Sunday, May 1, 2005

Labour Day

It was only a paint pellet gun, but I frighteningly found that even the most anti-voilence of creatures feels like a bad-ass when wearing a one-piece camouflage jumpsuit, wearing a Darth Vader mask and carrying a weapon. I hid behind a fence-type structure for the first couple of games of "last man standing". I didn't want to get myself hurt. Then we all took a break, drank half a beer, and got back out there. That's when I found myself actually finding a strategy...if I go there, quickly, I'll have a better shot at him; if I'm quiet, he won't hear me; tag-team ambushing...?!? Could I actually be a soldier if more than paint were involved? Loved it, absolutely loved it.


I do adore the European holiday scheme. We had a public holiday last Wednesday in Slovenia (which I spent sipping beers by the river in the sunshine...) and we also have tomorrow off, and everyone at my office took the Thursday and Friday off so I flew solo at work for two days. If I'd had my act together this would have been a great weekend to go off someplace wonderful. Instead, it was Discover Slovenia Weekend, which will commence tomorrow morning for a hike on an alpine lake.


Predjama Castle is a fantastic piece of work. The castle is literally built into the rocks and caves behind it - rock walls serve as hallways and dripping, cold, dark caves served as torture chambers and rooms for servants. It's a fascinating jumble of dark passageways and creepy nooks and crannies, and one of those places where it's easy to imagine living inside. Its history is varied but the most colourful story is from 1483, when Erasmus Lueger owned the castle. He had pissed off the Austrian king so was barred from leaving the castle or receiving anything (the king was trying to starve him to death). Of course as the castle is full of natural cave passageways, one led from the castle to the outside. Erasmus taunted the guards outside by dropping fresh fruit and food on them to confuse them; eventually one of his own betrayed him. One evening, while answering nature’s (ahem) call, the servant waved a white flag outside the toilet and Erasmus was killed by a cannonball. What a way to go.


Taken from Croatia, looking back at Slovenia. The odd part is that this is an unmanned Schengen border. The little white sign to the left says something like “satellite-guarded border” and that’s it. Interesting.


This is taken in a gorgeous hilltop Croatian village called Groznjan. It’s an artists’ colony with loads of tiny galleries filled with ceramics, textiles, paintings and such in wonderfully vibrant colours. The landscape was so lush, hills rolling into the Adriatic in the distance – very obvious why its inspiring to creative-types.

And it all ends tomorrow…sigh…

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