Slovenia 2018: Travel Diary
18th of March, Sunday (Bruna Henriques)
We finally arrived at Zadobrova after a long trip from home due to which we were all starving and tired. In that moment I just dind't know what to do. Should I greet them with a kiss, a hug...? However Pia quikly showed up and huged me. That was the first time I ever seen her, I had no idea she was so beautifull. After that I discovered the first thing I didn't know about the Slovenian people: they give 3 kisses on the cheaks instead of one which was really akward at first since I wasn't going to the third kiss. Afterwards Alejandro and me went to her house where she showed us to our rooms and where we had the so awaited dinner. The second thing I learned was that they eat really early so at that time it was just Alejandro, Pia and me who were eating, it was very kind of her mother to make a second dinner for us. Pia's cousin and neighbour, Joseph, host of Henrique, invited us to go to his house to have some pancakes so after eating in Pia's house we went there and stayed to watch a movie. During our visit we talked a lot about everything from the school sistem to the weather of each country, to their trips and to each others languages. From what I've seen until now they are a very large and friendly family (Pia has 5 siblings!!!!). Each one of them also practices a sport and has already tried to play instruments what got me really surprised. After watching a movie we got back to Pia's house to sleep.
19th March, Monday (Joana Chen)
I woke up at 8am and it was snowing outside, when l saw the snow in the morning l felt very comfortable and l was very excited and wanted to be outside playing with snowballs.
After our breakfast my host Manca took me to her music room, where she played some music in the piano and guitar. Then we stared to talk and interact a lot, she taught me a lot of words in slovene and l taught her some words in portuguese and mandarin. We had lots of fun when we tried to say some words in different languages.
Then her grandparents came to take us to school. When l saw them for the first time they showed me a big smile on their faces and it made me feel like home. Although they couldn’t speak english they were very friendly.
On the way to school l saw the mountains on the background and it seemed like a postcard, because l had never seen a moutain with snow in my life and it really looked like a picture.
We arrived at school at 10 o’clock and then the slovenian students sang to us 2 welcome songs in slovene and they showed us some videos presenting Slovenia and the European Olympics project.
After that we had our oral presentation and it went well, better than l was expecting because before our presentation l was a little bit nervous.
In the afternoon we went to Ljubljana, Slovenia’s capital city, and we walked a lot around in the new and old part of the city.
We started our excursion to Ljubljana’s castle, we weren’t inside but we found it very funny outside because everything was covered by snow and we started our trip with a snow battle.
20th March, Tuesday (João Silva)
Today we went to school earlier at around 8:50 am to be there at 9 am. We went by bus and like us aleks and the other students have a pass that they can use.
We had to bring sports clothes because today was the day of the games. I brought my stuff in a backpack and changed my clothes at the school.
There was a small opening depicting the real olympic games and right after that the games started. To be honest all the games were a bit silly but fun nonetheless. They consisted of things like maneuvering a ball on an obstacle course, guessing the name of an athelete from another country and so on, the only real game was hockey in which me and my team tied.
After we were done with the games, unfortunately, my team was placed last because we had the least points, but we had fun regardless.
We chatted a bit before lunch and after that we went to another sports hall in the school were we played some volleyboll and exchanged some words with our slovene friends( interesting words I should say) and as a resulted learned some slovene.
I also learned that they don't usually have a shower at school, the reason is that there is only one and it's right next to the door, I wouldn't neither.
Me aleks and some of the guys went home and I took a quick shower before aleks' dad picked us up to take us to bowlling and billards were we planned to meet. It was fun but I must admit that even though I play bad they don't play well neither nonetheless time well spent.
We returned to aleks' home were we had dinner chatted a bit and I eventually went to bed to talk to my parents. I must admit that i'm starting to get relatively confortable around aleks and his family they are really nice and the people from slovenia are all very welcoming.
It was time for bed.
21st March, Wednesday (Maria Reis)
The day started normally. We had breakfast, walked the dog and then got to school. After everyone was at school we began our walk to the Olympic Centre. After a while we got to our destination. The walk, although long, was pretty fun. Everybody was talking and joking around.
Once at the Olympic Centre, we had an interesting presentation about Olympic values and culture and how important they are in order to have a fair sports competition. We recreated the opening ceremony of the Olympics Games and got to know more about Slovenia’s Olympic history. Despite being a small country Slovenia has lot of excellent athletes that represented their country very well with some of them winning medals. At the end, we got to take a look at the museum and we got to try somethings like skiing, for example. Overall it was a very good experience.
