Category Archives: Slovenia

Like Snopes but for Slovenia? I don’t have a title yet

I get asked many questions about Slovenia, often of the “this must be fakenews, right?” variety. Let’s get a few of the safe-for-work ones out of the way before we move on to transgender doctors shagging man-killer dogs* and worse**.

*Yes you read that right.

**It does get worse.

Is the Prime Minister of Slovenia a former comedian and the President of Slovenia a former model?

Yes. Our Prime Minister, Mr. Marjan Šarec, used to be an actor, an impersonator and a comedian, and according to some he still is, (he’s alright, as far as politicians go). And our President, Mr. Borut Pahor used to be a model, and he’s never shy to flaunt his model credentials. Feel free to check out his Instagram @borutpahor. Look for beach selfies while you’re there because the dude keeps fit.

Did Slovenians recycle their failed Prime Minister and make him their President?

Yes. The abovementioned Borut Pahor used to be our PM and, fairly or not, he was widely perceived as a complete failure, as confirmed by a lost confidence vote that saw him through the door. Almost immediately*** after, he ran for president and won easily, which left some people fuming but most of us thought his new job was a much better fit. In all seriousness, Mr. Pahor comes across as a genuinely nice fellow who adores the spotlight and honestly tries to be the president of all Slovenians. And that’s a challenging job. No matter where you’re from, you probably think that your country is dangerously divided with no reconciliation in sight – welcome to the Slovenian experience! We’ve been living in this highly-polarised political reality for… well forever, actually, if you discount a few decades of Socialism when people hated each other more quietly. Anyway, all I can do is wish the best of luck to anyone who tries to preside over such a hot mess. As for the rest of us: relax, it’s going to be okay. Maybe.

***People winning all kinds of elections after a three-week campaign has become a regular occurrence in Slovenia.

Why doesn’t the Slovenian president look over a hundred years old?

Because he’s not. You’re thinking Boris Pahor the writer, who is a different fella altogether. Boris (not Borut) Pahor is one truly extraordinary individual. He fought the Nazis (who sent him to Dachau not once but twice), condemned the Commies and survived them both. He’s currently giving a hard time to Italian neo-fascists. If you need to be reminded of what war, Nazism and Fascism look like up close, do read his autobiographical novel Necropolis about his WWII interment. The guy has just turned 106 (that is: one-hundred-and-six years old). Sharp as a knife, he is well-informed on the current goings-ons, and maintains a keen interest in politics for reasons that don’t need to be explained (in case they do: the man has scars to prove what can happen when politics goes awry). As the result of his international recognition, undisputed courage and miraculously intact faculties, he gets to say whatever he likes, and people listen. And you thought you were special.

Is Melania Trump really Slovenian?

Apparently this gets asked. Yes, she most certainly is Slovenian, from Slovenia. She was born when Slovenia was still a part of the former Yugoslavia (that’s the Balkan country that imploded in a series of genocides, mass rapes and general butchery known as the Yugoslav Wars in the 90s, and proceeded to shatter into a number of smaller countries, among them Slovenia we know today). I remember Melania well from when she was embarking on her modelling career – I used to watch modelling contests and beauty pageants religiously as a kid – and yes, she is real, she is Slovenian, and she is from the town of Sevnica in Slovenia. She was born Melanija Knavs and later switched to a more internationally-friendly Melania Knauss, so maybe that’s where the confusion comes from. Oddly enough, her fellow Sevnica-born Tanja Pečar is the life-partner of our President Borut Pahor (the model dude from above). That’s right, at least two different countries have first ladies from the same small Slovenian town. And there may be others because the fact you were born in Sevnica is not necessarily one you care to advertise.

