Siblings See Slovenia

Wednesday, April 30, 2014

DIGGING DEEPER DAY

A beautiful sunny day in Ljubliana! 

Another great day for our second "finding our roots" field trip to the Gottshee region of Slovenia.

Hit the road first thing to find a laundromat for Mike to do his delicates, so we opted to forage for breakfast in a little grocery shop (bought a bit of bread, cheese, fruit & sliced meat) and coffee to go from those fancy dispensers I like. 


Then we headed south-east near Novo Mesto to find the birthplaces of Oma & Opa. After driving the pristine and speedy A2, I (the trusty navigator) got us onto the "scenic" route through small villages. This made Dianne quite carsick in the backseat driving the winding roads. The landscape is quite beautiful: rolling hills, lush farmland, big skies and dense forests. 

        (Unmarked church? In Soteska--close to Novo Mesto. Gorgeous)

                       (WOW!)

In no time at all, we found our first destination: Kocevske Poljane. This is the place our Oma talked about--but it was called Pollandl: a German settlement until 1941 when it was "resettled" by the German occupation forces. Quite a history lesson and lots of information on the net too. 

           (Panoramic of Poljane area)

Unfortunately, though we saw twin girls and a man mowing his lawn (uncanny parallels to our Klagenfurt visit), there were no English speakers to help us with the history. But we did see...

Some bees!
                       
A lovely church:

Some houses old and new:


A hip and happening Main Street:







Driving on to Opa's birth town we found a small graveyard with some Samida graves (looks like it was Opa's cousin, August's family). The grave seemed to be kept up, so I'm a little disappointed we couldn't find someone nearby who may have known the family. The few people we did see in Poljane spoke only Slovenian. 

 
Arriving in Opa's hometown--Obcice--we were greeted by a bull crossing the street. Mike refused to get out and pose next to him--what a spoil sport (Mike, not the bull). 


I think we got pretty close to someone who could explain some of the history to us when we came upon "Kulturverein Deutshsprachiger Jugend": a place where Gottscheers could know their heritage. Alas, no one was there. But we nosed around taking pictures.





Found some strange looking garden fellows: 



Off we went, our tummies grumbling, to Novo Mesto to find grub. Enjoyed the sunshiny, warm weather. Walked around the town and headed along the river for a  lunch. 

Novo Mesto:



     (Graffiti under the bridge. Where's my spray paint when I need it to write: "ME TOO!")


The day ended back in Ljubliana with our final quest: finding the nectar of the Slovenian blueberry that we'd come to love...Borovnicek. If I love you enough, you may taste this divine drink at my house. I have a sneaking suspicion that it will not last (the drink, not my love for my friends).

  (Mike, testing the brand we bought--couldn't find a paper bag)

Just a few more Ljublianna pics (we just love it here!!):


      
    (Umbrella lights all along Trubarjeva cesta & do you see the shoes on the line?)


     (3-D replica of Ljubliana old town)

Hanging out on the river...

Till bedtime...
      (Mike rates this pizza the best of all in Slovenia: Dvor Pizzaria) 

Heading to Venice at the crack of dawn tomorrow.

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