Ljubljana, Slovenia, 23-Apr-2014
I spotted these two peacocks on the stoop at Slovenia’s State Attorney’s Office this afternoon. Zoo escape? Easter Monday tradition? To get your fill, four more images below.
This wall is near the Cobbler’s Bridge in Ljubljana’s old town center, the first picture I shot on film in ten years and two months. I intend to make many more.
This journey ‘back’ began innocently last fall when on a whim at a flea market I dropped €22 on a Zenit EM and a roll of Ilford 50 ASA black and white film that was two years beyond its expiration date. My edition of the Soviet workhorse SLR was released in 1979 for the 1980 Moscow Olympic Games, but the brand dates back to 1952.
It came with a Helios-44, a fixed 58mm lens with a f/2 – f/16 aperture range. Combined, the camera and lens weigh about as much as my MacBook Pro. And is much louder, too. I like the smell of the leather case.
An estimated 2,000 people gathered in Kongresni Trg square in the Slovenian capital Ljubljana on Wednesday to protest a proposed sweeping higher education reform law. The law, known as ZViS, would introduce tuition fees for the first time, essentially ending free universal higher education. Here are a dozen photos.
I just finishing chimping this shot when the owner of the small stall, made up mostly of used books and cheap trinkets, approached. He asked what I was taking the picture for.
“Just for me. I liked the composition, Kennedy there and Tito there.”
“Of course you know he was a phony.” He was referring to the former Yugoslav leader, not the assassinated U.S. president.
I smiled. “I’ve heard some of the rumors.”
He then began a capsule summary of the widely-held theory among Balkan conspiracists that Josip Broz Tito, the peasant born to a Croatian father and Slovenia mother, was not the same man who would later rule Yugoslavia as a sharp dressed man with an iron fist. He was in fact a Russian spy —more specifically part Russian, part Ukrainian, he said.
Someone Vladimir Putin would like.
He sensed my disinterest, polite as it was, and wrapped it up after suggesting the switch to the phony Tito came in 1940 or 1941.
“We won’t know the truth for a long time,” he said. “That won’t become public for another two hundred years.”
Among the offerings on the table next to the Tito as Hero book were two pairs of colorful high-heeled shoes. To lighten the conversation, I wanted to ask if any evidence existed to suggest that Tito was a cross dresser.
But when I turned around he was gone, leaving his books, shoes and stall unattended and yet another question unanswered.
Here are 13 images from Iški vintgar, or the Iška River Gorge, which is located about 21 kilometers south of Ljubljana, Slovenia’s capital.
Set near the southeastern corner of the Ljubljana Moors, Europe’s southernmost wetlands, the gorge is a popular summertime weekend retreat for Ljubljana-ites yet it generally remains quiet and uncrowded during the spring and autumn months. Even on some summer weekdays I’ve found it practically empty. It’s a 15-20min trip from the city by car; I generally bike it in about an hour.
These were all taken on Saturday afternoon (12-April); I’ve visited several times during each season over the past six years and don’t recall it ever being so saturated in shades of green in the first half of April.
It reaches between 300 and 400 meters at its deepest where it marks the strongest natural border between Slovenia’s Dolenjska (Lower Carniola) and Notranjska (Inner Carniola) regions. It’s a popular hiking spot, with numerous trails heading in several directions, both through the gorge and up hillsides. I hope to cover all of those in the next few months.
This is Non Violence (1997) by Carl Fredrik Reuterswärd at the Olympic Park in Lausanne, Switzerland. It’s the first sculpture that popped into mind for monument, the theme for this week’s WordPress Photo Challenge.
This one was taken during a visit to Lausanne in July 2010; I also have a color version from a 2008 trip and a shot of another cast of the same sculpture in Gothenburg, Sweden taken in 2006. Those are two of several casts; one is in front of the United Nations Headquarters in New York City.