Continue reading Like Snopes but for Slovenia? I don’t have a title yet

I’m loving it

Slovenia doesn’t have a government and it’s been an absolute delight. Our last government stepped down in a huff; the boiling point being us voters having one good laugh too many at the prime minister’s expense. This prompted early elections, the results of which created such a hot mess that there’s a strong hope that nobody will be able to come up with a viable coalition. The most votes were scooped up by the party all the other parties swore they didn’t want anything to do with because its platform is “based on division and hate” (I suspect the irony is lost on them). The election losers’ general attitude to the results is that the voters got it wrong, but they’re not entirely oblivious to the fact that the voters might get it even more wrong next time. So, if the relative winner is shunned by all the potential coalition partners who in turn patch together a motley crew of a coalition by themselves, there’s a strong hope that we won’t end up with a functioning government because there will be too many pigs fighting at the trough. Even if new elections are called it’s quite possible the same jumble will happen all over again, which is great. Because if you’re Slovenian and know what’s good for you, a functioning government is about the last thing you want. Continue reading I’m loving it

Slovenia: Why is it so difficult to leave, Part I

A funny thing you can’t help but notice if you happen to wander into the country called Slovenia is that it’s almost impossible to leave. It’s not like anyone is manning the borders; the country is in the Schengen Area which basically means everyone and their sister is roaming around freely. The traffic connections are superb and, with Slovenia being so tiny, you can step on it and find yourself somewhere else in a matter of minutes. Our neighbours the Croatians – who lay claim to a somewhat larger country which is as pretty as they come but shaped like a pair of spaying tongs – will gladly tell you that Planica (where our rather famous ski flying hill is) will never get a permit for a higher hill as then the skiers would be landing on Croatian porches, wreaking all kinds of havoc in the process.

(If it weren’t for the Croatians, we Slovenians would need to come up with our own jokes about Slovenia’s size but luckily enough our southern neighbours have been maintaining a steady supply of those for as long as I can remember.) Continue reading Slovenia: Why is it so difficult to leave, Part I

Methinks: Politicians, Part II

I never know with the Americans; do they even realise how wonderfully cynical they are? The current USA ambassador to Slovenia, His Excellency Joseph Adamo Mussomeli, who has earned quite a reputation for frequently voicing his opinion of our bickerings, recently said something like ”In the USA, politicians pretend to hate each other, but your politicians hate each other for real”.

(You gotta love this guy. He’s outspoken to the point of being brave, brilliant, with a great sense of humour. He succeeded in ticking off more people than all other ambassadors to Slovenia present and past combined. One of the few things about him that sort of fits what I’d expect from a diplomat is his undeniable charm and his skill at wooing the press – though he assures us that the media are always going for his throat.) Continue reading Methinks: Politicians, Part II

Regardless of what your mother said, you most definitely are Slovenian if

Your whole attitude to life could be summed up by ‘You can do whatever you want with me but you’d better not interfere with my driving!’ – that having been said, here are some sure giveaways as to your Slovenian roots:

– Your car is worth as much as your house or more; if you’re renting, your monthly car payment exceeds your rent.

– If you see an expensive car following the traffic rules, you consider it a waste of a fine vehicle and start fantasizing about all the rubber you’d be burning if you could afford a car like that.

– If you see an expensive car breaking the traffic rules you consider it proof that all rich people are inconsiderate thieving bastards who think they can get away with anything and could sure use a good whipping. Continue reading Regardless of what your mother said, you most definitely are Slovenian if

Tell-tale signs you might be Slovenian, Part II

– You would never consider moving in order to land a better job.

– You will, however, backpack, hitchhike, climb, crawl and paddle your way from the Arctic to Antarctica and back just for fun.

– When abroad, you can never avoid running into your fellow nationals no matter how secluded your destination may be because they’re everywhere.

– Each time you encounter your fellow countrymen anywhere outside of your national borders you pretend to be glad to see them but in reality you consider your trip a failure and swear to seek out an even remoter place next time.

– You go to the Croatian coast each summer despite knowing it has one of the highest numbers of your fellow nationals per square foot on record and then complain under your breath about everybody around you speaking your language and feel like somebody robbed you of your holiday experience.

