Hi, we’d like to introduce you to Andrej, a guide with Niteo Tours in Slovenia. He couldn’t be more of an insider. Born and raised in the Soča Valley, Andrej knows the insides and outs of the culture. Here he shares a few things about the country he loves.
1. Coffee is an experience
In Slovenia, coffee isn’t something you order to-go. None of this running into Starbucks for an iced caramel macchiato. If someone invites you to coffee, expect to sit down, relax, and take your time. Coffee drinking is a social event to be savored alongside good conversation. As for the coffee itself, as you say in America “it’ll put hair on your chest.” Strong stuff.
2. No such thing as a stranger
Slovenians are warm and welcoming. If you stop and ask for directions, don’t be surprised to hear, “Please follow me” or have them offer to drive you themselves. The offer may seem a bit forward, maybe even awkward, or you may question their intentions. For the most part this is true Slovenian hospitality shining through. Accept it for the gift it is.
3. Competition reigns
We may be few—our population is about 2 million, the size of Houston—but we are fiercely competitive. Our country has 40 Olympic medals to its name, 7 of them gold medals.
Slovenians excel in skiing, rowing, sailing and a little known sport called vegetable gardens. Okay, it’s not a sport but we are very competitive when it comes to our gardens. In countryside or villages, everyone has a vegetable garden; it’s a requirement. Who has what, how big it is, and how well it’s maintained are all the basis for serious neighborhood competition.
4. Together is good
Housing in Slovenia is very expensive, so buying your own home is rare. Most young families live with their parents, either on the wife’s or the husband’s side. Aside from a separate entrance to the house, we share life together!
5. You’ll find it all here
You can drive from the east to the west border in about 2-1/2 hours. But in our small country you’ll find it all—caves, rolling hills, lowlands, Julian Alps, and the Adriatic coastline. We are very proud of our country. We think it’s beautiful—probably because it is.
Come and visit us sometime!
I’ll be leading a Slovenia tour this fall and invite you to come along.
Cover photo courtesy of Erik Stensland from morninglight.us who hosted a Niteo Tour to Slovenia.