Veiner Nëssmoort (Vianden Nut Festival)


A rather international group (what else, this *is* Luxembourg! represented: England, France, Finland, Lithuania, Malta and Slovenia) of new friends decided to join in on the local fun in Veianen (Luxembourgish for the town otherwise known as Vianden), which incidentally celebrates its 700 years of existance in 2008. Coming from Slovenia (no, not Slovakia) myself, allow me to appreciate the beauty of a language spoken by no more than some 300,000 people.

above: Eldoradio’s nutcracking contest

My first thought upon arrival was that these things are the same anywhere you go. Adriaan, this is the Lux version of Bohinj’s cow ball minus the cows and plus the nuts. And nuts there were! I did expect to see walnut liquer (nothing beats the walnut brandy made by the Amazons and good old Franc, though!) and saw countless supplies of “Nëssdrëpp” and the sweeter “Nësslikör”, even the apparently recent yet popular addition of the white “Nëss-Crème-Likör”. Just as expected were walnut cookies and cakes (Nësskouch), but I would not have thought of “Nësspâté”, “Nëssbrutt”, “Nësstoort”, “Nësseeken” or  “Nëss-Raclette”. Feel free to guess what these are. Should be easy enough. Of and the walnut wine tasted and smelled deliciously interesting even if not very wine-like.

Apparently, the stronger liquer  of 30% alcohol content is perfect for use with sparkling wine. A  nëss royal, so to speak? A bottle is waiting in the cupboard to put the recommendation to a test.

Vianden is a picturesque village where every other house seems to be either a guesthouse or a restaurant. With the possible exception of the castle, which dominates the area. Once upon a time, one of these houses hosted Victor Hugo as well.

The castle, which was completely restored in 1977 is well worth a visit.

What is it that all these OctoberFest type festivals around Europe have in common? Fun-loving Europeans!

And their friends from other parts of Europe.

And possibly cappuccinos? Nah… more fun-loving people!

Lo and behold,  Nëssdrëpp, Nësslikör, Nësskouch and Nëss-Crème-Likör.

And more of the above.

Crepes are always a crowd-pleaser. And do somehow seem local.

Which was more difficult to imagine in the above case of what was advertised as “home-made paella”.

Now waffles, on the other hand, were a different matter altogether.

Nothing beats a strong orator voice in attracting customers, eh?

Gosh, the chesnut stand made me think of and miss the best town in the world.

The local band. Gotta love the outfits. Not so much the music, possibly.

As the day progressed, people were getting exceedingly… cheerful? This lady was chucking walnuts at us just out of the goodness of her heart, as inspired by the walnut wine. Thanks!

Kiddo, I so know what you’re thinking…

No, that’s not the way adults should be behaving. But cut them some slack, it’s the nut festival afterall.

Pretty of what?

I think we decided to leave just in time.


Itak, da jh uhka! (Cream Cake Run Part Deux)


sisters actAfter last year’s success at the night-time race around Lake Bled (see the Cream Cake Night Run at Lake Bled entry) organized by the “Knights” (“Vitezi dobrega teka” translates to either the Knights of Good Running or to the Knights of Bon Appetit), they put on a repeat performance last Saturday night. Once again, it was a 10 km race around the lake at 10 pm.

The event was a huge success in terms of organisation. This time around, runners wore microchips to keep accurate records. Results were published online almost in real time. Club members were located at the right places to direct the runners and warn them of any potential problem spots. I may not have the problem, but some slightly taller people have to watch their heads running underneath slanted rocks. Water was being handed to runners at two spots along the route. The goody bag was even heavier than last year and I saw some were sincerely enthusiastic about the tiny lamps attached to headbands, for example.

Some things change and others always stay the same. So while my sister was not as slim this year as she was for the first run (compare to the photo from last year’s blog entry), she walked around the lake and I’m sure she’ll run the track again next year. And while last year, Pengovsky was at the Rolling Stones concert in Belgrade, I spotted his Radio Kaos T-Shirt at the finish line this time around. Bravo!

Many things did not change, however. Lake Bled is still a gorgeous setting for a race, the tourists sitting in the restaurants and taking a stroll were giving us all boosts of energy by cheering us along. We heard Slovenian, English, American, German, Croatian, Italian, French, Slovak and Russian languages at the least! Thanks, you guys! And it wasn’t just the public that was international. Quite a few runners were, as well. In fact, the second place among women went to a lady from Newcastle!

running backwards
above: that’s me running backwards to give sis a shot at well, taking a shot

T-shirts were a hoot once more. They read “A jih uhka 10 u en noč?” (“Can ya do 10 in One Nite?” in Gorenjska dialect). And the most important bit – the exceptional Cream Cake that was served to everyone who finished the race. Again, forks were handed out in the place of medals and again, the cream cakes seemed to work like magic as Sunday morning really was easy.

