So let me put this into context for you.
My family history is somewhat of an unknown. I know that both my parents move to Canada in the 1960/70 with literally only a suitcase each full of some clothes and pictures. They came from the former countries of Czechoslovakia and Yugoslavia escaping political communist regimes. Only my immediate family, including my grandparents and their kids, aka my parents, immigrated to Canada. Now, back in those times there really wasn’t much of a way to connect with friends or family aside from writing letters. Welcome to the digital world 2013, where by complete fluke my mom just so happened to find her long lost cousin from Slovenia on Skype. A women whom she hadn’t heard from since she move to Canada when she was 11 years old.
So on our trip through Europe with my sister we decided to go visit them in Maribor, Slovenia.
I could not believe how welcoming and loving my long lost family is. These are relatives I have never met before, half-cousins I didn’t even know existed. They provided us with accommodation, food, acted as our tour guide through their home town of Maribor. Went far above and beyond. Taking us to the places that literally, the locals go to.
I could not believe their hospitality to us. Even though we are related by blood, we were complete strangers and they treated us like well, family. Maybe I was expecting something a bit different or perhaps this is just how meeting long lost relatives is like.
So via my new found half-cousins and second-cousins we explored:
The second largest city in Slovenia and “arch rival” of the capital city, Ljubljana. Here we had a chance to stroll around the main city square,
grab some fantastic Gelato and oh yes, hike up the 455 stone steps of Kalvarija in 30 degree heat. Once a way to escape the plaque, now a favorite pastime of fitness enthusiasts. Thanks cuz.
Nothing to it eh Steph? :P
Our second cousin Nik told us about how much beer Slovenians consume, much like most Eastern European countries, and our other second cousin Jasmina showed us around a local folk music festival on top of the local ski hill Mariborsko Pohorje.
Where we of course got to enjoy beer!
We then got to drink some wine from the The Old Vine, the Oldest Vine in the World. It’s over 400 years old and registered in the Guinness Book of World Records. Mom, you are welcome for the lovely bottle of wine we brought back.
Last, Nik being a super huge football fan, took us to the local stadium and bought us some wicked gear!
Score one for family!