time we got there…no worries, we looked up at the top of the mountain and it was clear…so off to the gondola we went to get above the storm…that, too, was not to come to pass…The gondola out of order…we soldiered on and sat at a Pub/restaurant until the rain subsided…then we went off to a small medieval village near our farm to climb the hill to the castle…oh I forgot, in the morning we visited a wonderful Bee Museum…did you know Slovenia is known for it’s Bee Hive Art and honey! I did not either…but I soon learned what artists they are with good ol Bees Wax! Yesterday we were adventurous…In the early AM, Tucker indulged my obsession with Cemeteries…something that we found quite interesting here is that we never saw one cemetery…we actually had to ask someone where one was…odd for a country as Catholic as this one…they have Shrines Everywhere for all sorts of Saints…Tucker calls them “Saints in a Box”…It was a great cemetery …just like in Germany…they are fully dressed with beautiful gardens on each plot and candles lit…amazing…after that we headed down to the Capital, Ljubljana…for a bit of relaxing and shopping…We split up for a couple of hours, while Tucker tackled yet another Castle, I perched myself at an outdoor cafe, sipped some tea and watched all the activity…and there was quite a bit with a marathon and concert…I wandered the farmers market and chatted in very bad Slovene with some of the locals…They find it quite humorous watching me butcher their beautiful language!…But they are patient and friendly people..and most speak a little English…Tucker and I met for lunch and then headed farther south to the coast(our goal was breakfast in the mountains, lunch in the city and dinner on the Adriatic Sea)…We got a bit side tracked with the opportunity to go play a bit in Croatia…what fun, we thought…and it was once we got away from being behind 125 motorcycles on some sort of Motor Cross…they were going soooo slow…and you know how I hate going slow…slow was bad enough but then they suddenly stopped and stayed stopped…we could not figure out what was going on…and to be honest, we didn’t want to mess with Croatian motorcyclists..Then we saw what was causing the holdup…they had stopped to wait for a man to bring each of them Beer…when they all got their beer, we moved again. It was actually a bit fun being behind them because all the Croatians in the various villages were coming out to greet them…we felt like we were in a parade…We also saw Croatians picking what we first thought were weeds but later saw they were wild asparagus, that they sell on the side of the road…What we saw of the Croatian coast was quite pretty…after sightseeing a bit we returned to Slovenia and dined at a fabulous restaurant in a Seaside town called Piran…we had a Croatian waiter who was marvelous..and of course we chatted with him as well.the food was plentiful.we had Shrimp(the large prawns) and mussels, each of us had a veggie and rice and a drink and 2 huge desserts…all for 43.00…speaking of food…Slovenia has the hands down best food to date of this trip…and yes I have been able to find veggies…and light fare…we ate at this wonderful pub 2 nights because we liked the mushroom soup so much…their soups are clear and filling…not too heavy..salad dressing left a bit desired…only vinegar…last thing is the music on the radio…for all the music lovers reading this…you would enjoy all the covers they do of American songs…they do “Louie Louie” in Slovene and they do covers in interesting English, as well…all in all Slovenia is a must see place…l will definitely come back and spend an extended period…probably sooner than later…because now that they are in the EU, I’m afraid they will begin to meld in with the rest of Europe…now they are quite distinctive in their experience!

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