I wish I could begin this post by writing about the glorious summer we are enjoying, and to be able to write about all the outdoor activities I have been enjoying. Alas, the weather has other ideas. Last week, and this week so far, it has been anything but summer, except for a brief spell on Sunday afternoon when we had a faint whiff of summer. Otherwise it continues to be unseasonably cool, cloudy and wet. To be fair, its not as if its raining all day every day, but the lingering low cloud and threatening skies make it difficult to plan straying too far from home and last week I got drenched more times than I care to remember! However, I can at least be the bearer of some good news – all is not lost – because now the music festival season is starting and there’s something for everyone, whatever your preferred taste in music – and the concerts take place come rain or shine!
The 32nd Radovljica Festival, organised by the Radovljica Early Music Society, takes place this year from the 9th – 24th August. The programme includes 10 concerts, performed by international artists, with music from the Middle Ages to the 20th century. The majority of the concerts take place in the Radovljica Manor, the building which dominates the old town centre (as seen below), whilst one of the concerts takes place at the Church of the Annunciation in Velesovo. Free buses to all concerts are available from Ljubljana and Kranj and also a free bus from Radovljica to the concert in Velesovo. More information about the festival can be found here – http://www.festival-radovljica.si/en/
Meanwhile, in Bled, the 24th Okarina Etno Festival begins on 1st August. This ever popular festival sees groups from far and wide coming to perform in the beautiful setting of Bled Castle and the Spa Park. This year’s line up includes acts from as far away as Senegal, Venezuela and Burkina Faso. Concerts are free to attend. More information can be found here – http://www.festival-okarina.si/
Just a few kilometres away, the village of Begunje is home to the legendary Slavko Avsenik, the forefather of Slovene national folk music. The Avsenik brothers ensemble was first formed in 1953 and has since produced over 1,000 songs which are hits with audiences not only from Slovenia but also from far and wide. Nowadays its a real family affair with three generations of the family being involved and people arrive in their coach loads to visit. Avsenik comprises a gallery and museum, a restaurant with accommodation and where regular live shows are performed (dancing isn’t mandatory but it is encouraged and part of the fun!) and a music school. Additionally, the annual three-day Avsenik Festival, held in August, regularly attracts visitors in their thousands. More about Avsenik and this year’s festival can be found here – http://www.avsenik.com/pcc.asp#xpath=/novice#xpathid=#lang=eng
This Sunday is one of Radovljica’s main summer events – the annual Medieval Day. I always look forward to this event as its so nice to see Linhart Square in the old town centre really come to life and be able to get a sense of how it was in days of old. Events run throughout the day from 10am – 7pm and there is always plenty going on including theatrical performances, music and dance, a market, traditional arts and crafts demonstrations, and an archery tournament. Hope to see you there!
And finally, according to scientists in a report out this week, due to climate change we will all be basking in the sun and still swimming come November. Since there is often already snow here by then, I sincerely doubt it, but I would love to be proved wrong!!!
© AdeleinSlovenia 2014