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Slovenia's affordable beauty
Eastern Europe, Israel & Egypt
Oregon Public Broadcasting ; Back Door Productions.
Edmonds, WA : Back Door Productions, 2009.
This is the only DVD that includes all 8 half-hourRick Steves’ EuropeTV shows on Eastern Europe, Israel and Egypt, produced from 2000 to 2009: Prague and the Czech Republic; The Czech Republic beyond Prague; Poland — Krakow, Auschwitz and Warsaw; Budapest — The Best of Hungary; Slovenia and Croatia; Surprising Bulgaria; Israel; Egypt. Running time: 4 hours.
     
Slovenia 1945 : memories of death and survival after World War II
John Corsellis and Marcus Ferrar.
London ; New York : I.B. Tauris, 2006.
"At the end of May 1945, 12,000 Slovene soldiers were put on board trains by the British Army in Austria. They thought they were on their way to freedom in Italy. Their true destination was Slovenia, and death." "One of the most moving and tragic diaspora stories of World War II, Slovenia 1945 follows the fate of a strongly Catholic and non-Communist community in Slovenia, including members of the anti-Communist Home Guard 'domobranci', caught up in the maelstrom of war and politics in the Balkans and the problems of the post-war settlement. Thousands of soldiers returned to face torture and death at the hands of their war-time enemies - Tito's Partisans - who had triumphed by the war's end. Six thousand more civilians narrowly escaped the same fate, after the intervention of Red Cross and Quaker aid workers. Yet the story of exile is also one of triumph as the surviving refugees built new lives in Argentina, the USA, Canada and Britain." "In this volume, the authors call on more than half a century of research and an unsurpassed knowledge of the Slovene migrant communities around the world to tell their stories. For the first time, the survivors tell their tales of wartime cruelty, of reviving their battered community in refugee camps, and of their emigration overseas, building successful new lives through courage, self-help and strong cultural identity."--BOOK JACKET.
     
Exotic Europe
Back Door Productions in association with American Public Television and Oregon Public Broadcasting.
Edmonds, WA : Backdoor Productions, c2002.
  1. DVD.
  2. Host, Rick Steves.
  3. Videodisc release of 7 episodes from the television program originally broadcast on public television in 2000-2002.
  4. Explores various European countries. Includes a selection of outtakes from the series.
  5. Prague and the Czech Republic -- Amsterdam and Dutch side trips -- Paris, grand and intimate -- Portugal's heartland -- Slovenia and Croatia -- Surprising Bulgaria -- Eastern Turkey -- Outtakes from Rick Steves' Europe.
     
No man's land
United Artists Films presents a film produced by Noé Productions; directed by Danis Tanovic ; producers, Frédérique Dumas-Zajdela, Marc Baschet, Cedomir Kolar.
Santa Monica, CA : MGM Home Entertainment, c2002.
  1. DVD, Dolby digital. Widescreen format (2.31:1 aspect ratio) on side A; standard format (modified to fit TV screen) on side B.
  2. MPPA rating: R for violence and language.
  3. In Serbo-Croatian and English with optional subtitles in English, French or Spanish ; closed-captioned.
  4. Branko Djuric, Rene Bitorajac, Filip Šovagovic, Georges Siatidis, Serge-Henri Valcke, Sacha Kremer, Alain Eloy, Simon Callow, Katrin Cartlidge.
  5. Producers, Frédérique Dumas-Zajdela, Marc Baschet, Cedomir Kolar ;director of photography, Walther Vanden Ende ; editor, Francesca Calvelli ; costume designer, Zvonka Makuc ; production designer, Duško Milavec.
  6. Videodisc release of the 2001 motion picture.
  7. Set during the height of the Bosnian War in 1993, a group of Bosnian soldiers are advancing on Serb territory under the cover of a foggy night. At daybreak, the fog lifts, and the Serbs open fire. Soon there is only one Bosnian survivor because he was able to dive into a trench in no man's land. He then watches as two Serbian soldiers use the body of a fallen Bosnian to bait a land mine. He fires on them, killing one, and taking the second hostage. Now both are alone and equally armed, so they are forced to share a wary trust as they try to attract help from either side.
  8. Special features include original theatrical trailer.
     
