On Tuesday, the eve of St. Gregory’s Day, I went to the small former iron-forging village of Kamna Gorica, in the Lipnica Valley, to watch the annual tradition of floating local children’s handmade creations, illuminated by candles, in the village stream. It is such a colourful and simple custom, but one which brings great joy to young children who watch on proudly as their creations float by and are judged for their creativeness. Meanwhile the adults get to stand back and watch, also proudly, enjoy a warming mulled wine and saviour the atmosphere. As can be seen in the photos below (more to follow on Pinterest), some of the creations were clearly painstakingly and meticulously thought out and constructed, others just simple paper creations, but of course its the taking part that counts! The custom dates back to the era of manual iron-forging, before the introduction of the Gregorian calendar in 1582, when the name day of St. Gregory was considered the first day of spring.
And since there has barely been a cloud in the sky all week, it certainly feels like spring. We could hardly ask for more perfect weather for this time of year. It‘s certainly much appreciated after the bleakness of February. Earlier today, whilst walking around, it occurred to me how even the narrowest of streets now appear to be so wide, and what a luxury it seems to have the entire width of the pavement to walk on, these having been piled up high with snow for weeks on end before. How one learns to appreciate the simple things in life!
It also occurred to me recently, whilst walking through Radovljica’s old town centre, what a shame it is that more people don’t appreciate what a great destination is to hold a wedding. During the summer there are a number of weddings which take place here but, having made enquiries, I discovered that 80% of weddings in Slovenia take place in Bled. Ok I’m biased, but the fact is that everything is right here in one place; St. Peter’s Church for the religious ceremony or Šivec House for a civil ceremony, the grand Radovljica Mansion and/or Lectar Inn for the reception, the perfect spot for photographs with the backdrop of the Julian Alps and the Jelovica Plateau and accommodation both in the old town centre and nearby. Having made some enquiries, it seems that although weddings in Slovenia are increasing in popularity, the vast majority of people still opt for Bled, as it is the obvious choice due to the castle and the island on the lake. However, Radovljica is just 7kms from Bled so a wedding in Radovljica offers an alternative and could also be combined with a visit to Bled. So, if you are lucky enough to be considering a wedding abroad, take a look at Radovljica and dare to be different! Here are a couple of photographs of the venues (more to follow on Pinterest) and more information can also be found here – http://www.dapetra.com/
With the temperatures currently in the mid-teens the snow line is currently at around the 1,000 metre mark, somewhat higher on the south facing slopes. However, above this level there is still plenty of the white stuff as can be seen from the HUGE snowman that greeted my arrival on a hike up to the Roblek Mountain Hut (1672m) from the Draga Valley. It’s been warm enough to cycle too, which is unusual in March, so my bike has had an early awakening from its winter hibernation!
© AdeleinSlovenia 2014