2 August 2017
Truške is our home village in Istria, Slovenia for the moment. Our hosts moved here twenty years ago when their eldest daughter was one. They were the first people to live here again after the village was abandoned many years ago. They bought an old stone house and cowshed and transformed it into a beautiful home and two apartments.
The wife is a civil engineer who drives to either Koper (a harbour city nearby) or Ljubljana (the capital an hour away) for work. The husband is a mountaineer who leads expeditions and works for the British military. The eldest daughter goes to university in Ljubljana and the sixteen year old au pairs in England for the summer holidays. For school and other activities they simply have to drive. Not even as far as we drive in big cities, but for Slovenians it is to the other side of the earth. Slovenia is a tiny country with a population of only two million people.
There have been big changes over the past few years in this country. Wars in which its people were greatly affected and then breaking away from Yugoslavian rule. People suddenly had a much harder existence and most really struggled to understand what was happening to them. Suddenly there were consequences to many things that didn’t matter before. No more same perks for everyone, no matter what you did or did not do. People’s lifelong hard work resulted in a pension on which they cannot survive.
We had insightful conversations with Denis, our hostess, about all of this. So refreshing to hear the perspective of an intelligent, thinking woman on matters that shaped and and are still greatly affecting a nation. Communism had a very different outworking in different places.
Truške now has a few families and a small school. And of course a church on a hill, just outside the village. No shops or restaurants.
Villages in this part of the world are only a few kilometres apart. What a joy it is to go for morning runs, exploring several villages and rural roads in just one go. And to see the locals out and about tending their vegetable gardens or small fields of corn or olive groves or little vineyards.
My absolute highlight was stumbling upon a completely deserted village with the remains of beautiful stone houses one morning. It is literally at the absolute end of the road / earth. There is nothing beyond the village except a river down in the valley. One little dirt road takes you in and to the end of the village. Tiny. And gorgeous. I imagine what it was like when people lived there. I wonder how it got to this. I feel sad and happy and in awe. I love places like this.
Despite a heatwave and a sick child, our time here has been really special. We will be sad to say goodbye, but I am confident that we will see these people again. The instant connection between us is something to treasure. Truške and surrounds – forever in our hearts.
– Mariza –