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Living in Idrija by Enya

ponedeljek, 16 marec 2020 13:57

I am a French volunteer, living in Idrija from June 2019 to January 2020 due to the European solidarity corps project (previously called EVS).

When I arrived, I quickly realized that everybody knows everybody which was not a big change from my home town, but if you come from a bigger city maybe you will find that odd in the beginning.

Idrija is a great mix of nature and a town! Of course, it is not a big city but you have everything you need within the walking distance or by bike and if you are feeling tired or lazy one day there is a bus going through the town (0.50 euros).

For the city side: I don’t know the exact number of bars but one of the first things I realized was that there are lots of them. And lots of churches! From the bars I managed to visit, each has their own ambiance: when I wanted something cosy with cakes, ice cream and other sweets I went to Emilija, when I wanted to go for a drink at night in a bar I went to Galerija (where lots of Idrija people meet after work) or there is also Kavarna where we tried different kinds of liquor, and I loved their Chaï latte! The latter is unfortunately not open anymore. In the summer, I had a drink and some home-made ice cream on a terrace in Gabron, in front of the primary school. A typical local bar I went to is the 3x3. It is a small bar, but the ambiance is great, the people are nice and if you are lucky you will assist to a small concert ;).

You will be served with the green view anywhere in Slovenia, including Idrija. In the summer I went to a place called “Idrijska Bela” where it is possible to swim and where the water is really clear and, if I am not wrong, it is one of the most pure ones in Slovenia. When I got bored of water or if it got too cold, you can for a walk anytime! Idrija is surrounded with mountains which they call hills, but from my point of view they are definitely mountains! ;) You can walk or bike on different paths around the town, there is one called “Rake”. It is an easy one, and I liked to see the landscape changing through the seasons except for spring which I didn’t see. I took nice pictures with my cameras, so if you are like me and you like to take pictures you have to go to the church on the hill (yes, this one is a hill), the view from there is stunning, even if the weather isn’t perfectly clear.

You certainly understood that you can take care of your health with a walk, a run or riding a bike time to time, but if you want to practice a specific sport it is also possible. There is a sport centre in town beside the primary school. You can go check what kind of sport they are providing. Me and another volunteer did Kick-boxing for some time, it was the first time for both of us and we liked it! In another place we also trained yoga which was the first time for me and I liked it because it wasn’t too slow but in the same time not too brutal. I felt these two sports were a good combination.

Otherwise, Idrija is known for its mercury and its lace. There are places to visit if you want to know more about it: the Gewerkenegg castle with its museum about the history of the town with specific sections on the mercury and the lace. I visited once, it is quite complete and even as a foreigner most of it is understandable and it is a nice place by itself. You can visit the mine and the museum about the extraction and the science side of the mercury called Smelting plant. Concerning the lace making, there is a lace school still in function and shops all around the city where you can see people making the lace. So that was more about the main cultural aspect of Idrija. I had the opportunity to make lace once. With the other volunteer, our Slovenian teacher asked us to be students for the English exam of the lace teachers. We made a bracelet, it was a nice time, we learned and talked about diverse things plus now we have an original souvenir of Idrija. Concerning the food, I already talked about bars or coffee places but if you want to try the speciality of Idrija the Žlikrofi, you can go to Škafar they have really good one and also vegetarian version if needed, I tried the one with beef sauce and during the festival of Žlikrofi (during the summer) I tried with Pumpkin sauce, both are good. There are other restaurants where you can also get them, but I only went to try them there.

After this cultural aspect I don’t have more to add about this town. It is nice to live here if you want to be with nature and city at the same time. Of course, if you miss the big city you can go by bus to Ljubljana, the capital. ;)

I liked living here because it was not too big and not too small, but even for me – a countryside girl – it sometimes was too much of civilisation.

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