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Tuesday, 7 July 2009

People are strange, when you're a stranger

We try to avoid resorting to national stereotypes as much as possible, as it seems unfair to categorise a whole nation. However, while in Slovenia we decided to watch our DVD of ‘No Man’s Land’; a fantastic thoughtful film set during the Serbian-Bosnian war. The film uses stereotypes of different nations that are part of the United Nations Peace-Keeping Force to great comic effect.

We were reminded of this when the Italians, who often live up to expectations, arrived at the campsite in Kobarid, on the edge of the Triglav National Park in Slovenia, in convoy: Six of them! They set up their large vans in a circle, creating an Italian enclave. However, the next morning, as if to squash any ideas you might have that these are stereotypical Italians; by 9.00 am (before we had even started breakfast), they had not only decided where they were going for a walk, but all 20 plus of them were ready and off. If we dare say, organisational skills surely the Germans would be proud of.

We are pleased to see that Slovenia is prepared for walkers and encourages them with footpath signs and way marks: Maps appear to be available easily too. This makes our days enjoyable and easy and we have walked to waterfalls, archeological digs of 6th Century villages and more World War I trenches, where they fought over mountains.

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