A Visit to Ljubljana, and hopefully in the end how to know how to spell it
- Hey, what are you doing in August ?
- I’m going to Slovenia !
- Where’s that ?!
Ok, I know that the French are not super hot on geography, but still! Slovenia isn’t Nauru either (what? I know you know EXACTLY where Nauru is on the map right?). Anyway, last year of my studies and the last summer holidays : five days in the capital of Slovenia was necessary.
Background: The first time I lived abroad, was for an internship in a NGO in Berlin. NGOs recruited people from all corners of the Earth. And it was between two glasses of red wine, some peanuts and three debates, when I met Marta, a young Slovenian red head. She’d enjoyed Bordeaux when she came to visit me but I didn’t know that I would love Ljubljana.
“Are you going to the main Post?”
“I don’t speak english”
No, I wasn’t afraid to get the mini-bus at night where no one speaks English. So I show the driver the piece of paper with Marta’s address on and he points me in the direction of the shuttle. During the 30-minute journey in the dark, with only some churches lit up on the horizon, I manage to note in my book my first impressions.
First Slovenian morning … strong>
Left Paris dressed in trousers and a jumper, and wake up in Ljubljana dress, what more could you want? So while Marta goes to work on her thesis at the library, I’m off out on my own, armed with my camera to walk the streets of the capital. The architecture is really cool, and the city is colourful. The BU: simply amazing! There is a river called the Ljubljanica that separates the city from an island which meets the castle and really adds to the charm of the capital.
Shoes hanging from electric cables, paint bombs and city walls.
To try to capture the mood and atmosphere of the Slovenian identity, in the gentle rays of the sun I explore every nook and corner of the capital. In the arty neighbourhood, (close to the central square) the Street Art is most apparent however it continues in all other streets. I came across Metalkova in Ljubljana which is the equivalent of the old Kunsthaus Tacheles in Berlin (RIP). There are also ephemeral exhibitions here where you enter directly by a window.
If the image of Paris is a boat adorned with a crown, and if Toulouse is the Occitan cross …
Ljubljana is one of … A DRAGON! This powerful symbol is found in a castle which organizes an outdoor cinema during the summer. Here is where I got the chance to spend the beginning of the night with Christoph Waltz under the stars with Mr. Polanski (cf. see Carnage)
In Slovenia I meet one of the greatest photographers.strong>
He drives across Europe with his girlfriend to Egypt. He has badly twisted his ankle. He visits lakes, mountains and forests in Slovenia. He couch-surfs at Marta’s friends. He is the son of one of the mothers who played / appeared in the film Women in Alexandria. He is Franco-Egyptian. He did not recognize my French accent (which is not bad!!). His photographs are published in several major magazines including Times. He’s called … he’s called? Kim Badawi! And … s really passionate. So there we go… no need to be in Paris, Los Angeles, New York or Tokyo to meet celebrities and talents. Thanks to couch surfing they come straight to you. So now, with this young curly haired man with many stories to tell, we spend a drunken evening together, barefoot, at a music festival.
The capital in the forest. And vice versa.
I never thought that it would be possible to hike in a European capital. But believe me, Ljubljana knows how to surprise those who dare to visit. And I think that’s the reason there is a FOREST IN THE CAPITAL. And it’s good for the body and lungs! It’s also possible to enjoy afternoon tea (which is really good) in a cafe in the middle of the forest.