This week we have been treated to sunshine, warmth and a riot of spectacular autumn colours. Deservedly so I’d say, after the abysmal start to October. Unfortunately, I haven’t been able to take full advantage of the glorious weather as I’ve been a bit under the weather myself and resigned to looking longingly out of the window wishing I were elsewhere. So this week, rather than a trip report, I will write about other subjects. However, if you are looking at this blog in the hope of getting some ideas and inspiration for what to see and do, where to walk, where to eat etc. in Slovenia, and particularly in my home town of Radovljica, and its surroundings, then take a look through some of my previous posts – there should be more than enough – or if not, just ask!
When I moved to Slovenia in 2007 the country, and it’s economy, was flourishing. It had joined the EU and had just adopted the euro. They were prosperous times. House prices were rising rapidly, business was booming and there was a general air of optimism. However, today sadly, it is a very different picture. The economy is ailing and successive governments seem to be making, quite frankly in my humble opinion, a pig’s ear out of pulling the country, and its citizens, out of ever increasing despair. Since the aim of my blog is primarily to write about my life and travels in Radovljica, with the aim of increasing its awareness and helping potential tourists and visitors, it’s not my intention to make my blog a place to air such issues but sometimes one just needs to vent a little. So I will from time to time, but not too often, I promise!
The tourism section however is still booming and this past year has seen visitors numbers grow in Radovljica and also throughout Slovenia. Judging by the number of readers of my blog, from all corners of the world, and the positive comments I have received, there is ever increasing interest in Slovenia as a holiday destination and I hope I may, and continue to, play a small part in helping to raise awareness about Radovljica and its surroundings – the beautiful place I call home.
Though not a big town, Radovljica is blessed with good infrastructure and services for residents and tourists alike, as well as being ideally located for lovers of outdoor activities, with the Julian Alps to the south and the Karavanke range to the north, Bled just a few kilometres away and Bohinj lake a little further. In town there is the olympic-size swimming pool, open-air during the summer and covered during the winter, the cinema (Linhartova dvorana), bowling, a medical centre, library, several good-quality restaurants, numerous cafes and bars, shops, and the compact medieval old town centre which is home to museums, a gallery, church and the imposing Mansion House.
It can be so easy to take forgranted what we have around us so I try to get the best out of living here; hiking in the surrounding mountains, cycling, walking or running beside the Sava river, going to concerts, attending and supporting local events such as the Chocolate Festival, the Festival of Honey as well as the regular talks, presentations, discussions etc. held in the library. This week I also went to the cinema to watch the film ‘More than Honey’, which I wrote about in a previous blog (September 2013 – Radovljica and Beekeeping). The cinema was packed; proof that beekeeping is one of Slovenia’s national passions, and especially now when bees and their habitats are so under threat. The film was followed by a discussion with beekeeping experts and tastings of honey and honey schnapps – in my case drunk purely for medicinal purposes!
This week on Saturday in the Radovljica Mansion House is the start of the Chopin Golden Ring competition. The international competition, which takes place annually at the end of October and is now in its 9th year, will this year run from the 26th to the 30th October. In addition to the piano competition, there are concerts and events which can be attended by the public. More about the events and tickets, can be found here – http://www.chopin-goldenring.si/koncerti.html