I am now a proud owner of two pierced-handle fork medals. And with the way “Vitezi” are keeping it up, I can’t wait to add next year’s to the collection!

This year was a bit special, I must admit, as the race was held  on what would have been my Mother’s birthday. So it was extra special to be there in the company of all the people I feel the closest to.

Some photos from the event: Nočna 10ka

And while we wait for the third “10 at 10” event, many of us are planning to run around the other Slovenian Alpine lake, Lake Bohinj in August. Details on the 11th Race around Lake Bohinj on 9 August can be found: here.

Dream Team La Scala


Snail at Kamniško sedloSnail at Kamniško sedlo
photo by dr. Filomena: a snail in the Alps

I must apologize to this blog’s fan for not having written anything in a long time. Time, along with the other three or five, is another dimension I find difficult to escape from. Though second-hand smoking in Dutch coffee shops that have recently gone tobacco-clean might help somewhat.

Just a couple of sentences on music, however, before I delve back into work.

Music means the world to me. It wakes up every atom of my body and lifts my spirit. (Which in turn helps me lift a broom and do some housework, for example.) Music fills me and takes me places I wouldn’t see or feel otherwise. It’s an essential part of my existence.

Yesterday, I had the pleasure of enjoying the concert of La Scala’s Philharmonic orchestra at Ljubljana’s Cankarjev dom and the feeling was incredible. Everyone on the stage could have performed as a soloist. And I cannot imagine that anyone among them does not wish to a certain degree that she or he’d been given the opportunity to show off their mastery. And yet they performed as a team, perfectly in tune with each other, every one of them taking the spotlight at one point of the evening or another while the rest subsided ever so gently and courteously for a moment.

The end result was complete harmony that radiated a true love for music and the smiling faces in the orchestra sent out a loud and clear message:

La vita è bella!

Dance and the City: Ljubljana, 16 May 2008



Life is to be enjoyed and these guys and gals know it.

Way to go!

Gotta take dance classes… 😀

End Hunger: Walk the World 2008 – Ljubljana Stretch



As part of the End Hunger: Walk the World 2008 campaign, the Movement for Justice and Development is organizing the Walk through Ljubljana on Sunday, 1 June 2008.

Programme Basics:

10.00 – 11.00 Meeting at Stari trg (Herkulov vodnjak – Hercule’s fountain)

 -Music group “Sto prašičkov poje” (lit.: a hundred piglets sing)

11.00 – 12.00:   Walk for Food Ljubljana ’08

Route: Stari trg (Herkulov vodnjak) – Mestni trg – Stritarjeva ulica – Tromostovje – Wolfova ulica – Kongresni trg – podhod pod Slovensko cesto – Plečnikov trg – preko Šubičeve ulice – Beethovnova ulica – Cankarjeva cesta – pod Tivolsko cesto – Jakopičevo sprehajališče – park Tivoli – pod Tivolsko cesto – Erjavčeva cesta – ploščad Maximarketa – ulica Josipine Turnograjske – Plečnikov trg – pod Slovensko cesto – Kongresni trg – Gosposka ulica – Kratka steza – Hribarjevo nabrežje – Čevljarski most – Gallusovo nabrežje – Stari trg (Herkulov vodnjak)

12.00 – 13.00:   End of the Walk and a music programme featuring:

– rapper Nikolovski
– Joseph Rakotorahalahy, musician from Madagascar
– Tomo Križnar, human rights activist

Join in for a fun Sunday walk through the beautiful Ljubljana, at the same time helping raise money (and awareness) for a good purpose.

Remembrance and Comradeship: A Few Photos


As Luka quite rightly pointed out, the green ring around Ljubljana is still called the “Path of Remembrance and Comradeship” (Pot spominov in tovarištva). It is a well-maintained gravel-paved recreational footpath running around the entire city through urban areas and the surrounding meadows and forests, along the course of the barb wire fence which surrounded Ljubljana during World War II (from 1942 onwards), when the Italian and later German occupying forces tried to prevent contacts between the city and its hinterland. The barb wire fence was guarded by around 1,300 soldiers and 400 policemen, who checked the identity papers of those travelling to and from the city.

Source and more info: Ljubljana City Website

Every year on 9 May or the Saturday closest thereto, numerous people of Ljubljana walk at least one of the stretches of the 35km hike around the city to celebrate the liberation of the city in 1945. Just as traditional is the race of teams of three runners. They have to run together and cross the finish line together. This marks the team spirit that helped the people of Ljubljana and the resistance forces outside the barb-wire ring make it through the toughest times.

Here are some random photos from the hike and race of 2008.

