Wednesday, June 21, 2017

A Train Ride Through Slovenia. . . .

 I have another friend visiting this week, this time from Bordeaux, and while I'm showing her around Vancouver, I thought you might like to look through a train window at Slovenia. These are photos I took just a few weeks ago, following The Man in Seat 61's directions for travelling by train from Venice to Zagreb.  (We broke the journey with an overnight stay in Ljubljana -- I'll show you photos of that lovely city later).
 I have no idea whether Slovenia dries out with summer heat later in the season, but as you can see, when we rode through it was ever so verdant, lushly green. . . .
 You might wonder that I could tear my eyes away from this scenery at all, but I did do some reading on the train, and I posted about a few of the books I read over the last few weeks of travel. If you're looking for some new titles to pick up at your library or bookstore, have a peek here
 And now, if you don't mind, I'd better get ready to play Tour Guide. I had a few hours with my friend yesterday evening, but I only have a few more this morning before the conference she's here for begins.
 Oh, and maybe don't tell Lisa or Sue, but I finally managed to get some sunshine going for a visitor. L. has arrived from Bordeaux where it's currently 38 degrees, so she probably wouldn't have minded some rain, some coolness. But we Vancouverites are positively thrilled to see the sunshine, and the beaches were already filling up as L. and I strolled beside them last night.
Whoops! Have to confess that I ran off, right here, because I looked at my watch and realized I was late for my Tour Guide gig. We've been on the beaches again, and we've strolled through the Museum of Anthropology, and we've nattered all the way through lunch at one of the many brewpubs in my neighbourhood, and I've just hugged my friend good-bye, hoping that I might get one more visit before she flies home this weekend, knowing that if not, well, SIGH, I'll just have to head to Bordeaux again for a visit. . . .

Meanwhile, I've quite enjoyed reviewing my photos of our train ride through Slovenia, and I hope you have as well. I'd love to hear from any of you who have spent time there.
For now, though, I'm going to have a quick nap -- a wonderful prerogative of retirement! -- so I'll leave you with these photos.
Comments welcome,
as always. . . .


  1. Wonderful stuff. I love taking trains when in other countries because you get to see so much more and it all seems much more concrete than views from the car windows. How beautiful Slovenia is! Have you read Patrick Leigh Fermor's astounding A Time of Gifts and the follow-up, The Broken Road? If not, put it on your winter reading list. It will make sense to you. Glad your weather is changing. So is ours and it looks like a wet day ahead.

    1. Absolutely yes to A Time of Gifts, Between the Woods and the Water, and The Broken Road. Especially the first.

  2. Your photos are beautiful-I like the play of shades and exactly know the little village with the church
    Do I count as a visitor to Slovenia?
    Nevertheless,it is a beautiful small country and you should visit it for more tham a day.
    The temperatures are lower than in Croatia (we had over 30°degrees for days) and the grass is lushly green indeed. It has hills,Alps,pastures,wonderful walks,the most beautiful lakes Bled and Bohinj(yes,Frances,it seems that I am actually obsessed with lakes ,rivers,seas and other waters :-)-I adore them),woods (with deers!), Logarska valley (and other ones)and it has a little bit of coast.
    Slovenia is a country where you can do a lot of sports: ski,hike,climb hills and mountains,play golf,walk,run,row,kayaking,rafting,sail (to Croatia :-)).......or simply enjoy for a couple of days,peacefully,reading a book or looking in the green. Slovenia has very good restaurants (and the best Chef in 2017 by San Pellegrino's Best World Restaurants- Mrs. Ana Ros from Hisa Franko (selfeducated Chef,she was in Diplomacy before),you'll enjoy
    Ljubljana is such a lovely town,can't wait for your post about it
    I have wonderful Slovenian friends,there and here,too
    I could write for hours.....
    Hope that you are feeling well

    1. Yes, it really deserves more than one day (and you certainly count as a visitor, but one who knows the country very well)
      We saw a Netflix program on that chef. I'll have to watch it again.

  3. I enjoyed that trip with you . How picturesque little church steeples are . I've checked a map & can see that I have not been to Slovenia . Did go to Yugoslavia a few times but it's Croatia now . Beautiful country Dottoressa . I'm not too good at train travel , even spectacular journeys have me drifting into sleepiness as the scenery slides by . I'm better in cars when I can jump out for fresh air . I am in Prague next week with my sisters & have arranged an overnight stay in a place called Cesky Krumlov - have a google it looks lovely . Anyway it means a longish train journey to & fro - must stay awake .
    Wendy in York

    1. Aren't they? I don't think there's too much that's more picturesque than a sweet little cluster of houses climbing a hill, topped by a church steeple...
      Curious to know why you want to resist the sleepiness a train induces -- I actually thinks that's one of the plusses! ;-) Enjoy Prague (or have you already -- I'm behind in my responses, I know)

  4. I really enjoy train travel European trains are comfortable and it's a perfect way to enjoy the countryside. Slovenia looks very lush and green. You will be getting to know Vancouver very well with your tour guide visits. We've got relatives coming from Shetland and I think that the MOA would be in order. Enjoy.

    1. And there's a wonderful new wing at the MOA!

  5. The white dots of the elderflowers made the landscape in your photographs look quite familiar to me. Looking at your pictures was a wonderful respite, badly needed in all the rush of the last days of term. Marks and meetings and tearful farewells all round. First we had to let go quite a few of our refugee students who pass on to different schools and I couldn’t (and can’t) keep wondering/worrying how they will get on. And then there was a kind of retirement celebration for myself and three more colleagues, with speeches and presents and some students singing and dancing and desperately trying to keep in line (poor kids!) and more speeches and even a few funny verses. I had decided to dress up in my new statement T-shirt and when it was my turn to say a few words I let the inner sociologist pop up and give a tiny speech about the importance of gift giving and reciprocity as a means of social coherence. A last gift from me to a group of wonderful colleagues. And now I feel a bit strange, sort of floating, while the famous word of today being the first day of the rest of your life is taking on a completely new meaning…

    1. I've been thinking of you this past few weeks, remembering that strange sensation of leaving work that has been so meaningful, so identity-consuming. Do take care of yourself in the next while, see if you can find time just to "be," without setting expectations too quickly. (I'm glad you worn your statement Tee, let yourself really speak up, as you began the identity-straddling-transforming move -- have you ever read Lewis Hyde's book The Gift, which considers creativity in terms of gift economy, from an anthropological/sociological/literary theory perspective. I thought of it again when I was showing my guests the First Nations artifacts at our Museum of Anthropology, especially those related to the great potlatches of the West Coast, outlawed for decades by our settler-coloniser-capitalist economy, in its attempt at cultural genocide. . . .

    2. I never heard of Lewis Hyde but made a note to get the book as soon as I return to town. I read Marcel Mauss in my time, and when I was working in a research project on the history of the Nicaraguan Atlantic Coast (culture clash vs. culture contact, cultural identity etc.) I studied forms of gift giving and surplus distribution and their relation to gender roles in non capitalist societies. (One of my parallel lives: I would have liked to be an ethnologist...)


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