As we prepared for our trip, we felt we had some reasonable expectations for Italy. After all, Italian culture is ubiquitous, through the large Italian diaspora and through TV and movies, not to mention how many common things in the western world come from Italy. Sure, there were still lots of surprises, but nothing like the surprise called “Slovenia”. Slovenes (not Slovenians) themselves are very aware that most people outside their country not only don’t know where it is, they have never heard of it, often confusing it with Slovakia.
But what a hidden gem of a country it is! From the spectacular geography of mountains and oceans to the people to the food to the history, it is place deserving of much more attention.
I am currently writing this during our layover at the airport in Frankfurt, Germany, on our way back home to Ottawa after two incredible weeks. Upon returning, I hope to write a fuller reflective report, but for now, I will share a few photos of the Slovene portion of our trip.
Our time in Slovenia began when our host, Pastor Chris Scobie, a New Zealander, living in the capital, Ljubljana, picked us up from the train station in the Italian border town of Trieste and drove us to the Slovene seaside town of Koper.
This is Chris and his Slovene wife, Sabina, who was my interpreter for the seminar.
The next day (Friday), a couple from the church in Ljubljana took us to the town of Bled, not far from the Austrian border. It is a favorite destination for Slovenes with a castle on top of a high Hill (behind us) and an old church in the middle of the lake. No motorized boats are allowed and sometimes you might find the national rowing team practising here.
One of our great discoveries was how much Slovenes love cream cakes, especially the Bled Cream Cake. We had some at the very place where it was invented. We were one day early for the 60th anniversary.
Here is my piece, along with my one of several espressos I had on this trip:
That evening began my Bible overview seminar, which continued through Saturday morning. This photo is from the Sunday morning service where I spoke two more times. The young lady was one of my interpreters. It was she and her husband that took us to Bled. For many Slovenes, we were the very first Jewish people they ever met. The people were so receptive at I shared how true biblical faith is deeply rooted in God’s promises to the Jewish people .
On Saturday afternoon, we were taken to downtown Ljubljana. We were so struck by its beauty and interesting old architecture .
Our tour guide was another young lady from the church. We really hit it off together as we did with so many:
I will leave it at that for now, as we need to find our gate for our departure. Thanks for following us on our adventures. Stay tuned for further reflections and perhaps more adventure.