Carnival Time, Celebration Time and My Andy Warhol Moment in Radovljica!

After almost two weeks of spring-like weather, snow was forecast for last Wednesday. However, in the end the snow didn’t quite make it down to ground level, where it instead rained, though snow fell above 800 metres. This will certainly have come as a relief to many of Slovenia’s ski resorts, particularly the lower-lying ones, and those without snow cannons, who desperately needed the snow and is perfect timing with school holidays rapidly approaching and it’s raining heavily today too, so there will be even more fresh snow in the mountains.

On Friday and Saturday last week the wonderful unseasonably warm spring-like weather returned and, when I popped to Bohinj for a meeting, I was amazed to see the bees at this hive so active and so many spring flowers in bloom. You’d never guess it was February, that’s for sure!

Bees S.Vas 5.2.2016-001

Last weekend was a very eventful one, for me and in general!

If, as Andy Warhol said, every one should have 15 minutes of fame, then mine came on Friday when the the tourism programme Na Lepše was dedicated, in part, to me and the success of my blog. Ok, it wasn’t exactly 15 minutes and it’s hardly fame, but I consider it recognition at least and I’ll take that! It was filmed in my home town of Radovljica – at the Tourist Information Centre, the viewing area with magnificent views of the Julian Alps and the Jelovica plateau, in the medieval old town and at the Lectar House of Tradition. Despite being rather nervous I must admit I was rather pleased with the outcome and also the response from readers of my blog. Here is the link to the programme which is, of course, all in Slovene, but even those viewing it outside of Slovenia will hopefully enjoy looking at the pictures and maybe it will encourage some of you to visit Radovljica too! (My part begins right after the ad-break, fast forward to 14 minutes).

On Saturday the pust carnival parade took place through the streets of Radovljica. Carnivals take place throughout Slovenia for pust and although Radovljica doesn’t have its own carnival character such as the kurenti, laufarji and bedalci in other parts of the country, the locals – young and old – always make a concerted effort and the costumes and floats seem ever more creative by the year.



Saturday was also a momentous day for one other reason. It marks the day that my blog had it’s 100,000th view. Wow!!!

Since I knew this time was approaching, though in truth expected it to come in a month or so, I have begun to prepare a special package of offers for you, dear readers, to thank you for your readership, and also to involve the local community – particularly the Taste Radol’ca restaurants. There will be a whole host of discounts and special offers, so watch this space for more details coming very soon!

In the meantime, let’s crack open the champers!


© AdeleinSlovenia 2016

Stories of Slovene Success: Dali Šport – Dressing the Best!

Two weeks ago I wrote the first in an occasional series of posts entitled ‘Stories of Slovene Success’. That post, which you can read here was about the success of Elan and Peter Prevc.

This week the story is in a similar vein, since the company Dali Šport, based in Lesce, make the clothing for some of Slovenia’s top sports stars, as well as for sports people from numerous other countries competing in, amongst others, skiing, ski jumping, rowing, equine and aerial sports.

I popped in for a nose last week and was lucky enough that during the time of my visit 3 of the Slovenian ski jumping team were there, having come to pick up their new apparel, during a brief lull in training. Below you can see, from left to right, Matjaž Pungertar, Leon Šarc and Anže Lanišek – oh and me of course!



In addition to the firm’s headquarters in Lesce, it also has a shop in Bled which sells off-the-peg sportswear for hiking and other outdoor sports, as well as outfits for your four-legged friend!

Dali Šport, a family run company, has been making made-to-measure and off-the-peg clothing for over 25 years, including the outfit worn by Peter Prevc when he won silver at the 2014 Sochi Olympics.


And for the ski jumper Robert Kranjec too!


LOOKING AHEAD: It’s not long now until the annual Radovljica Carnival Ball (Pustni ples) with Taste Radol’ca. This year the event will take place on Saturday 6th February at Tulipan Inn in Lesce. Tickets are now on sale at the Radovljica Tourist Information Centre. The theme of this year’s ball is ‘The Radovljica Olympics‘ and prizes are up for grabs for those who come up with the most creative outfits. More information (in Slovene) here –

On the same day, at 2pm in the afternoon, the annual Carnival Procession will take place through the streets of Radovljica ending in Linhart Square in the old town centre. More information here –


© AdeleinSlovenia 2016

Celebrating Carnival Time – Avsenik Style!

This year, Carnival Saturday (Pustna sobota) also happened to fall on Valentine’s Day and Radovljica’s Carnival Dance (Pustni ples) took place at the Krek Hotel and Restaurant in Lesce. It is traditional to dress up in masks and costumes for pust, and the theme of this year’s dance was the music of the famous Avsenik Ensemble, from the nearby village of Begunje na Gorenjskem, since this year marks the 60th year since the issue of the hugely popular track ‘Na Golici’, which is also one of the most widely played. Since Avsenik have produced more than 1000 songs, attendees had a wide range of songs and lyrics to allow them to get creative with their costumes. Perhaps some of the best known songs, in this area at least, are ‘Na Robleku’ and ‘Na Golici‘ – named after two peaks in the Karavanke mountains which are popular destinations with hikers.

