last Friday morning I took off from Amsterdam to fly to Slovenia. I was invited by the Slovenia Bonsai Club to give a workshop on Saturday and a demo on Sunday. After a two hours flight that felt like being on a roller coaster on speed, I was very relieved when the plane finally landed still in one piece at Ljubljana airport!
Still, green in the face I was picked up by my host and tour guide Tomaz Kovsca. He took me to see an amazing Bonsai garden/business with a wonderful Yamadori. But because it was raining cats and dogs this visit was cut short and I sadly had no chance to take any pictures! Then we drove to his friend Nik Rozman’s garden where I was allowed to select my demo tree for the Sunday demo. While under the cover of two umbrellas I quickly selected a lovely yamadori, Silvestris Pine. Then we drove to Tamaz his house to look at his wonderful Bonsai collection and from there he took me on a tour through the wonderful town of Ljubljana. Along the way, he told me a lot of interesting facts about the history of this city and his country! On the way to my hotel he told me that normally, it was starting to snow at that moment, that normally you could see beautiful mountains all around! I had to take his word for it because all that we could see were dark grey skies! The approaching of this bizarre weather frond gave me plain the hiccups on the way over here! After a good night’s rest Tomaz picked me up from the hotel and we walked to a more than hundred-year-old firehouse where this Bonsai weekend would be held. There I met up with the 14 very friendly Bonsai enthusiasts that would take part in the workshop. We started at 9 and worked too late that afternoon on some amazing material! And we only stopped once to have a very tasty lunch in one of the many local restaurants. After the workshop, we all went out to enjoy more local cuisine in a traditional restaurant. There was a lot of singing accompanied by guitar and that atmosphere made the food taste even better than it already was! Back at my hotel, very tired but happy, I had no problem falling asleep! 😀 The next day at 9, I started with my demo and managed to style the tree in just over 4 hours so that we all could have another tasty lunch in a traditional grill restaurant! After that we said our goodbyes and then Tomaz drove me to see jet another Bonsai garden from one-off his students. The weather was wonderful so I could finally see the scenery that Tomaz had told me about! All around me there were mountains to be seen with fresh snow on top! It truly is a wonderful country full of very friendly people! After our visit to his student garden, he drove me to the aeroplane. And we said goodbye as new friends, he was a wonderful host and I am sure that I will be back to meet him and the other guy’s again real soon! The flight back was much better and after the drive from Amsterdam to my house, I finally arrived home late in the evening. Tired but very happy with the great weekend that I spend with so many new Bonsai friends!
And from here I would like to thank them for their trust and friendliness!
Here are some pictures to give impressions of this Bonsai trip! More before and after images will follow when I have received them from my Slovenian friends!
Below: The whole bunch behind my finished demo tree. That left long branch sticking in the air is left one for security!
More pictures will follow soon!
Hans van Meer.