– You don’t necessarily go out of your way to make people from other former Yugoslav republics feel particularly welcome in your country but if you happen upon them abroad you couldn’t be happier and you’ll get drunk together and reminisce about the good old Yugoslavia until you jointly pass out under the table. Continue reading Tell-tale signs you might be Slovenian, Part II

Tell-tale signs you might be Slovenian, Part I

You might be Slovenian if:

– You own a car, a house and some land and you’re always complaining about being underprivileged.

– Whenever somebody visits you apologise profusely for your house being such a mess despites the fact the whole place is next to sterile with no clutter in sight.

– No matter how broke you claim to be you seem to have little problem finding money for high-end sports equipment.

– You claim to have no money while going out for drinks every night and taking seaside vacations and ski trips several times a year.

– You believe a deep tan is a sign of health and athleticism and feel obligated to drop hints to this effect around fair-skinned individuals.

– You believe your politicians must be some sort of an experiment gone wrong and are under no circumstances to be considered a reflection of your national character. Continue reading Tell-tale signs you might be Slovenian, Part I

Smartinsko jezero pri Celju

Prevajalski piknik na Smarjaku!!

 

Prostor prispeva lady Tanja, žare in organizacijo prispevamo Celjani, par prenocišc pod trdo streho Alenka in jaz, hrano in pijaco vsi po vrsti. S sabo prinesti kaj za jesti, piti, sedeti, ležati, kakšno kitaro in kak šotor, ce je želja po spanju zunaj.

 

Do prostora za piknik se da priti z avtom, vendar pa je verjetno najbolje, ce se lepo parkira pod brano (tam je dovolj veliko parkirisce) in potem lepo sprehodi mimo razgledne tocke, brane, luke ter cez most. Na koncu mostu je na desni colnarna, kjer so igrala, klopi, mize, strežba & izposoja colnov. Na levi pa je prostor za naš piknik! V bližini sta dve kemicni stranišci; eno je povsem blizu (pri colnarni), drugo pa malenkost dlje – pri luki.

 

Šmartinsko jezero je eno najvecjih umetnih jezer v Sloveniji (površina 117 ha), odlikuje ga zelo razgibana in dolga obala. Datum poznamo, tocno lokacijo in nekaj pripadajocih atrakcij pa si lahko ogledate na spodnjih fotkah.

 

Ladja malce bolj od blizu

Turisticna ladja na zgornji sliki odpelje iz luke vsakic, ko se na njej nabere deset ljudi. Cena 5 eur. Plovba traja kakšno uro, ves cas strežejo pijaco. Razporeditev sedežev je prijazno gostinska – ne guliš klopi kot v šoli, ampak se lepo posedeš okoli mizic, na katere si potem seveda narocaš pijaco po želji. Kapitan je faca in mislim, da lahko brez problema ladjo dobimo samo zase, ce je interes.

Ladja sredi jezera

Ladja na sredi enega od zalivov; je kar hitra, malenkost piha, ampak ni hudega. Za popolno doživetje se daš na zgornjo palubo.

Jezerska voda

Taka je pa jezerska voda (da ne bo kdo rekel, da nismo povedali). Od dalec lepo modra, od bliže malce bolj kavne barve. Ni ravno za piti, za plavanje in pedalinckanje  je pa cisto dobra. Še posebej zato, ker je prijazno topla.

Sprehajališ?e ob ribiški

Sprehajališce ob ribiski koci. Ta je od nasega prostora za piknik oddaljena le par minutk, ce si sposodiš colnicek ali pedalincek. Seveda se pride tudi po cesti, ampak tisto ni tako kul 🙂 Za ribiške navdušence je to ena od najboljsih lokacij.

Obris jezera, lokacija ribiške ko?e in prostora za piknik

Tisti križec tamle v levem kotu oznacuje lokacijo nasega piknika. No, od križca do polotoka z ribiško se lepo pride s pedalinom.