Here you can listen to the original version –

And here you can listen to, and watch, a recent modern interpretation of ‘Na Golici’ – Riverdance style! –

The music of the Avsenik Brothers is actually a world-wide phenomenon; it is particularly popular in Slovenia and neighbouring European countries, but is also known in the USA and even further afield, and their music has won countless awards. The home of Slovene popular folk music is at the birthplace of its founders, Slavko and Vilko Avsenik, at Pr’Jožovcu in Begunje. It is regularly visited by coach loads of fans of their music and the restaurant hosts regular music performances by the Avsenik House Ensemble, as well as workshops, festivals, competitions and other events. There is also a gallery and museum, music school, and guest accommodation. If you are visiting the Radol’ca area, then a visit isn’t complete without popping in to see, listen to, or even dance to, a bit of Avsenik!

Avsenik1   Avsenik2

The main day of pust is pustni torek (Shrove Tuesday) when, wherever you are in Slovenia you could be forgiven for thinking it is Halloween as children go to school dressed up as all kinds of ghosts and gouls, and some can be seen going from door-to-door trick-or-treating. However, there is actually a point to pust; to help drive winter away by scaring it with various costumes and masks. So, despite not being one inclined to fancy dress, masks etc., I am more than happy to join in and help drive winter away!

All the different regions of Slovenia have their own pust traditions, customs and characters. Among the most known are the ‘kurenti‘ from Ptuj (seen below left), where the country’s largest carnival takes place, with celebrations lasting a whole 2 weeks, and also the ‘laufarije‘ from Cerklje (below right). I think they look frightening enough to shoo-off winter!

kurentovanje  laufarije

After 4 long weeks, and following an x-ray last Tuesday I was finally free of my immobilising shoulder immobilser last week and what a relief it was. To be able to quickly and easily get dressed and have a shower, do up my shoelaces etc. I, of course, wasted no time on my mission to regain my fitness and on Wednesday morning I was already up and out at 7am and at the mountain hut Roblekov dom in record time! Well, you didn’t expect any less did you?!

Oh and I should just add, here in Slovenia we eat doughnuts for Shrove Tuesday, instead of pancakes. I will, of course, oblige!

© AdeleinSlovenia 2015

Carnival Time in Radovljica

The inaugural Shrovetide Carnival (Pust) Dance took place on Saturday in Radovljica and I was fortunate to be invited. The theme of the dance was ‘Sanitising Slovene Banks’ – bringing a lighthearted note to the otherwise serious problem of the financial crisis and trying to restore the hole in the Slovene banking sector. Since fancy dress was obligatory, and in keeping with the financial theme, I decided to go as Mickey Mouse’s new friend ‘Money Mouse‘!


Guests were greeted in the lobby of the Radovljica Mansion, photographed on the red carpet and given the 10,000 euro banknote, which was specially printed for the event. After an aperitif, ‘Money Mouse’ together with the various nuns, cats, nurses, policemen, lynx (in a nod to the one which is still on the run from Ljubljana Zoo following the destruction caused by the recent ice storm) and others, made their way up to the Baroque Hall where the evening’s entertainment began.


It was impressive to see the efforts everyone had gone to with their costumes and a fun evening was had by all. There was live music, provided by the band Medik and delicious food, provided by the 7 restaurants involved in the Taste Rado’ca project (see ably assisted by students from the Radovljica School of Hospitality and Tourism. Such was the deliciousness of the food, ‘Money Mouse’ rather overindulged but still managed a shuffle and a wiggle of the tail on the dance floor! Let’s hope this event becomes another staple on the Radol’ca Events Calendar.


 Earlier in the day the annual Shrovetide Carnival Parade (Pustni sprevod) travelled through Radovljica and even the rain showers didn’t dampen the spirits. The parade was awash with colour as the floats and accompanying costumed participants, with a special tribute to the successful Slovene winter Olympians, proceeded through the town ending in Linhart Square in the old town centre.

1780830_642164775857346_312377631_n  CIMG7142

As of this week ‘Adele in Slovenia‘ now has its own Facebook page too. Having avoided it thus far, I finally succumbed, or rather was persuaded, in order that I am able to post news and information in between my weekly blogs. You can find a ‘Like’ box towards the bottom right-hand corner of this page, so be sure to ‘Like’ it, if you want access to more news and regular updates. More pictures from this week’s carnival events can also be found on Pinterest.

Earlier in the week the Slovenian Forestry Institute issued the first official estimates of the damage caused by the recent ice storm and it made sombre reading. Up to 660 hectares of forest will require clearing and 7 million cubic metres of wood will have to be cut, twice as much as initially thought. Some 2 million seedlings will be required for replanting and there is now a drive to hire foresters, several hundred are needed. When driving and walking around, there is visible evidence of the destruction but I was particularly shocked and saddened this week, when I went for a walk around Lake Bled, for the first time since the storm, as the path had been closed since. A part of the path was still closed to allow foresters to clear the most affected area, under Bled Castle, which now appears almost barren. Elsewhere entire trees lie in the lake but the great clean-up is already underway and in general the damage is somewhat localised with paths at lower altitudes, where deciduous trees are dominant, being particularly affected.

I have slowly been discovering where is and isn’t safe to walk as many of the paths still remain closed and impassable. There were a couple of days of glorious winter sunshine during the past week and I managed hikes to both the Roblek Mountain Hut (1672m) and the Hut on Dobrča (1478m). It is interesting to note that Roblek, part of the imposing Begunščica mountain, is part of the Karavanke range, the mountains that form the border between Slovenia and Austria in this part of the country, whilst neighbouring Dobrča is actually part of the Kamnik-Savinja Alps. The former was without problem whilst the latter, beginning from Slatna, involved a little negotiating of fallen trees to begin with, but was ok once some height had been gained.

© AdeleinSlovenia 2014