We had a wonderful day exploring our Slovenian roots in a family group of ten (4 adult siblings, senior parents, and 3 kids aged 10-13). All of the activities of this day are suitable for all ages in our group. (We were a bit nervous about this given the vague descriptions of what we’d be doing). Stefan was such a great tour guide. He was sweet and kind, and had vast knowledge about his country. The only daring part of the day was our bus ride. The road was extremely windy with huge trucks flying around the bend every 10 seconds. We had to ask the driver to slow down, like 3 times, but he finally did and just drove slowly for the rest of the day. He was NOT exceeding the speed limit. It’s just us silly Americans and how we’re used to each having our own separate lane when driving in opposite directions! First off was the cave. About 2 weeks before our trip, I got an email from Andrej saying to pack extra socks in case they get wet during the rafting in the cave. Wait, what?! This threw my parents into a tizzy, imagining some sort of whitewater situation. I don’t know why he said this to us. You are given rubber rain boots that come up to your knees. If anything, I’d suggest wearing two pairs of socks, or one thick pair of wool socks because the cave is very cold, and the boots are thin on the bottom and you might like more cushioning. But no, it is impossible for your socks to get wet. And the raft is huge (all 10 of us plus Stefan and our cave guide fit in it with room to spare) and it goes slower than It’s a Small World. My mom would totally have slept the night before if she had known.
Then we went to a castle that was pretty cool. But the tour guide at the castle either hated her job or was having the worst day of her life. She scowled the entire time, and did not make any small talk or say one more word than she absolutely had to about anything. And then she lead us to the basement art exhibit and said, “The tour is over. Goodbye.” I bet Stefan could have given a way better tour if they’d let him.
Then we pulled up at a museum and learned that this is where we’d have lunch. There was a large sandwich board outside that announced pizza and burgers. We were temporarily extremely disappointed, having imagined a fancy lunch with wine pairings. Apparently those foods were only for the regular museum guests, and they have a whole separate menu for tour groups?
In emails leading up, Andrej had described a “light lunch” at 2pm. I told him that if he is picking us up at 8am and returning at 6pm, we’d need more than a light lunch…would there be a chance to stop for a snack? He told me that a light lunch in Slovenia might not be what we are quite expecting. That is the understatement of the year. There was nothing light about the lunch. It was more like a heavy dinner with a different wine at each course. It. Was. AMAZING!!!!
The best part of the day was the tour of the Slovenian Military History Museum. And I am not a person who is overly into museums. If you go to Slovenia, you have GOT to come to this museum. They have like a hundred tanks and planes and every kind of heavy artillery under the son. I kept thinking that my son would have peed his pants if I’d taken him here when he was 5.
The star of the day was our museum tour guide. None of us can remember his name, which is a huge travesty. He was phenomenal. We all felt like he was talking only to us. And it’s not just because he’s super dreamy. Even the men in our group felt the same. He was just really engaging and extremely passionate about his country. We learned so much from him! Most importantly, learning the military history gave us a better understanding of how and why our ancestors could have left such a beautiful country. It was a perfect day that we will never forget. I highly recommend this tour.
Beth Hart, USA