After Yugoslavia
Zoë Brân.
Melbourne ; Oakland, CA : Lonely Planet Publications, 2001.
Examination of the causes and effects of recent conflicts in the former Yugolslavia. Part of the Lonely Planet Journeys series. Taken from the viewpoint of traveller Zoe Bran, who visits the region in 1999 and tries to make sense of the transformation since her first visit 19 years earlier, and the reasons behind it. Explores the region's complex history, delves into recent conflicts, and tells the stories of those who lived through them. Includes maps. Author is a full-time writer and editor and a member of the Amazonians, the society of British women travel writers. Previous titles include the novel 'Some Increase of Brightness', shortlisted for the 1999/2000 Arts Council of England Writers Awards.
     

Slovenia is one of Eastern Europe's best-kept secrets.  About the size of Massachusetts, it has a population of close to two million people, and a long cultural tradition that has persisted through innumerable changes of government. 

Hotel Slon

One of Ljubljana's hotels is the Hotel Slon, 'the Elephant Hotel'. 

The name goes back to 1552 when Maximilian I brought the first elephant ever seen in the area with him during his journey to be installed as Holy Roman Emperor. 

It is now a Best Western.

Falling under the sway of the Turkish empire, Napoleon, the Austro-Hungarian Habsburgs, and most recently the post-World War II construct of Yugoslavia, Slovenia somehow maintained a distinctive Slavic language of its own and a sense of national identity. 

After the death of Yugoslavia's Tito (1980), Slovenia began moving towards political independence, formally declaring independence in 1991.  Brief fighting with the federal government ended with the establishment of the still-thriving Republic of Slovenia.

Ljubljana is Slovenia's largest city, an administrative center whose roots go back to the Roman era.  Its university accounts for 10% of its population, and keeps the city younger and more forward-looking than its mellowed appearance might otherwise suggest.

Lipica horses
Photographer: B. Kladnik

Another interesting area is the Slovenian town of Lipica, named after the linden tree (lipa) that is the national symbol.  In this town the world-famous Lipizanner stallions are raised for the Spanish Riding School in Vienna Austria.  That means these wonderful animals are neither Spanish nor Austrian, but Slovenian.

Slovenia 1945 : memories of death and survival after World War II
John Corsellis and Marcus Ferrar.
London ; New York : I.B. Tauris, 2006.
"At the end of May 1945, 12,000 Slovene soldiers were put on board trains by the British Army in Austria. They thought they were on their way to freedom in Italy. Their true destination was Slovenia, and death." "One of the most moving and tragic diaspora stories of World War II, Slovenia 1945 follows the fate of a strongly Catholic and non-Communist community in Slovenia, including members of the anti-Communist Home Guard 'domobranci', caught up in the maelstrom of war and politics in the Balkans and the problems of the post-war settlement. Thousands of soldiers returned to face torture and death at the hands of their war-time enemies - Tito's Partisans - who had triumphed by the war's end. Six thousand more civilians narrowly escaped the same fate, after the intervention of Red Cross and Quaker aid workers. Yet the story of exile is also one of triumph as the surviving refugees built new lives in Argentina, the USA, Canada and Britain." "In this volume, the authors call on more than half a century of research and an unsurpassed knowledge of the Slovene migrant communities around the world to tell their stories. For the first time, the survivors tell their tales of wartime cruelty, of reviving their battered community in refugee camps, and of their emigration overseas, building successful new lives through courage, self-help and strong cultural identity."--BOOK JACKET.
     

The country's popularity is largely a matter of affordable beauty in a low-key environment.  The landscape is alpine, with legitimate mountains and jewel-like lakes.  Opportunities are abundant for strenuous varieties of skiing, climbing, hiking, and kayaking, while more leisurely approaches can be enjoyed by the less ambitious. 

Those hyping the area as a vacation site often refer to it as "Switzerland without the Swiss," and insist that the Slovenian vacation is comparably spectacular, but much cheaper and friendlier. 

Article by: St. Louis Public Library staff