Us Getting Started
This is just a test to see how photos will upload...we will get more up when we have a better internet connection. For now a photo of Moose and Bruce in their first fight in Kanal. We won't tell you who won!
Scotland to Kanal (Photos to follow when we can find a decent internet connection!)
I got back from work on Friday, much worse for wear thanks to a few drinks with a few folk from work. I was quite hungover and of the opinion that Slivovitza is not your friend. I also ended up with half my face missing for some reason, I had two scrapes on my forehead and one big one above my right cheek beside my ear, and behind my right ear was a mess. I can assure you when Penny saw my face she wasn’t impressed as the words “wedding photo’s” came to her mind. She had told me that 1 month before the wedding I wasn’t allowed to do any biking, hiking, rock climbing, caving or anything that could impact my ability to marry her, or look normal in a wedding photo. So I managed to avoid any trouble up until my last day of work. Ooops. However, she has forgiven me and 1 week later I’m mostly back to normal apart from some pink skin.
Anyhow she was talking to me again after 45 mins or so, and we headed
Life moves at a slower pace in Kanal, much slower for this dude.
to the clinic to get our jags (immunisations) and then we went for a bite to eat with some friends (unfortunately I still couldn’t eat anything) then we headed to my cousin Brian and Theresa’s for 2 nights so we could say bye to them and the rest of my family. Brian and Theresa’s daughter Jennifer was having her 17th birthday party on the Friday night which was loud and went on till about 2pm, and her brother Jordan was in hospital with a burst appendix. Not exactly how we had all planned my last weekend with Brian and Theresa. However the next day we spent saying goodbye to family before finally having a quiet and early night with Brian (Theresa was in hospital with Jordan overnight).
Brian drove us to the bus station first thing in the morning (4am) and we got to the airport with 2 hours to go till our flight left. Loads of time right? Not when you realise Ryan Air only allow 15kg of checked luggage and you’ve got 22kgs because you’re travelling for a year. Our carry on was already jam packed. As a result some stuff got binned, jackets were put on,
My Dad's cousin's wife and their daughter Anjelica they were our tour guides around Kanal where my dad, and his sisters lived for a while.
and pockets were loaded….and we were still 4kgs over, which at £15 a kg meant we had to pay an excess of £60 or $120 CAD. We were not happy to say the least. Then we also bought some shortbread for our family in Slovenia and put in a plastic bag for carry on until they told us on boarding that we had to have everything in our carry on. Aaaargh! So now it was getting critical for space. I actually had to take my Sporran out and wear it in order to fit two shortbreads in my bag. This was getting messy and we’ve only just started!
Milan to Trieste
The whole purpose of going to Slovenia was to see where my dad lived in a town called Kanal, and if possible meet some of his family. His mother Louise (my grandmother or Stara Mama as we called her) and all her family were/are Slovenian. So this was very much a trip to explore some family roots, but we didn’t have any expectations as the family didn’t know me, and I don’t think were really in touch with my dad, by my Aunt Fanny had kept in
touch and contacted a few of them for me.
Once we arrived in Milan the plan was to take the train from Milan to Trieste which is on the border of Italy and Slovenia, then one of my dad’s cousins were going to meet us there. It was around 20 degrees when we landed in Milan, sunny, the trains all worked and things were going exactly the way they should. We had to switch trains at a place called Bressia in order to get to Trieste and then we just had 2 hours of a coastal train ride until we were in the hands of my dad’s cousin. For those of you who know me you must be expecting disaster round about now…..you would be correct. Well, almost. Pen and I were waiting on our platform in Bressia for the train to Treiste when we noticed that it was time for our train but there was no train….that was because the platform had changed and it was on the next platform! We made a run for it, but if you’ve ever tried to run with a 20kg rucksack on your back, and a 10kg rucksack on your front….it’s really
more of a shuffle! However, we did manage to get to the platform with the train still there and just made it onto the train as the whistle went and the doors shut. It’s safe to say our adrenaline was going. We made it to Trieste, met my cousin Andreja and her husband Matteas (all spelling of names and places in Slovenia is very likely going to be wrong, I’m very sorry!). They drove us up to Andreja’s mothers (Droga) place where Droga had dinner ready for us. Dinner was Frutalja (which is like a thin pancake) filled with spinach, rice, and chicken…as well as home made proscuita for Penny. It was fantastic, and Pen and I stuffed our faces. Andreja and Matteas’s daughters were there…Anjelica and Veronica and it was nice to meet them as well. The family connection is that Droga’s husband Andrej was my dad’s cousin. Anyways, we were all tired and after a fantastic home made meal we all went to our beds.
The next morning Penny and I had fun trying to communicate with Droga who spoke virtually no English, and since Penny and I spoke practically no Slovenian it was interesting. However
This was the school my dad went to...or so they say.
we managed to communicate by hook and by crook and after breakfast Anjelica came round as she and Droga were going to take us to some of the parts of Kanal that my dad had lived in. This was going to be very interesting for me. We walked down and I was surprised at how beautiful Kanal was. It was in a valley with tree’s and hills around it, blue skies and beautiful almost Mediterranean like houses. We walked down to see a house my dad used to live in as a boy, and it was now a pizzeria where we had a coffee! That was very cool. Then we walked down to see the river Soca (pronounced Sautcha) that my dad had often mentioned. I walked ahead and seriously for the first time in my understood the term “breathtaking). I had expected a river much like most rivers I’ve seen over the last 8 years I’ve lived in Scotland. Instead what I saw was a stream of turquoise glinting in the sunlight that absolutely took me by surprise. Penny was behind me, and I watched as she came up to the bridge over Soca and stopped as her eyes
River Soca in Kanal
The beatiful Soca in Kanal where my dad lived.
widened. It really was something else. The pictures probably don’t really do it justice. Anjelica had to go back to school for her exam preperations, but Droga took us up to Slap Kozjak, a waterfall north of Kanal. This was also extremely beautiful. We were still amazed by the river Soca’s beauty as we walked up the hills towards the falls, and watched Soca wind its way through the forest and mountains. As we approached the falls we saw one of the coolest things I’ve ever seen, a salamander just short of a foot with black skin and bright orange patches. It was beautiful. Sadly the photo’s came out blurry because it was quite dark in the forest. We also saw a frog, and a few fish but the salamander was definitely the highlight. The falls themselves were also quite beautiful, and offered a welcome relief from the heat of the sun as they were in the shade.
We headed back down and managed to see a few lizards which was cool, we’re definitely not in Scotland anymore! We got back to the car and then drove back to Droga’s before packing up and heading to the train station.
Home is where the Pizza is
One of the houses my dad lived in is now a Pizza joint, we're standing in front here
While we were there we met a young student named Minka who was going to Ljubljana so she sat with us, got us a student discount, and was very helpful all round! She offered us a few tips on things to see in our next stop…..Ljubljana.
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