Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Letter #129 from Slovenia

Letter #129 comes from Vesna in Slovenia.Vesna comes from a small town in Slovenia and lives with her husband of 15 years and their labrador named Brina.She used to work as  a Slovenian language teacher.Slovenia is a small country with a big population,over 2 million people.They are also rich in natural landscapes,such as the Adraitic Sea,the Alps,many lakes and forests.

Vesna has shared a multitude of information with us about her country,so I will have to condense it so this post doesn't become a novel.She has really shared an enormous amount of information with us that I will share below:

•Every year they plant over 1,200,000 trees and is the third most forested country in Europe.
•Most biologically diverse country in the world with over 24,00 animal species.
•the Secovlje Salina Nature Park is on the UNESCO list of wetlands of international importance.
•Home to the one of the largest brown bear populations in Europe.
•Has over 27,000 km of rivers,streams,and other watercourses.
•Home to the oldest vine in the world at over 400 years old and still provides enough grapes to make 25 liters of wine every year.
•Has largest number of religious buildings per capita in Europe;over 3,000 religious buildings.
•Tallest cliff on the Adriatic Coast,with a an almost vertical wall rising to a height of 80 meters.
•At carnival time in Cerknica,the Simpletons take over the local government.The Simpletons are the literary creations of Fran Milcinski and were famous for having taken leave of their senses long ago.Hmm,maybe they have taken over our government,too,at times. ;)
•Traditional dish for special occasions is a type of cake called potica.
•You can find traces of real dinosaurs,such as the Triassic there,which are around 200 million years old.
•Over 60 world records in ski jumping and ski flying were set in Planica.
•The first man to ski down Mt. Everest,Davo Karnicar,was a Slovenian.He was also the first man to ski the highest peaks of all seven continents.
•The first man to successfuly swim the Amazon,Mississippi and the Yangtze rivers was a Slovene named Martin Strel.
•Slovenia has over 7,000 km of mountain hiking trails.
•You can actually pay to sleep inside a prison cell at a place called Celica Hostel,which was a former military prison.Hopefully it's not so nice that you want to visit a real prison. ;)
•Some scenes from the Chronicles of Narnic:Prince Caspian,were filmed in the Soca Valley.
•Couples get married on Bled Island to ensure a long and happy marriage.The groom must carry the bride up the 99 steps leading to the island.I guess if the groom doesn't complain after that,he's a keeper,right. ;)

Vesna loves reading,especially mysteries.Some of her favorite books are written by Colin Dexter,Minette Walters,Henning Mankel and Val McDermit.She also loves theatre and has even once written a play that was performed by a theatre group at school a few years back.She also has a very eclectic taste in music,liking such bands as INXS,The Doors,Nickelback and many more.

She also loves travelling and has travelled quite a bit around Europe.She has visited Switzerland,Spain,Germany,Austria,Italy,France,Czech Republic,Slovakia,UK,Yugoslavia,Greece and Bulgaria...ok,I need to catch my breath.That sounds like some pretty fascinating places to visit.I know many people in Europe always talk about visiting so many countries since it's easy to travel in Europe,so they are very fortunate,but I wonder if people always think that Americans probably always visit Mexico and Canada since they are our neighbors?I have been to Canada only twice for quick shopping trips when we lived in Michigan,but I wish we could have seen more before we moved down south.I wish we had more countries on our continent that were a close drive or plane trip to get to so that we could enjoy seeing other cultures in person.It seems like we are so far away from everything.Vesna says that she keeps a travel journal.I would love to see that journal....perhaps she has it on flickr or pinterest?

She also likes to collect postcards and has about 3,000 of them.I thought we had a lot at around 400 or so. :) She also likes fridge magnets,cute pens,key chains,book marks,letter sets and more...all those girly things that we love,too.She also shared some really funny stories about growing up in Yugoslavia and her parents having to smuggle things in from other countries since there were things they didn't sell or were very expensive.They were even limited with how much washing powder or coffee you could bring back into the country,so her parents always made sure to take all the kids,so they could bring more back into the country. :) She even had some funny stories on how they were able to sneak in money,but I won't be sharing that with you all here,I'll let you use your imagination. ;)

Vesna is really into paper crafts but says that they don't have craft shops like we do in the U.S.I can't even begin to imagine not having craft stores nearby.Our den is filled with all types of art/scrapbooking supplies that we enjoy during our free time.Things like rubber stamps and paper punches are almost impossible to find in her country.She has even enclosed a bookmark that she made herself that is really cute.

Vesna has also enclosed some lovely postcards,one of which shows their capital city,Ljubljana and the otehr featuring many different cities.Thanks so much Vesna for your lovely letter and postcards,which can be seen below:

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