I remember July 20th 2015 like it was two months ago. It was Monday. The temperatures were high in Zagreb those days. It was terribly hot. Unbearably hot. Zrinka was melting together with the concrete that she was sitting on (which had already got fluid). Ana, on the other side of the terrace, was partially evaporated, which left the rest of her body in a state that would be a perfect consistency – if she were a jam. Or Zrinka was ready to become a jam – truth to be told, I couldn’t tell which one is which, my eyes were blurred by the sweat.
We were jealously checking the weather in Bled, small Slovenian town on the famous lake beneath the Alps. While our brains and bodies were melting at 38°C in the shade, Bled was enjoying a relaxed temperature of 25 degrees and – rain. “Look, they have rain!”, we said as we looked at the picturesque lake via a weather channel’s webcam, “We have to go there!”.
We also found another good reason to go there: Swinging Bled, which included dance workshops and evening parties by the lake. Relaxation, dancing and nice landscapes – a pretty good formula. We fled Zagreb as soon as we could and got to the Friday party, after getting lost once. Or twice. The street that we were looking for was interestingly designed and very elusive.
The location was fabulous: Tito’s villa which was built on a big rock just by the dreamy lake.
No, sorry. The villa is a bit on the left, outside of the picture. This is just an additional “tea house”. Tito, Yugoslavian “emperor”, was known for having houses, villas and caves across the whole former country.
He really knew how to pick a good place. A stylish house in a dreamy place: it’s hard to imagine a better place for dancing. The majority of the people at the festival were Slovenians, but there were also a few Austrians, Serbians, and us, Croats. Slovenian swing has passed its teenage years so it’s a pretty large and very good scene. Visiting Ljubljana, or any other place in Slovenia, is a very feasible dancing trip.
The next morning we slept like babies. Zrinka and I, that is. Ana woke up at 8, as if she were a Birmingham locomotive engineer. No hope for her. She drank coffee, gave up on waiting for us to wake up and was on a bus to Bohinj by 10. Bohinj is bigger but less known Bled’s lake-cousin. While Bled is more of a touristic town (much like any on the Adriatic coast), with lots of people strolling around, Bohinj is better suited for adventurers, sportsmen, hikers, cyclists, kayakers… And us.
By the time Zrinka and I got to Bohinj, Ana had already rode in a kayak, swum in the lake and pretty much had all the fun. (And all that we’ve accomplished so far was the first morning coffee at noon.) Despite the mountains around it, the water was pretty warm, even warmer than the sea at the time. (You can see Ana in the water if you look at the pic above carefully.) We took a couple of selfies, saw a waterfall and headed back to Bled to have a 20 euros lunch after which we had to go to a store and buy sandwiches.
We took a late-afternoon nap and woke up at 23h. I was pissed off. By that time, the most attractive part of party had already passed. We’ve missed showcases, competitions, almost everything! We got up and dressed up immediately. Immediately – and only 2 hours later we were at the place where all this fun was supposed to be happening. But all we saw was an empty open-air stage. There was no one. There was no music. Nothing. Just the rain. They must have changed the venue because of the weather. The party was, most likely, in Tito’s villa like the night before. It was 1 a.m. and raining, and villa was not at all on our way, so we headed back to our room.
I was pissed off like hell. I cursed the organizers for not putting up a notice about the change on the FB event or something. We put pyjamas on and laid in bed. But I couldn’t sleep. Just couldn’t. I was too pissed off, too nervous to fall asleep. They were having so much fun while, what, we’re sleeping in our bed? No way, José! I had to do something. I had to have fun. I had to have my revenge! There is no party that I will miss. Not while I am in the same town!
The rain was heavy. Zrinka, already slightly frozen from our last expedition to find the venue – which she bravely decided to do in flip flops – was sleepy and not feeling revengeful. I put my best trousers on, and the whitest shirt, arranged my hair to be at its most revengefully best and went to revenge-venture! Reventure!
I crashed the party at 2 a.m. and danced like never before. That showed them! They thought they can change the venue and that that will ruin my weekend! A-ha! No can do! If only you could have seen their smug faces while I danced the hell out of the party; you wouldn’t have found any trace that would point to their contempt seeing me having fun, but I could tell, I could tell.
I forgave them after they served free watermelon and redeemed their souls. The party was really good.
Sunday started as easy as a Sunday should. After coffee, Zrinka and I walked around the lake Bled while Ana abandoned our laid back and relaxed mood and joined the workshops. The air-steps and air-yoga classes left Ana with an air of excitement and enthusiasm. She liked the parties and workshops so much that she returned to Ljubljana the very next weekend for another breath of Slovenian lindy hop.
Tourist ride by boat to a church-island on the lake, with a few freeloaders on our way back almost turned in a new Lampedusa case. We celebrated the happy weekend with a cup of coffee and went back home, to the over 30°C lowland.