13 September 2008

Day 12: Kočevje–Kostel

Up early. Too early if there's a long party to go to later in the day. Six in the morning. Avoiding personal pronouns for this reason. Need energy drink.

Yes, up at six to go out to the party site at Kostel. The long preparations still needed some final touches before the party's official start at noon. I took out my change of clothes to the site of the celebration, which is Maja's new house.

When I arrived at the "site," I found that it was still clearly a construction site and wondered, more than once "Is there really going to be a party here?" Maja's house was still undergoing plumbing and drilling and woodwork, and all the furniture was sitting outside on a covered wooden platform, where the party would technically occur. This was about 8:30—so I thought that clearly, no party was going to take place at noon.

Of course, time is very flexible in this part of the world, and the guests didn't really start to arrive until 2 pm, although there was still a lot of work to be done. However, the party lasted until about three in the morning, so it didn't seem to matter when things were actually completed. Much of the festivities occurred on a terrace outside the house:
Here's a picture of the interior, with the restored antiques and the newly arrived piano. Maja is at the piano, and her mother is to her right:
It was a much more casual affair than I had thought, and it was good for that because it rained most of the time. The wine and beer were plentiful, a whole pig (head intact) was served to be eaten in trenchers of bread, as if it were the Middle Ages. Some of us went to the upstairs loft and slept for a while during the party.

The big moment for Maja came when "The Lords" (actually, the descendants of the old nobility) arrived to convey on her some sort of charge. It was all in Slovene, so I didn't really understand what was happening, but it was beautiful with the full medieval outfits, the lords riding in a carriage with attendants, and a mock sword-fight afterwards.
Much of the other entertainment came from people breaking out into Slovene songs, and a popular guitarist (Maja tells me he does gigs on TV) leading most of them. At the end, the remaining guests had gathered in the old wine cellar, a camouflage blanket keeping out the rain that was pouring down heavily at this point. Alpine weather.

I will never make a decision between Laško and Union. I stayed with the wine and champagne.

I got back to Sten's house around four in the morning and fell straight to sleep.