Festivities in Radovljica

Golica Jan10 001I’m just back from dropping my parents off at the airport for their flight home. Even after almost six years of living here, farewells never seem to get any easier and it was another tearful one.

We made the most of our time together though and packed a lot in during their short visit including going to Kranj, the capital of the Gorenjska region, to walk around the Brdo estate, going to Ljubljana to see Mary Poppins on Ice, performed by a Russian company with great skating but actually rather disappointing as the Mary Poppins theme was totally lost, visiting and hosting friends here in Radovljica, watching the live nativity in Radovljica’s old town centre, and of course the obligatory overeating and drinking that comes hand-in-hand with the festive season.

We were planning to go to Ljubljana by train as the journey from Radovljica is really easy and also scenic, but in the end due to the rain we opted to drive. In my experience, the trains are very efficient, clean and with endless stunning vistas – the only downside is that they don’t run perhaps as frequently as they could but Slovenia is a small country and with only 2 million residents, there presumably isn’t the demand. However, with a bit of forward planning and patience it’s possible to go by train from here to pretty much anywhere in Europe. Here’s a link to the english version of the Slovene railway website if you are planning a visit – http://www.slo-zeleznice.si/en/passengers/slovenia

Apart from a torrential downpour yesterday, the weather has been great and unseasonably mild. I think my parents probably don’t believe me that it ever snows or gets really cold here since the last time they visited, in February 2011, it was also unseasonably mild, so much so that Dad and I were eating ice-cream!

One of the reasons I chose to live in Radovljica when I moved here, is that it makes a great starting place for trips all over the country and especially to my favourites such as trips into the surrounding Julian and Karavanke Alps, the lakes at Bled and Bohinj and even the stunning Soča valley, which is just a drive away over the Vršič pass.

So now the New Year beckons and boy do Slovenes love celebrating New Year. In days gone by, during the communist era, Christmas wasn’t celebrated so they really go to town when it comes to New Year, also aided by the fact that the sale and use of fireworks during the year is prohibited (what a great idea!) other than during the two-week festive period.

I’m just back from an amazing walk at Pokljuka so thought I’d attach the picture above. Adjectives fail me in trying to describe how beautiful it was up there today, so sunny and warm, people were in t-shirts and I even saw one man in shorts, though that was taking it to extremes! Everyone I met was echoing the same sentiment and sharing the same cheshire cat grins. I have never been a fan of winter but on a day like today nothing beats it! Tempted????

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