Path of Remembrance and Comradeship

Path of Remembrance and Comradeship

Path of Remembrance and Comradeship

Path of Remembrance and Comradeship

Path of Remembrance and Comradeship

Path of Remembrance and Comradeship

Path of Remembrance and Comradeship

Pa9h of Remembrance and Comradeship

Path of Remembrance and Comradeship

Path of Remembrance and Comradeship

Path of Remembrance and Comradeship

Path of Remembrance and Comradeship

Path of Remembrance and Comradeship

Path of Remembrance and Comradeship

Path of Remembrance and Comradeship

Path of Remembrance and Comradeship

Path of Remembrance and Comradeship

Path of Remembrance and Comradeship

Path of Remembrance and Comradeship

Path of Remembrance and Comradeship

Path of Remembrance and Comradeship

Path of Remembrance and Comradeship

Path of Remembrance and Comradeship

Path of Remembrance and Comradeship

Path of Remembrance and Comradeship

Path of Remembrance and Comradeship

Path of Remembrance and Comradeship

KUD Kulsko… ups, Dolsko


Člani Kulturnega društva Dolsko so se včeraj spet izkazali in s premierno predstavo Okrogle mize pošteno nasmejali publiko. Iznajdljiva kombinacija gledališke igre, skeča in video vložkov je vžgala. Scenarij ima kar nekaj nastavkov, ki bi mu lahko omogočili nadaljnji razvoj likov in prepletanje njihovih zgodb. Upam, da si bodo scenaristka, režiser in igralci, ki so jo sooblikovali, vzeli čas in z dobro voljo, ki je imajo v Dolskem na pretek, uprizorili razširjeno in poglobljeno različico. Jaz zagotovo pridem!

Aplavz vsem sodelujočim! Uživaška predstava, ki jo toplo priporočam vsem, predvsem tistim, ki bi se radi skladno z željami sedanje vladajoče politične opcije dodobra sprostili.

Pa še nekaj slikic za pokušino:

Okrogla miza - KUD Dolsko

Okrogla miza - KUD Dolsko

Okrogla miza - KUD Dolsko

Okrogla miza - KUD Dolsko

PS: Res mi je žal, da nisva mogla ostati na žuru, da legendarnega štrudla prav tako legendarne babice sploh ne omenjam. Delu čast in oblast, kenede?

EDIT: Več o predstavi: pri Binuli

Euro-Demo – European trade unions demonstrate in Ljubljana


Ljubljana: Beautiful weather today as trade unionists from all over Europe came to rally and demonstrate their solidarity. Representatives of 54 trade unions from 54 countries demanded better wages and for EU’s finance ministers to put a stop to wage discrimination. The event culminated in a rock concert and general good-fun attitude.

The organisers claim to have had a crowd of around 30,000, but the figure seems somewhat exaggerated.

Kosovo: Pick the Brains of US Under Secretary of State


I received this invitation, but will unfortunately probably be unable to join in. So guys, please go at least eavesdrop if not actively participate. I’ll be in Luxembourg visiting with the EU Commission. Maybe I can get a second opinion? (she snickers)

From the invite:

DATE: February 22, 2008
TIME: 10:00 a.m. EST / 15:00 GMT
TOPIC: Kosovo Independence
TAKING YOUR QUESTIONS: Under Secretary of State for Political Affairs R. Nicholas Burns

Don’t miss out on the chance to (try and) pick Burns’ brains on the issue of Kosovo.

On February 17, after lengthy negotiations with Serbia led by the EU/Russia/U.S. troika, the elected representatives of the people of Kosovo declared that province’s independence.

Please join Under Secretary of State R. Nicholas Burns for an online discussion about the significance of Kosovo’s independence and the way forward to lasting stability and prosperity in the Balkans.
SIGN UP AT: or you may use our guest userid.

1. Go to
2. Enter your registered email or
3. Click “I Agree”
4. Select “Join this Discussion”.

To ask a question, simply select the tab marked “Submit Question” and type your question in the space provided. We welcome your questions anytime before or during the webchat.

You may begin submitting your questions now. If you have more than one question, please submit each one separately.

Members of the press are kindly asked to state their affiliation when submitting questions.
If you have any difficulty accessing the webchat, please write to: for assistance.

Road to Fame – be a (mini)Star


Here’s your chance to see from up close how Slovenian movies are made. Jonas is involved with Vinci’s latest production, Vampir z Gorjancev (Gorjanci Vampire; Gorjanci being a region in Slovenia). They are looking for 100 extras as students during a lecture at the Faculty of Arts (location).

 Saturday Night Fever
(source) just as a broad reference for the dress code 😉

The movie takes place in the seventies so if you have some time to kill this Sunday around noon,  go check it out, but make sure you’re dressed appropriately for the period (think bell bottoms) 😀 You can either appear at the set ever so groovily or call Ivona at +386 41 555 592 to let her know you’re coming.

(Lisa, Jay?) I don’t suppose you’ll be required to speak Slovene. If anything, you might appear to be listening to the professor more attentively than the average student.

PS: Jonas instructs not to shave.

EDIT 15 FEB 08: Change of location. Show up at the Biotechnical Faculty (location)

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