This is the day for which I owe an apology for my severe lack of preparedness to amore, my two patient friends and almost all the kind people of Velenje who helped me search for a wrongly memorised address. Still, all’s well that ends well, as you will see.
It can happen to everyone, I hear you say, but it’s unheard of that despite two (or three?) visits in previous five years, one still searches for the friend’s apartment in a town of 25,000 people for 2.5 hours, unsuccessfully, after both phones end up inoperable and the address is memorised in such a way that only the first letter of the street name and the first digit of the street number are correct.
I’m afraid I’ve caught a case of Italian mentality.
After much kindness from locals who insisted that there was no block of flats at the address I kept repeating until we found a little house that seemingly grew in its place since we were last there, we had to admit defeat, go to the nearest petrol station, charge my phone at least a little, get free wi-fi (thank you, Petrol!) and cry to my friend to come and pick us up. Which he did. Thank you, Jože!
After that all was just swell: the lunch at the restaurant by one of its three lakes, the stroll across the Pippi Longstocking territory where they stage the annual Pippi Festival, drinks by the lake at Velenjska plaža, Velenje Beach, which is a best practice example with free parking, sunbeds, umbrellas and (not free) camping.
The only thing that raised my eyebrows was the information that some time ago this lake was practically dead since dodgy material from the near-by Šoštanj Thermal Power Plant had accumulated there for a while. Now we are witness to a symbiosis of several life forms and it’s good this way.
It was not over yet: after the visit to the imposing Castle with many lovely doors (we will return here on a following Thursday) we had some gelato and a red-star-spotting walk among the monuments that brought back good memories. But more on that another time.
Now I invite you to the doors and the beach in Velenje, an industrial town in north-eastern Slovenia, which – as I see only now – is the fifth largest in the country (ADD-IT: Or is it sixth?). It’s time I stopped calling it “town”. Small wonder I couldn’t find Alenka. 😉