Sunday, December 26, 2010


I am amazed that people from these two countries--Slovenia and Slovakia visit my website. Why? What is their reason? How do they find me? Is this some sort of coincidence?

I ask these questions because I visited Yugoslavia, back in 1984, before the country was divided. Why did I go? I went with the ex-husband as part of a business/pleasure trip. We planned a three-week travel trip around a good chunk of Europe. He had never been and was terribly envious that I had toured most of Europe three times already. This was my fourth trip.

We planned trips around the wineries he represented with the distribution company for which he worked at the time and around sites of places included in the various high school courses I taught at the time.

He represented Avia (Ah-ve-uh), a Yugoslave wine, inexpensive and quite delightfully tasty. We wrote ahead, booking a tour of the winery and a tasting of various offerings. It was a profitable excursion all around, especially for the ex-. Here's a link to the winery:

Avia Winery is located in Ljubljana, a beautiful, part-modern, part-medieval city, that sits along the Sava River, right in the heart of Slovenia. A dear aspect of the people is their pride. We found ourselves lost and were seeking directions to our hotel. No one claimed to know English. "No English," we heard a number of times before a brave soul ventured to try his English. In fact, they all spoke English at various levels of experience, but wanted to speak perfectly and thus were afraid for us to hear them speak (just as I would have been in their place and am when I meet French speakers).
This man's English was better than I've heard actual Americans speak their own language. Anyway, he directed us on our way, leaving a very positive opinion of Slovenians.

If you're a blogger on Google, then you have at your use various charts that show who visits your site by country, by traffic source, and which posts they visit. I keep getting visits from Slovenia, usually two daily. Today, a visit from Slovakia showed up and I decided to write a brief blog, plugging these two countries and my pleasurable memories of them. Thank you, Slovenia.

Note: Slovakia was the other half of Czechoslovakia and now is the Slovak Republic. It was not part of our trip, but still interesting in that people there demanded their own country--and got it!

Note 2: One of the things our host at Avia suggested we do while in Slovenia was to go through one of the many caves in their area. So we did--and what a thrill! The guide told us that, at one point on our rail trip through this huge cave, we would cross the border of East Germany (this before the Fall of the Berlin Wall)! I know that "amazing" is an over-used word these days, but it perfectly describes that cave! Oh, we all had these overalls to put on to protect us from the frigid temperature inside the cove! It was all so -- amazing!

Note 3: The best, most lavish breakfast we had in all of Europe (and we were cheap) was in Ljubljana at our hotel. I have forgotten exactly what we had, but memory does tell me that it was "the best" and at a low price!

Here's a link to another blog dedicated to information about Slovenia:

In case you are interested in reading further about Slovenia: 

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A favorite souvenir

A favorite souvenir
These are my two girls from Ireland!

Judy's shared items

Books on my very ambitious TBR list (*denotes read)

  • *Reading Magic: Why Reading Aloud to our Children Will Change Their Lives Forever by Mem Fox
  • The Odd Women by George Gissing
  • The Zen of Fish by Trevor Corson
  • How to Get Your Child to Love Reading by Esme Raji Codell
  • The Cod Tale by Mark Kurlansky
  • In This House of Brede by Rumer Godden
  • *Joan of Arc by Mark Twain
  • Dag Hammarskjold by Elizabeth Rider Montgomery
  • The Wisdom in the Hebrew Alphabet by Rabbi Michael L. Munk
  • Children of Strangers by Lyle Saxon
  • Spiritual Writings by Flannery O'Connor
  • Nightmares and Visions: Flannery O'Connor and the Catholic Grotesque by Gilbert H. Muller
  • The Violent Bear It Away by Flannery O'Connor
  • Flannery O'Connor's South by Robert Coles
  • Wise Blood by Flannery O'Connor
  • Sylvanus Now by Donna Morrissey
  • *Vincent de Paul by Margaret Ann Hubbard
  • Reading Lolita in Tehran by Azar Nafisi
  • A Briefer History of Time by Stephen Hawking
  • The Library at Night by Alberto Manguel
  • Readicide by Kelly Gallagher
  • *Ruined by Paula Morris
  • Say You're Not One of Them by Uwem Akpan
  • Wandering Star by J.M.G. Le Clezio
  • Silence by Shusaku Endo
  • *The Assault by Harry Mulisch
  • Kari's Saga by Robert Jansson
  • *The German Mujahid by Boualem Sansal
  • Western Skies by Joseph Conrad
  • *The Giver by Lois Lowery
  • *Imperium by Ryszard Kapuscinski

School Library Journal - NeverEndingSearch


A semester course in one book about the Soviet Union. Click on image for my review.