Friday, September 13, 2013

Throwback: Slovenia on the 4th of July

As I posted before, we went to Slovenia and Croatia for the 4th of July. While I was originally going to do just one post as it was a day trip, I realized I took entirely too many photos and a video, so it's best split into two posts. 

So we spent the morning and early afternoon on the 4th of July in Porec, Croatia. After we left Porec, our destination was Koper. We had heard nothing about it, had recommendations from no one but we looked at the map, it looked like a good sized city and it wasn't far from the highway so we made a stop.

Best decision ever.

First of all, it wasn't touristy at all. Secondly, it was some sort of holiday or sagra and it was so amazing to experience this towns traditions without it being put on as a show for tourists.

So when we first took the Koper exit, the kids spotted a McDonald's. Now they have eaten at a McD's in America, Germany, Italy and France so it only seemed appropriate that they get to try it in Slovenia as well. Afterall, this was their vacation too. We try our hardest to make these vacations and trips fun for them as well and surprisingly, McDonald's really is different in every country. In Slovenia, the kid's happy meals came with the chicken nuggets, fries, a fresh fruit cup, a bottle of milk and then the toy (which was Skylander's).


So we ate dinner then pretty much followed everyone else. We ended up right by the water, near a town square. This area, right near the marina, was gorgeous. The lighting was amazing as it was dusk and everything was just so pretty. I took a ton of photos which I feel inclined to share here.
   
  




 
The thing that I really noticed and enjoyed about Koper was the mix of the old and the new. There are building that are (what I assume) hundreds of years old right next to a really modern park.

 There were vendors selling lemonade, modern art, funky stone chairs facing the water, skateboarders, old people walking holding hands, restaurants with walk up windows next to fine dining places with cloth tablecloths and twinkling lights. The atmosphere was amazing. Small town, summer nights, amazing.
  
 As we were walking we started to hear all this excitement and music so we went to check it out.
This is where people had be milling about dressed in historical costumes when we had first arrived. Turns out these different groups were competing in some sort of music/dance competition. Each had a flag or tapestry representing their group and they would get called on stage. I managed to take a short video on my phone, but the quality isn't that good as we were at the outer edge of the crowd. Still it was fascinating to see/hear!
We had a wonderful evening in Slovenia. The people there were amazingly friendly and everyone we encountered spoke perfect English with the exception of a group of older people. They asked me, what I assume was ''Are they twins?" in Slovene.  I responded in Italian, that I spoke little Italian and did not understand. They then said "Gemelle?" and I knew that's what they asked and responded that no they were not twins and I listed their ages in Italian. This earned me a pat on my shoulder and an exclaimed ''Brava Mamma!' All in all, it was an amazing experience. While we were only there a short time, I'm glad we went.
 

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