Returning to Slovenia

I arrived in Ljubljana today, for the first time in three years. Being back is really strange. The city has changed, and yet it is the same. New people, old people, new smells, old smells. Places that I remember, places that have come, places that no longer exist.

I arrived in Ljubljana today, for the first time in three years. Being back is really strange. The city has changed, and yet it is the same. New people, old people, new smells, old smells. Places that I remember, places that have come, places that no longer exist.

Peka

I am staying with my old friend João in a big flat in Slovenska Cesta. He has always been a creative and innovative mind full of bright ideas and projects in relations to Balkan and Slovene culture and society. He lives with a group of similarly minded people full of creative and artistic talent. I have yet to meet them, but from the place itself it is obvious that I am staying with people who do not conform to the normality. It is dirty, but clean, it is exciting to walk around – taking a notice to all the little oddities in each corner.

Trompeting with Joao
Trompeting with Joao

What might be most surprising is that this small creative community owns not only a dog, but also a pig. She is a small female named Peka and she runs around grunting and cleaning the floor with her big and long piggy nose.

Peka
Peka

Ljubljana

I’ve been here for two days and had a chance to do a bit of sightseeing. An electronics festival was taking place yesterday in the middle of Slovenska Cesta. As the street is often traffic jammed, it was amazing to experience how families were playing in the middle of the street, while people were engaging in the music. Several bands were playing on a large stage, and everything seemed so damned cosy and relaxed.

I’ve had the chance to visit some of my old colleagues and the guys who were a part of the project. It was in many ways strange to see these people again, because they had been such an integral part of my life for an entire year. However, it was wonderful to hear how so many of them had succeeded. How the project had truly helped them figure out what they wanted to do and where they wanted to go. Today, many of them are engaging in further education or have procured proper jobs. Knowing that makes me so unthinkably happy.

With friends from PUM
With friends from PUM

I also got to meet up with Mitja. we have stayed in sporadic contact over the years, but I haven’t seen him for so long. Of all the people I met in Slovenia, he was the one who came to mean the most to me. I am so happy to know that he is doing well. But I also know that with the financial crisis Slovenia has been hit hard, which in turn has affected him. yet, he is strong and smart and I know he will do great. He has to because he has been a detrimental part of my life at a time when I was just coming to know myself.

Metelkova
Metelkova
Change of plans

It has been such an emotional visit to Ljubljana, and though it has been fantastic to renew old friendships and see all those places that I so love, I feel as if both Ljubljana and I have moved on. I am not the same. And neither is this beautiful city. While I will always keep a special place in my heart for the Slovenian capital and consider it my second home, I will also have to admit that visiting again has been hard, and I have decided to shorten my stay and travel to Budapest earlier than planned.

The Triple Bridge and Prešernov trg
The Triple Bridge and Prešernov trg

Staying for more than a few days in Ljubljana will make me truely realise all those things that have changed and all the things that will never return. Only three years have passed since what I am sure will be my most defining year as young adult. Hopefully in another couple of years as I return again, it will be different, but for now I need to keep my memories of Ljubljana intact.

At the same time my home calls out for me. For the first time since I was a kid, I have come to truly appreciate my home city. Copenhagen has never felt like home before and I’ve never had the deep and defining friendships at home as here in Ljubljana. But I have a feeling that this might be about to change. My dream of far away destinations has been pushed to the back and in stead I’ve developed a great need to discover Copenhagen and enjoy the Danish summer with friends and family.

Prešernov trg - closed for work
Prešernov trg – closed for work

This however does not mean that I am not looking forward to my visit to Budapest and my travel to Caucasus later in the summer.

Cheers

Zofka

Gallery: PUM

I had the amazing fortune to meet and work with the wonderful and engaging people at PUM (Projektno učenje za mlade) in Ljubljana for a year. These pictures are a few from my time on the project.

