Slovenija, the Last Wine Bender

A notification pops up. A new EESTEC event, an exchange. A second message pops up, our beloved LC Ljubljana friends asking whether LC Zurich people will join. — This is how I got a full week’s worth of amazing memories.

On the first evening, we already got rewarded with our own wine-bender T-shirts. A gift that would be put to immediate use to show off the four wine-bending badges acquired later in the week. See, you don’t become master of all four wines, ‘Eono’, within a single day. It takes time and practice.

On Monday our first lesson awaited us. Successfully completing an adventure park. Running around tree tops is, as a member from an alpine country, of course, no problem for me. But not getting distracted by the beautiful view over the city and the lake below the hill turned out to be harder. Next, we travelled down to said lake. But not on foot, we took the alpine coaster for extra fun. Once at the bottom, we now got to relax in the beautiful Lake Bohinj. At 35°C the cool water was welcome. And so was the wine we got to try there.

At night our gambling skills were asked for. A true Eono does not only work during the day, but at night, Las Vegas was ours. Cards were dealt, roulettes spun and somewhere shots popped up in the glorious basement of the student dorms.

The next day the training continued. This time we went deep underground to explore the Škocjan caves. A sight to behold: stalagmites, stalactites, underground canyons, huge chambers, a river; the underworld of Slovenia is almost as beautiful as the overworld. Back above ground, our bus awaited us again, taking us further to the Predjama castle. A castle built into the side of a mountain. There is also a hole slightly above the castle into the mountain, which’s story goes as follows: Assassins wanted to kill the knight of the castle. However, due to its sheer impregnability, they had to come up with a plan. A bribed guard signalled the enemies when the knight was on the toilet, apparently the room with the thinnest wall. At just that moment, the assassins fired their cannon, the ball hit and went straight through the thin rock wall, killing the knight. But our training didn’t end there, the afternoon was dedicated to a city rally around Ljubljana. City rallies are always a personal highlight. This time we had to find dragons in Ljubljana castle, swim in wells (LC Zurich’s dream), hug monuments, draw the Slovenian flag from memory, and in the end I even got married.

To also honour the culture, the evening was dedicated to a pub and club crawl. Dancing and singing along to Slovenian music that I don’t even understand was great fun.

On Thursday, we drove to Piran, a coastal city. Not only did we see the nice city and learnt its many tales, but we also went to the beach. After a quick two-hour nap, I was ready again. Ready for a quick Flunkyball on a raft, followed by a Haka on the same. In the evening we were treated to delicious Fuži s tartufi, traditional Istrian pasta with truffles and Ombolo na istrski način v refoškovi omaki z polenta, Istrian pork steak in wine sauce with polenta. Afterwards, we took our glasses of wine and went outside to enjoy a beautiful sunset next to Piran’s wine fountain.

Friday came with a bang. Everyone’s childhood dream of going to a junkyard, getting a big hammer, an axe, a crowbar and four old cars finally came true. Where we started with four old but still decently looking cars, we ended with shattered glass, broken tools, car doors everywhere, all tires flattened and lots of dents. To complete the day, we went into Maribor’s wine cellar and inspected some of the oldest barrels still standing. We even went and stood inside one of the old concrete tanks, and of course, danced a quick Haka inside. This was followed by a tasting of Slovenia’s finest wines. Afterwards, we got our fourth and final wine bending badge, labelling us benders of the four wines, true Eonos.

The evening was dedicated to another highlight of every EESTEC event: International Night. Every LC brought some food and drinks from their country to be combined for a great international feast. Lots of flags were present and LC Zurich’s famous Ricola Vodka emptied quickly.

Friday was a sad day since I had to say goodbye to some of my newly won friends already as the exchange ended. On the upside, some new people joined the IMW! It started with a blast, directly to the face, from a water pistol, at the evening’s beach party. The water pistol battles were so intense that memories from Wednesday’s actual beach came back.

Saturday morning, meaning around noon, we went on a little hike to combat our hangovers. After a slight detour onto the peak of a nearby mountain, it turned out that there was another of Slovenia’s gems close to us: Otlica window, a natural window through the mountain down into the valley. It looked stunning. Many group pictures were taken and visionary ideas of wingsuit flight paths through the window were discussed. After this, we headed back to our house in Col and got ready for the pirate party. I discovered how good I would look with a swirly moustache and also how good Rakija can taste. After a long night, everyone went to bed for one last time at this event.

Sunday was rather calm with people packing to go back home to their places all over Europe. I belonged to the lucky ones who got to stay one extra day, hosted privately by LC Ljubljana. I tasted dark chocolate with strawberry pieces of ice cream, supposedly one of Ljubljana’s best. Additionally, I went stargazing next to a small lake in Ljubljana and visited one of its secret places. But if you want to know more about that, you have to go to Ljubljana yourself!

And this is how a week of many wines and Bureks with lots of beautiful memories all too soon came to an end.

– Michael Heider, EESTEC LC Zurich

Slovenija, the Last Wine Bender – exchange
Slovenija, the Last Wine Bender – IMW