As an EVS volunteer, in Slovenia, I get to participate in two 4-day trainings somewhere in the country. During the first month of our stay here we are invited to participate on an introductory meeting, which for me was in Fiesa close to Piran. Around halfway through the program we get to participate on another training which serves the purposes of helping the volunteers achieve their goals and finish their projects successfully although for a big majority of the volunteers these 4 day trips are a great chance to eat as if there is no tommorrow (true story).
So for my mid-term (as the title reveals) I got to visit Begunje. Truth is I thought I was going to Bled but Begunje was still good enough. As a person who comes from a really large city (Athens) places like Begunje have a certain amount of charm for me and Slovenia is quite full of little places like that. So what was special about Begunje? Well to be honest I really don’t think I could live in such a small place permanently but I see the charm in visiting such a place as a retreat from the big city life. Not that Metlika equals a big city but I feel like I am making up for 23 years of leaving in Athens by enjoying the nature and calmness of all the small towns of Slovenia.
Another reason why Begunje was a very enjoyable place to visit was the castle. If you ask a French person about castles they will tell you about places with golden walls 5 meter windows and the best and most organized gardens in the face of earth; for me a castle is portrayed in its medieval sense and Begunje can supply an excellent example of a medieval semi preserved castle, which is also accompanied by the beautiful background of mountains with snowy picks and a bit of forest. I think it does not get much better than that.
Other than the magnificent scenery which I imagine will be even better during spring or summer my 4 days in Begunje signified a great experience because of the people that accompanied me. Because of these trainings we have the opportunity not only to see a bit of this beautiful country but also to meet and connect with other international people. This is quite important because then you get a chance to socialize with people that are experiencing the same thing as you. Being a foreigner in Slovenia can be a hard thing sometimes. Not because people are not friendly or unwelcoming but because no matter what they are not your people and getting a chance to meet and talk with other people from all over the world makes you feel that you are not so alone after all. At least that’s how I felt during those 4 days and because of that I will always have a good memory of Begunje.