A language for massive scrabble scores
Jun 8, 2012
|Thursday 7 June
Sladkor: I defy you to tell me what this means in Slovenian! It was quite a shock suddenly finding ourselves in a place where absolutely nothing written or spoken makes sense. Anyway all went according to plan and our man was waiting for us with our Skoda station wagon, albeit at the bus station whilst we were at the train station. Our immediate impression was very positive as two coffees which consistently cost around 7 euro in Italy and France were a mere 2. Fueled by that welcome discovery we headed straight out of Nova Goriza in what felt like the right direction as once again we had no map. I am aware this sounds like we were totally disorganised but I knew Prue had all the guide books sorted and of course they are still in Rye. First stop a petrol station to purchase a map and to our delight the guy spoke perfect English so could answer our query about alternative routes.
We were immediately struck by the beautiful landscape and aqua river which flowed along the valley we followed. There were so many idyllic rural scenes of farmers cutting grass with a scythe being followed by their wives with a big hand made wooden rake sweeping it into neat rows for baling. Every house seemed to have a magnificent vegetable garden and once again flowers were prevalent including bushes of peony roses and hollyhocks as well as the window boxes of geranium. The architecture is very alpine with A frames common and it soon became obvious why as we found ourselves crossing a steep mountain pass ( several more poise moments there) of beech forrest and alpine meadow rich with wildflowers and passing through a small ski resort and mountain villages with white spired churches. The scenery there was just stunning and the cherries bought at a roadside stall
tasted of the fresh mountain air.
It was cool but sunny so when we saw a small roadside place with a few cars outside we decided to stop for lunch and find out what Slovenian cuisine was all about. Fred had me practising my animal impersonations in case I couldn't communicate any other way but once again the young waitress spoke great English - making us feel so ignorant. We were next to a gorgeous river and we'd seen several people fly fishing so trout seemed like a good choice to me. I was however rather astounded when my plate arrived with two trout on it. I was told, don't fuss they are small! Fred ordered smoked sausage with lard which turned out to be two whole dried sausages and chopped lard and he has been burping the most noxious smells ever since. We were ready for a kip but still had a few kilometres of mountain pass to negotiate to reach our destination of Bohinj.
While I was at the tourist office Fred went for a wander and low and behold found a nail salon so I am booked in for a treat tomorrow morning that is another bargain. Can you believe they even do shellac? (some girls will understand that) At this point Fred raised the idea of selling East Melbourne and living like kings in Slovenia....rather like Henry VIII if the serve of apple strudel we were given is any indication. I asked for a small piece and the waitress said proudly she'd given us half a serve. My god it was 15cm long, 10 wide and 10 deep!!!!! It was the best strudel I'd ever tasted but (mum you would have been dribbling even without cream), or should I say.... butt? We could not believe our eyes when we saw two local women put away a full serve each with their coffee and all for 1.60 euro.
After that we needed exercise so we headed in the direction of Lake Bohinj which is in the Triglav NP, a scenic hi light in north western Slovenia. It is quite unlike our forest - much brighter green with what appears to be mostly deciduous beech and rabbinia type trees dispersed with some firs. We walked up a steep stepped path to see the Savica waterfall which was very impressive and provided lovely views over the lake. I am still unsteady on my foot and weary of sudden sending me tumbling again but I am thrilled to be pretty much 'back on my feet'.
For 50 euro we found an apartment in a small nearby village called Stara Fuzina staying with the local police chief and his wife a sports teacher. It is in a typical A frame resplendent with petunia window boxes and with the sound of cow bells ringing out from the adjacent meadow. It is very modern and well appointed and there is an Audi in the drive way. I get the impression this is quite an affluent area but with a sense of thrift and hard work. Our host suggest a restaurant called Rupa in a village along the valley that served typical Slovenian cuisine. Terrified of what that meant we felt obliged to take her advice. It was not so bad because we avoided the dumplings, potato, sauerkraut and sausage and said no thanks when strudel was offered.
On the way we noticed all of the houses had large embroidered cloths hanging from their windows and candles burning and then after a particularly noisy ringing of church bells we saw a large procession of people heading off into the fields and stopping to pray . We found out is was Corpus Christi celebration - whatever that means.
All in all a great introduction to Slovenia.
PS that first word means raw sugar in case you are wondering.