After the visit, we walked (again) to a restaurant. Inside the restaurant we found a very warm and sympathetic environment. There we had a really tasty meal which consisted of a lot of different types of meat. Besides the meat, there were some beans with onions and tomato sauce there some type of an omelette and naturally bread. I did not get to taste every single type of meat that it was served but all that I tasted was delicious.
Afterwards we took the bus home. That day we had a free afternoon so we went to Celje and visited the castle there. Celje is the third largest town in Slovenia and it takes about an hour by car to get there. The castle has associated some really interesting myths and legends and even tough some parts are still being rebuilt you can get a pretty good idea of how things were back then. In addition, you can take some great pictures because the castle has a wonderful view over the city.
Later we returned to Ljubljana and ate a homecooked dinner. Then we went briefly to Julija’s house. After that we went home again, ate ice cream, talked for little bit and then went to bed.
22nd March, Thursday (Tomás Emidio)
I wake up in the morning and have breakfast with Martin and his mother, we eat some very nice pancakes, then we get ready and go to school. The plan today is going to Planica to watch a ski jumping competition, then proceed walking through a snowy valley until we reach a big cabin that works as a restaurant at the very end of the path.
When we arrive at the school, there’s a bus waiting for us. We wait until everyone is on board and then the one hour trip starts. The ride is very pleasant as we ride through the mountains and little cosy villages on our way there. Suddenly, the gigantic ski ramps of Planica appear on our right. We park in a parking lot full of other buses. As we get out, we are handed some snacks to eat, and after we are done, we start walking down to the viewing area.
The place is full and teeming with energy there, lots of flags and horns are to be seen and heard everywhere. Some of the ski jumpers are training, and as we are making our way to a good spot, the presenter starts talking, and so the event starts!
It’s amazing seeing those men jumping over 200m, launching themselves from those heights with only their skis and body to control their flight. If seeing them is already as fantastic as it is, then being one of them while soaring the air must be truly something!
The event lasted around 2 hours, and after it ended we gathered around the start of the trail. It was a beautiful walk. The valley was covered in snow and went right through the middle of a forest. After an hour of walking we reached the cabin. While we were waiting for the food we talked, played with the snow and with a sleigh going downhill.
After we were done, it was time to head back, and how fun it was! The entire way back was marked by an intense snowball fight between everyone! It was a great time, and although we were all soaked, we didn’t care. It’s interesting how something as basic as throwing snowballs and pushing people into the snow can be ridiculously funny and entertaining when you are with amazing people.
On the bus ride back, most of us were tired and slept or just rested, and was overall a calm trip. When we got back to the school, the official schedule for the day was done, but it was still far from ending! One of the Slovenian students, Julia, invited us to go to her house at night. So, until that, everyone went back with their hosts, and in my case, we just went home and watched a movie.
After me and Martin finished eating, we met up on the street with a group of other people also going there. When we got there we went up to her bedroom. That is, until more people came. Then we moved to the living room, but once again, more people arrived, and by more people I mean pretty much everybody, so we ended up outside her house. Julia’s dad got us a barrel and made a bonfire, and our night was spent around it, and what a night it was! Everyone was talking with each other, even those who tended to be quieter let their selves out that night. It was great fun, and truly a moment where we were all connected. If there were still any barriers between members of the project that prohibited anyone being comfortable around each other, they were broken.
We drank, ate snacks and just had fun for some good two hours. After that, we went home, took a bath and slept.
23th March, Friday (Henrique Carvalho)
On Friday morning we had a sort of workshop in which we were taught about bicycles and safety. For example how to change an air chamber and such. After that, we rode bikes that were attached to devices that allowed us to pedal without moving, and we did a resistance test.
After that we rode the bikes on a test course with obstacles. It was a lot of fun.
After that bike trial, it was the turn of the Spanish students to present their works to everyone and it was quite fun also.
After lunch Jakob and Pja took me, Alejandro and Bruna to Nika's handball game, and it was superb. It allowed us to bond more and cheer and support for Nika and her team.
When the game ended, her team was the winner and it was already night time, so we headed to school. Because of being our last night there, they threw a party. Some students chose the music's and we had pizza, juice and water for dinner! It was really awesome. Everyone was dancing and having fun. All students from all countries gathered in a wheel several times when sad musics came up and we all singed and danced.
Then when the party ended, we splitted in two groups and each group went to a different host house to an after party. That's how the night ended, after that we all headed home to sleep.