Še en lep pogled na jezero

Pogled na jezero z ribiške koce. V živo je še lepše!

Promenada pri ribiški ko?i

Ena od promenad; tale je ob ribiški koci. Na sploh je obala jezera prepredena z lepimi potmi, ki so ponoci delno osvetljene, in gosto posejana z romanticnimi klopmi in pocivalisci.

Ribiška ko?a

Ribiška koca. Spet. Zanimiv plac; pijaco strežejo, hrano pa s sabo prineseš oz. uloviš in jo sam pripraviš.

Lupine pri ribiški ko?i

Simpaticne stare lupine.

Ribi?ija

Saj sem omenila, da je jezero polno rib?? Karte so od 17 do 19 EUR, obdržiš lahko eno ribo; ce je ujeta riba težja od 5 kg, jo moraš izpustiti.  Rules are rules. Sem pa pozabila vprašati, ali so mislili 5 kil pri še živi ali že ocisceni … tako da zna biti tukaj nekaj manevrskega prostora 😉

Drevesa diskretno obdajajo naš prostor za piknik

Tale drevesa varujejo naš prostor za piknik pred radovednimi pogledi. Smo pa deset sekund od obale, luksuz!

Vse to si lahko izposodiš

Plovilca za izposojo. Colnarna; 10 metrov od piknika. V ozadju luka z ladjicama in nasip, ki drži vso to vodo stran od Celja.

Jezero je priljubljeno zbirališ?e ljubiteljev psov

Jezero je zelo priljubljeno zbirališce psov. In njihovih lastnikov. Skratka, the place je animal friendly.

Se ena lepa urejena pot, tik ob prostoru za piknik

Ena od urejenih sprehajalnih poti, tik ob prostoru za piknik.

Colnarna - izposoja pedalinov in podobnega

Pogled na colnarno. Levo od njih smo mi.

Jezero z nerodno oznaceno lokacijo piknika

Nekakšen zemljevid bi se lahko temu reklo.  X marks the spot. Rjava crta je moje umetniško doživljanje mostu.

Most prek jezera

No, tole je ta most, cez katerega je treba iti, da se pride na piknik. Pri prehodu se tale stvarca simpaticno ziblje.

Sprehajalni gank s pogledom na most

Urejena galerija, po kateri se nad obalo sprehodiš na most.

Ena od sprehajalnih poti

Alenka šeta mimo plaže.

Artefakt

Tu in tam najdeš ob jezeru kaj tako simpaticno starega; meni so tele stopnice všec, komu drugemu bo pa kaj drugega. Priložnosti za fotografiranje  je dovolj. Cisto blizu prostora za piknik je na primer drstišce, kjer se zadržujejo mnoge vodne ptice.

Plaža

Urejena plaža (pozno popoldan).

Brana na Smartinskem jezeru

Pogled na brano od spodaj; visoka je 18,5 m in dolga 205 m. Sedaj so jo preuredili v sprehajališce.

Smartinsko jezero v bolj divji izdaji

Pogled na enega bolj divjih delov obale. Ampak bolj na videz; med drevesi se vijejo urejene sprehajalne poti.

Alenka

Alenka se smuka prek skakalnice.

Žverka na sprehodu

Vecina ljudi pripelje s sabo kužke, tale dama pa je jezero razkazala svojemu dihurcku.

Prostor za piknik Prostor za naš piknik! Klopca, miza, kamin. Ljubka crna kepica v ospredju je Ajša.

Še en pogled na jezero

Jezero kljub urejanju obale in razvoju turizma ohranja svoj na trenutke divji videz.

Streha Ce bi se hotelo resno uliti, lahko vedrimo tule pri colnarni.

Za najmlajse

Igrala za otroke so na dveh lokacijah; zgornja je takoj zraven, pri colnarni, druga pa ob luki.