Slovenian Pavement Frisbee

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Europe » Slovenia » Istria » Piran
July 30th 2022
Published: August 12th 2022
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We wake up in an awful hurry. The bombs going off outside the window are shaking the building, and the flashes from the explosions are blinding. Mad Vlad’s clearly decided to move onto his next target, and he’s picked poor old Slovenia. Well that’s what it sounded like, but it seems it was just a thunderstorm. Issy says that wasn’t “just a thunderstorm”, it was the loudest brightest thunderstorm she’s ever experienced, and it’s a bit hard to argue.

I leave Issy catching up on some thunderstorm deprived sleep while I head off exploring. First stop is the belltower of the church on the point, and then the lighthouse next door. The views from the tops of both are excellent.

It’s a belltower day. Next stop is the St George’s Church belltower on a clifftop overlooking the town. It's a bit hard to miss; it dominates the skyline. The views from the clifftop down over the supposed dog beach below are excellent, although I‘m not sure I can see too many dogs. I am however a long way away, so there might be some there. I’m also too far away to tell whether the two lonely looking nudists on the beach are of the male or female persuasion. Issy’s often warned me of the dangers of using my telephoto lens for clarification in situations such as these, and I heed her advice, even though she’s not here. I’m sure she’ll be very proud when I tell her.

I scale the many steps to the top of the belltower. I’d thought this was one of Piran’s major attractions, so I wonder why I’m the only person up here. Well it seems that everyone else read the warning signs about the bells going off on the hour, with a particularly ominous warning about what happens at midday. My brain is vibrating and I’m now completely deaf; but I can still see, well I think I can, and if so the views down over the town are stunning.

I climb on ever upwards to the next stop, the remains of Piran’s ancient walls. Apparently there are three sets of these, each of which protected the town as it progressively expanded. The first set is down in the old town and dates from the seventh century. The set I’m now standing in front of is the third and most complete set which was built between 1470 and 1538. Slovenians we‘ve seen to date don’t seem to be obviously any shorter or thinner than anyone else in the world, but maybe things were different back in the Middle Ages. It’s a real squeeze to get up through a door through the stonework into one of the towers, and I hope none of the archers needed to get past each other in a hurry on any of the walls during battles, particularly if one of them happened to be wearing a large backpack and refused to get out of the way. Anyway, the views from up here are stunning.

Back on ground level it’s time for a quick dip in the Adriatic Sea. It seems saltier than we’re used to, and sure enough apparently it is, particularly during summer, due to high evaporation rates.

We settle in on our balcony where we’ve got front row seats to a game of what we now believe must be Solvenia’s national sport, Slovenian Pavement Frisbee. This appears to involve two or more players trying to land plastic disks close to a smaller plastic disk that’s been thrown out into the court (?) by one of them. It’s the second match we’ve had ringside seats to today. The first one looked friendly enough, but this one’s clearly a whole different ball game. It’s early days yet, but yellow/red disk player, he’s the pot bellied guy dressed in a straw pork pie hat and board shorts, seems to have the upper hand. His opponent, blue disk man dressed in a tee shirt and denim is battling valiantly, but we fear it’s a losing cause. Yellow/red disk man has his support crew on the sidelines - his wife; she occasionally looks up from her sunlounge to smile encouragement. The game appears to require a lot of enthusiasm, usually expressed as “oohs” and “aahs”, fist pumps, triumphant arm raising, and appeals to support crews. The latter only seems to apply to yellow/red disk man; whilst blue disk man may have a support person as well, we think she’s adjourned for a smoke. A crowd gathers to watch the climax, well we thought it was a crowd, but it turns out to be a dad and a toddler strolling past, and the toddler suddenly becoming fascinated as blue man launches a wayward disk only to have it roll away though the doorway of a nearby apartment. They adjourn for half time and Issy and I adjourn for a snooze. Several hours later, we awake to find that they’re still going. Maybe it was only quarter time before. I hope they finish before it gets dark; the court‘s not overly well lit.

As we walk along the promenade to dinner, a very cutdown version of the rubbish trucks we‘re more used to seeing cruises casually past us. Issy says it’s cute. I suspect this may well be the first instance in the history of the known universe that the words “cute” and “rubbish truck” have been used in the same sentence.

As we launch into our fish platter a bride walks into the restaurant, and sits down at a table for two with what looks suspiciously like her mother. Issy says that just because she’s dressed all in white doesn’t mean she’s a bride, but she’s not fooling me. So where’s the groom? Mum’s on the phone, and must clearly be asking the same question. She passes the phone to the bride who decides this conversation is not one she wants the rest of the diners to hear. She adjourns to the promenade in front of the restaurant. She looks relatively happy for someone who’s just experienced one of history’s shortest ever marriages. Mum looks happy too, and so she should be. The groom was probably a philandering jerk, and as an added bonus she just got to eat his meal. Well that could have been what happened; Issy just thinks I’ve enjoyed possibly just one too many bottles of the local brew.

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