Days at PUM

We are Atoms!
We are Atoms!
Smoking Break
Smoking Break
Knitting
Knitting
Guys baking
Guys baking
With Veronique and Marieke
With Veronique and Marieke

Walking to the Peak of Grmada

To Grmada
To Grmada
The view from Grmada
The view from Grmada
Reaching the top
Reaching the top
Majkel at Grmada
Majkel at Grmada
View from the top
View from the top
The view towards Ljubljana
The view towards Ljubljana
The view from the top
The view from the top
Matjaz at Grmada
Matjaz at Grmada
With Laura at Grmada
With Laura at Grmada
The amazing PUM
The amazing PUM

Visiting Tolmin

With Ana and Katja
With Ana and Katja
Tolmin
Tolmin
Tolmin
Tolmin
The Soča River in Tolmin
The Soča River in Tolmin
The mountains from Tolmin
The mountains from Tolmin
Football field in Tolmin
Football field in Tolmin
An old hut in Tolmin
An old hut in Tolmin
Triglavski narodni park
Triglavski narodni park
A bridge over Soča
A bridge over Soča
At the Soča
At the Soča
PUM on the stairs
PUM on the stairs

Vacation in Bohinj

Our lodgings near Lake Bohinj
Our lodgings near Lake Bohinj
Road sign
Road sign
Luka contemplating nature
Luka contemplating nature
The Julian Alps and the Bohinj Valley
The Julian Alps and the Bohinj Valley
The Savica Waterfall
The Savica Waterfall
Lake Bohinj in the evening
Lake Bohinj in the evening
Posing at Lake Bohinj in the evening
Posing at Lake Bohinj in the eveningPosing at Lake Bohinj in the evening
Lake Bohinj
Lake Bohinj
Lake Bohinj
Lake Bohinj
Canoeing on Lake Bohinj
Canoeing on Lake Bohinj
Lake Bohinj
Lake Bohinj
Cows at the edge of Lake Bohinj
Cows at the edge of Lake Bohinj
Traffic jam on Lake Bohinj
Traffic jam on Lake Bohinj
Canoeing and kayaking on Lake Bohinj
Canoeing and kayaking on Lake Bohinj
Me
Me
Repelling
Repelling
Triglav
Triglav
Yellow flowers
Yellow flowers
Purple flowers
Purple flowers
View of Lake Bohinj and the Julian Alps from the cable car
View of Lake Bohinj and the Julian Alps from the cable car
Savica River
Savica River
Bonfire
Bonfire
On the passanger boat crossing lake Bohinj
On the passanger boat crossing lake Bohinj
Bridge and St. John Baptist's Church
Bridge and St. John Baptist’s Church
A turn in the road
A turn in the road
In Mostnica Gorge
In Mostnica Gorge
In Mostnica Gorge
In Mostnica Gorge
Fields at lake Bohinj
Fields at lake Bohinj
Hayrack
Hayrack
Field at Lake Bohinj
Field at Lake Bohinj

Zofka

Enjoying My Last Days in Ljubljana

For an entire year, I have been living as a foreigner. For an entire year, I have been living in a country which is not my own.

After one year in Slovenia I’m ready to leave. In one week I will be heading for Pula at the Croatian coast where my journey will begin. But now I ask myself if this will really be the beginning of my travel. For an entire year, I have been living as a foreigner. For an entire year, I have been living in a country which is not my own. So to start this travel blog I feel it is proper to tell a bit about Ljubljana, which has been my place of residence this last year.

Coming to Ljubljana last year in September I found myself surprised that what I had expected to be a city of communist architecture and statues of Tito was more a mini Paris with highly recommendable café life and a student atmosphere in which I quickly started taking active part.

I began finding friends who as me had chosen to go abroad for a while, many due to studies, internships or volunteering. And together we enjoyed the life and beauty of Ljubljana and Slovenia. We found our favourite cafés, bars discos and complained to each other about the transportation system, the weather, the prices … etc. and we gradually started living an everyday life in a city that was new to all of us.

Now after 10 month I find myself happily situated in Ljubljana and most importantly I feel home. This is my city!

And now I have to say good-bye and start my travel down the Balkan peninsula. The travel, that one year ago was the true reason for my stay in Slovenia, has now become the end and good-bye to all that I for one year have called my home.

Now I have only to wonder whether I will change or discover that I already did through my time in Slovenia and to prepare myself for a new life back in Denmark!

Zofka