I hope I get this right. I still can’t feel my fingers. My…blackened shrivelled up foul smelling fingers. Andsjo wid… Sorry, one just fell off. I can do it, never mind. So, here’s the story of three lunatics.
It’s actually very childish. If you shouldn’t do it, do it. It started with a lot of warnings, my alarm going off. A cyclone was coming, and a drop in pressure was supposed to result in some of the strongest bora winds on record in the litoral regions of Slovenia. As the day was getting closer, I continued with a bit of tiptoeing, throwing in some provocative suggestions to my parents about going where the wind was supposed to be the strongest… I felt like the guy in a Twix commercial, screaming “caramel” all over the place. Until another crazy came along screaming chocolate, and another one shouting out biscuit.
On March 10th, the three lunatics were in the only car going in the direction where wind was tearing down trees, opening roofs, breaking windows, cars … And following our best lunatic logic, we took a car that was pretty f****d up to begin with. In fact, it was something you’d never take into a raging blizzard conditions. But we did, sure, we’re photographers, we have a licence to be stupid. 😀 And besides, there’s a method to our madness: it’s already pretty beaten up, so a few bricks or branches won’t make much difference, right.
At our first stop, I almost lost my fingers. No, I’m sorry, I can’t take pictures with my gloves on (by the end of the day, I learned to do that as well). By the time the adrenaline wore off, my fingers would probably fell off if I banged them against something that would actually stay in place in that wind.
Our goal was to get to Ajdovščina where it was supposed to be the worst. Needless to say not only nature conspired against us, but also the lovely British posh ladies and purist Sovenian ones that reside in two of our GPS navigation devices. I still don’t have a clue why that woman took us on a round trip of the Barje… As for the weather, well, it was like pulling a blind over the windsield. And by the time wo got to Ajdovščina, it was getting dark.
That was a whole different world. Zombieland. The sound of wind was loud and scary. The snow carried by the bora stang on our faces. Entrances to the houses were snowed up. Silhouettes of people on the windows, watching the idiots taking snapshots outside. Yeah, well, lady some of you prefer sunsets, flowers, pretty trees, clear skies – we prefer hurricane winds, blizzard, temperatures well below zero, our limbs falling off, numb (aka frozen) feet, and being pushed around (this time by gusts of wind). 😀 Why don’t you come out, so I can have at least one person on the street of this giant windpipe? Look, I promise, I will chain you to the street lamp! Oh, and bring a kite!
When we found a grocery store open, THAT felt just wrong! Scary! Surreal! It’s like “what, life hasn’t stopped in this blower?”. And the number of soulmate lunatics on the roads! Watching it all through this raging currents of snow felt like something out of a Stephen King movie. Well, I soon got 99% blind. I should’ve wiped my glasses with antifreeze.
The weather woman on the radio on our way down said the winds would calm down by the evening. Lady, if you were standing in front of me in Ajdovščina that evening, I’d kick you just enough for you to hit the lighthouse in Piran!!! Bora actualy picked up speed! Noooo, 150 km/h isn’t enough!
I thought we’d never get out of that train station. Crouching behind a wall, listening as the wind just kept picking up speed. You stood up, got slapped around by snow, and crouched back down again. And while we were out having fun, freezing our asses off and waiting for something to hit us in that wind, life went on as usual for the people of Ajdovščina, as seen at the bus station.
They’re used to it. Bora here is so frequent their cars use less petrol, because the wind pushes them. It’s probably the only place in Slovenia where people don’t piss in public.
On our way back to pull our car from a river just next to where we parked it 😀 we saw a family taking a stroll. See, in Ajdovščina it’s like Floridians taking a stroll during hurricanes. Family fun. What struck us most was the idea that this extreme weather phenomenon is like a bit pumped up ordinary day in Ajdovščina to its citizens. They just put on ski goggles and go for a stroll. We thought “now why didn’t we think of that?”. Yes, why indeed? 😀
Our car was still there! And another one on top of it. 😀 No, seriously, it was just frozen. But getting back out of the Vipava valley was a bit more difficult than getting there. Snowing got worse, winds got stronger, roads were full of snowdrifts, and most of the time we couldn’t see absolutely anything.
We just drove straight forward, until we started noticing familiar points along the road. We came through here earlier, but now it was all snowed up, the entire landscape changed completely. Cell phones kept ringing, we kept lying… Very few people actually knew where we were. Well, that way they don’t need to worry.
Somewhere near Ljubljana I finally took the call from my folks at home, told them where I was, and that went rather well. They obviously know I’m a responsible adult lunatic.
And that’s the whole story. I managed to type it, but that’s just because I glued that finger back on. 😉 These images, along with some more will be on Dax Photo, but not on the site that’s online now. Sorry, I don’t have time to work on this complicated flash thingy. It will soon be on the new site. A lot more practical, less “flashy”. And no, that’s not an urban legend, it really exist, I just keep announcing it for months now. And no, it’s not that good to require this much time to built, I just don’t have time. And another no: no, I don’t have a life, I have work to do. 😀