Edmundo and I drive out to Lake Bled today, leaving our travelling companions, the Turners, to have a ‘rest day’.
We row to the island in the middle of a tranquil lake of aquamarine and climb 99 stairs to reach the 17th Century Church of Mary the Queen to ring the bell in the middle of the church. “Those who pull the rope to ring the bell and make a wish will be answered.”
Our Lady of Fatima fixed my back a couple of weeks ago when I was in Portugal, so you have to wonder what it was that I asked Mary the Queen to do for me this time.
Back in Ljubljana, what was to be a short walk before dinner finds Edmundo and me in the Plaza in front of the Franciscan Church watching a ballet troupe stretching and doing bar work on a stage erected outside the church.
Edmundo leaves me photographing the ballerinas while he goes off to Zara for a new T-shirt. An hour later, I’m still standing there in the plaza like a shag on a rock! I make my way through ‘Father Steve’ people with their bottles, and up the steps into the church for a minute to pass the time.
Exciting trumpets, tubas, and other wind instruments in ‘konzert’ captivate me – “Edmundo, where are you? You’re missing it all”, I swear to myself as I sneak back outside trying not to make noise, and cool my heels waiting for him. Damn! The shopaholic that he is, I know full well he’ll just saunter back in his good time thinking nothing of how long he’s left me waiting.
When he finally appears with shopping bag/s, the plaza has filled with locals and the most wonderful Tchaikovsky Ballet music. Now, our practice trouple are fully costumed and on stage ‘in full flight’. It’s now well past time for dinner, (and we have to be up at 4 am for the flights to Greece). So we cross the bridge and choose a restaurant under an umbrella on the opposite bank where we can still enjoy the wonderful ballet music and see the stage across the river – right through to the curtain calls and sustained applause.
It’s great to see how many of the people peeling away past our table, after the performance, are young.