Two days before I returned to Tuscany from this year’s summer holidays in Slovenia, I took dad to his hometown Maribor for some maintenance. A certain bridge and swans looked so familiar.
Then it was time for father’s maintenance and I took bestia along the Drava river of my childhood when grandma often took me on walks to feed the ducks.
We start with some modern doors and finish with a nice one near the car which I only noticed on return and completely missed when I first passed it some three hours earlier.
In the middle there is a story of a river, swans and a bridge as observed from his balcony above the river and regularly described on Facebook by journalist and writer Srečko Niedorfer, father’s departed friend. We were hoping to meet eventually but it didn’t come to that.
It took me a while to recognise the bridge. Maribor has many, and when a popular Serbian singer/songwriter Đorđe Balašević (also departed now due to Covid) had a concert here, on a raft on the Drava river, after the bombing of Serbia in 1999 he famously said: “Don’t let NATO see your bridges.” His hometown Novi Sad in the Pannonian plain of Vojvodina took many hits and lost all its bridges.
When I was standing on this bridge and bestia refused to cross it as he sometimes rebels if the ground is unstable, I had a look back and saw the swans swim underneath, and I saw the balconies above the river, and then I knew it. This was his bridge. He knew how to write, also about nothing else but the river, the fog, the birds. He loved life and he loved his Maribor and I was happy to be there.
I wonder what he thought about these ugly messages on the wall though. “Death to the people, freedom to fascism,” really? There is also one that declares the end of Slovenian right-swinging prime minister, so not all is black. I often say that the street always knows but in this case the street needs to have certain mouths smacked.
Welcome to Maribor, Slovenian second city, on a hot day in August. If you were with me, I’d tell you all this too, just in a lazy accent. Ask Crystal, who continues her and Pedro’s amazing account of their recent visit. Here is how they hiked to the Seven Triglav Lakes in the Julian Alps, on the other side of Slovenia.
In other news, our condominium is without water since a pipe broke. I just hope that the reservoir didn’t run dry because of the spill. Instead uncle, bestia and I are going on a road trip. Be well as well.
Oh, and since these are Thursday Doors, make sure not to miss a certain Canadian in my blogging memories at the end. Yes, three years ago Norm was on his way over for four fondly remembered days. Greetings from Italy and us.
This day in my blogging history