Dad arrived in Amsterdam on Saturday, May 30th then recovered from jetlag for a few days then Friday, June 5th, we headed to the beautiful country of ....Slovenia. My father was born here (as were my grandparents on my mother's side) and all his siblings are still here. He has 4 siblings - Maritza (Mary) is 84 and her husband, Obrat is 82; Anna is 82 and her husband Joe is 84; his brother, Mirko is 76 and has a lovely lady friend named Emma; and his brother, Joe who is 70. This was the first time I met them. It is a strange feeling to hear about these people all your life and never meet them until now. They were so thrilled we came to visit. There has been tons of homemade food and drinks all the days so I took photos of the food too!
Dad and I were met in Zagreb by my cousin, Martina at 4pm and she took us immediately to the family home and the bar of my cousin, Natasha. Hard to believe but I learned the strangest thing - 2 of my cousins own bars but neither really drinks!
|The family home - Here my grandparents |
raised 5 children on a farm
|Yes, the Moravec Bar is right next to the family home|
|The family farm|
|My cousin Natasha picking strawberries on the farm|
|Our generous hostess, my cousin, Martina...what a wonderful lady!|
|Martina is very sweet!|
|This is Reka (Martina and Frank's dog)...She loves shoes, rags, |
and will eat anything from the table.
|Emma made these fabulous cookies - she was a cook in a hotel restaurant.|
|Martina, my Uncle Mirko, and my Dad on Martina's patio.|
Would you like water, apple juice, pear juice, Sprite, wine, beer, ...
|Frank and Emma look on the conversation (in Slovenian...)|
Later Saturday morning, Frank and Martina took us on a drive up into the mountains. We visited a few sites. The rivers and lakes in Slovenia are extremely clean. In many cases, you can see the bottom of the river bed.
|Didn't catch the name of this fortress in the mountains.|
We then visited a town called Kovejc, walked around a bit, and had a cool drink (did I mention it was about 35 degrees?) Kovejc is known for the brown bears which inhabit the surrounding area.
|Martina and I take a photo op with our new friend|
|This town is no exception - a church at the centre of it.|
|On the bridge|
We stopped in this little café at the centre of town near the church. The waiter spoke very good English and asked my Dad to see Canadian currency (he was a coin collector). Dad gave him a toonie and a loonie and made his day!
|The little café for a little cool beverage (Lasko is a type of beer)|
|The World War II memorial near the cafe|
|This mini mall type building was built after the 2nd World War.|
|This castle was on the mini mall site before it was destroyed during WWII|
|A small round church in the middle of nowhere|
We went for a late lunch to another Golstina. Pretty place...
|Inside the Golstina|
|These fish come from the local river|
|Here kitty, kitty, kitty :-)|
|Salad to start...|
|Mirko does a great job entertaining us as he plays his new accordion |
(he just purchased it yesterday).
|Left to right - my Uncle Joe, Martina, Dad, and Reka relax|
and eat freshly picked Bing cherries
|Emma and Mirko join the chat|
It was like out of a movie .... up in the mountains, drinks, relaxing and music from the old country.
We left around 7:30pm and headed home for a late dinner of grilled chicken, pork sausages, salad, and homemade bread and beer with grapefruit juice (like a spritzer)...It was great!