The Slovenia Times

Arrival at Long Last



I arrived in Graz with my daughter, ready to pick up a mobile home and start my life in Slovenia, but nothing was going to plan Vicky and I stood outside the airport terminal in Graz, checking our watches. "We did say 4 o'clock, didn't we"? Where was Natasa? There was nobody with a red rose and nobody who looked like they were looking for someone. We didn't want to phone for help just yet. We went outside. Suddenly a thin man with a German accent accosted us "Are you Mrs Evans?" "Why yes, who are you?" "I am Mattjas, Natasa's husband. I couldn't find you. Where is your red rose?" Translating via the www.slowwwenia/prevedi site is not perfect. Mattjas had arrived in a tiny red car that Radejka had given him for the journey. We had arrived with 4 big bulging bags, which strangely had not incurred any excess baggage charges. We struggled to get them into the tiny car. It was one of those very hot days in August. The car was not very comfortable, it had no air conditioning and the windows did not open properly, nor did the seat belt work. I was surprised Mattjas drove a car like this regularly and he quickly replied that this was not his car, he would not own such a car, Radejka had lent it to him for the purpose! She was trying to sell it. Mattjas was friendly and his English was good - he spoke with a German accent because he had lived in Germany. He wanted to know why I had picked Slovenia. I explained I had taken a holiday in January and loved the country. "Oh, I suppose you went to Bled and Bohinj?" So how did he know that? Before too long, he was trying to sell me both a car and his old family home. We stopped at his house for a cold drink and to meet Natasa. Then we moved on to Radejka's house to pick up the motor home. It had been agreed we would do all the paperwork the next day in Maribor. It was too late to do anything that day, but I needed the motor home to sleep in and get around in. I was reluctant to part with the 8000 euros I had brought with me in cash until I had some paperwork, but they would not let the vehicle go without the money, so I had no choice. Radejka said she would come with me and show me how to set it all up. So we set off for the house I was buying, where the owner, Mrs V. had agreed I could park the mobile home. Having paid for it, Sosa, Radejka's partner, warned me the motor home was not good on hills or untarmacked roads. Mrs V's house was up a steep hill and down a dirt track. Still no choice, I went carefully and made it to the side of the house. Radejka set up the awning, we connected to the water and electricity. Everything looked good. Mrs V. walked round and said it was "super". Radejka said she would collect me the next day and we would do the paperwork. As good as her word, this we did. We got insurance and numberplates, I paid the road tax. We went to the notary and signed a document that made everything possible, it seemed. Finally we went to AMZS. I did not know what this was and I could not understand what else we needed. You need a "dovoljenje" she kept saying. I knew what the word meant - a permit. Did she mean a Slovene driving licence? OK. It turned out to be a document from Radejka giving me permission to drive the vehicle abroad. Whilst I was there, I discovered it was the Slovene equivalent of the AA or RAC, so I decided to join, as it was not too expensive. (a good move as it turned out). Finally, everything was done; I was on my own. The next day, we had to set off to start the drive over to Klagenfurt, via Bled, to get Vicky on a plane back. Wednesday morning, we were alone at the house (Mrs V. had gone into town). We put everything away and started up the steep dusty track that led from the house to the road (the same one that had stopped Matija getting away in the snow when we had first come to the house in February). We did just a few feet and the motor home skidded and threw up clouds of dust, and the more I tried to get it to go, the more dust and gravel went flying. It just dug deeper and deeper holes. Help!! No one was at the house. I phoned Radejka but she did not know what to do. I walked up the track and called on a neighbour, tried to explain what had happened, and eventually they offered a tractor, which did, fortunately pull me all the way up. We had got out, but now, of course, it meant we could not go back down and therefore had nowhere to keep it. I had already discovered that (of course) there was no campsite in Maribor. Where would I go when I got back from Klagenfurt?


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