Saturday, July 25, 2009

"Bled Days" - opening night

We only are in town for the first night of the festival - so we wanted to make the most of it. All through the day, temporary vendor tents and beer gardens were developing. As we came down the castle hill, the streets were filling up. After a short break back at the hotel, we joined the fray ("fray" implies disorder or chaos - there was none).

For dinner, we chose a mixed grill plate (I think "fijakanar", but I could be missing or adding letters). It is hard to be certain as to what we ate - little sausages, hambuger pounded flat, pork and I think veal. The same marinade was on all the meats so there was a blending of flavors. The primary side was boiled then slightly grilled potatoes. There was a generous slice of fresh bell pepper and fresh chopped onion, sour cream for the potato, mustard and a mild chili sauce for the meat. The bell pepper continued a color trend I'd noticed here - basically that there are a lot of available colors. I have seen green, yellow, red and orange at home. This was a lime green/ yellow (okay, maybe it just hadn't ripened). Yesterday I had one that was deep purple. The grilled meats were fantastic (when are they not?) and the garnishes complimented them well.

The big treat at dinner was the company. As we were seeking a spot, an older couple gestured to open seats next to them. They were sharing the same plate we'd chosen. As we both finished up, they offered wrapped toothpicks and said something in Slovene, pointing at our empty plate. Seeing what must have been a blank look from both of us, the man said something that I was able to glean some German words from so we were able to chat a bit. They seemed surprised that we were American - at least that's how we interpreted the awkward pause. If I understood him, they'd visited the US and South America extensively, as well as Iceland, Greenland, Siberia and the North Pole (this is where I really think I may have misunderstood). They have 9 grandchildren - but I'm not sure if that comes from their 2 daughters, their 3 kids or their 5 children - and the man is 73 years old -" I think. It was a nice little visit.

We eventually retired to our hotel balcony for the laser (pronounced with a short 'a' by the PA) and fireworks show. The lasers were projected onto the stone below the castle - it was a cute 10 minute show whose theme seemed to be "Slovenia welcomes Europe to Bled". The fireworks followed - again a nicely short show. There was a neat vertical phenoma going on for us - we were probably 100 feet above the lake (hillside plus building) so the fireworks were almost at eye level for us - like being in the middle of the show. Mother Nature complimented both displays with a cool lightning storm backlighting the castle (a rainy night may have sent revelers home early).

No comments: