Slovenia
October 19 - 25, 2004 SIW
 

October 20
I arrived in LBJ airport and was picked up along with four others who were on the same flight. After gathering our luggage we boarded our van to take us to Portoroz, about a two hour drive. The countryside was so similar to driving through the interior of British Columbia, I could have been going to our west coast! The homes were very different though – many square in shape and most 3 stories high and often with many windows in them. As we got closer to the Adriatic coast, the climate changed to show palms, vineyards and olive groves. We are staying at the Grand Metropol, a five star right at the marina. What I look out on to is the Adriatic sea. Lovely quiet room with a deck almost as big as the room itself. It’s hard to leave the scenery from my balcony but I know there is more to discover and want to walk. I walk along the waterfront – it’s not a long walk as Portoroz (port of roses) is really a resort town. The shops are upscale but each one you enter has a friendly face greeting you. I had dinner at the Rive on the waterfront – gnocchi with asparagus and scampi, and then walked back to the hotel.
October 21
I had breakfast delivered to my room this morning because I wanted to sit out on the balcony to enjoy my coffee afterwards. A great breakfast of soft boiled eggs, cheese, sliced meat and the most delicious hot croissants filled with apricots and coffee of course. The coffee here is served with hot milk as it should be and really quite unique in taste. The fog slowly lifts as I finish off my coffee…down below me is a garden and the birds are chirping and singing as the sun comes up. I register for my workshop then walk the marina and sea wall..much to photograph in plant material here…lavender, rosemary, persimmons, grapes, kiwi, trees, roses. Back to the hotel to get ready for a boat cruise. On board they had smelts and local wine and a three piece band that knew all kinds of music to get us in the spirit…enjoyed our cruise then back to hotel to get changed for a party at Hotel Grand Palace – this was my first opportunity to taste many local foods. I also had a wonderful refreshing drink of martini & rossi, campani and spritzer before walking back to our hotel..beautiful warm evening.
October 22
Again, enjoyed breakfast in my room then down to see the official opening ceremony in SIW ‘Slovenia Invigorates’. There are many diverse areas in this small country…you can be at the sea and two hours later be in the sunny alps. This is a very friendly and safe country. At this SIW there are 176 foreign visitors from 26 countries and 104 tables are set up for meetings with various inbound suppliers. There is a picture of our hotel, the one with all the big balconies and the coaches out front that we used.
This evening we are transported to the Grand Hotel St. Bernardin on the waterfront and just as we arrived classical music was playing and a Lipizzaner horse strutted by – quite wonderful in the evening darkness to see this stunning white horse with a rider dressed in red. Inside to be greeted with a glass of champagne then into the auditorium for our evening presentation.
‘In grace there is strength – in touch there is authenticity’ We were entertained by a succession of wonderful singers and dancers then it all ended with fireworks. After this we were escorted into the dining area for the gala dinner. Each of us were given a silver starfish as a memento of the event. We dined and tasted many local wines then it was time to leave for our hotels to pack for our next adventure.

 

 

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