Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Speaking of Karawanken…!

I get to say it again! Ha!


Apparently it was shut down on Saturday.  Just as well we didn’t have to go that way!  We were tooling along on the A2,  and I decided to put on the radio in the naive hope that I could decipher any traffic issues,  and I heard something about the tunnel being closed.  I do recall this one time when we went through that the air quality was less than ideal,  partly due to the fact that there is only one tunnel,  so the fumes do sort of just hang around.  

The announcer was saying something about a 15 kilometre long “Stau” (traffic jam) and that the tunnel was closed.   We found out later from the cousin in Sava,  that if the fumes get out of hand,  the tunnel closes automatically.  Then I guess they wait for more fresh air to be pumped in?  I hope I never find out.  So I suppose you just show up and hope for the best.  Or listen to the radio and hope you’re not too late to go another way.




OK so,  just a couple more snippets about Žužemberk,  and then I promise I’m done.  Besides,  I don’t feel too terribly “yakky” today.  So this will be mercifully short.  Or not.  We’ll see.


You’ll notice that  Žužemberk sits on the banks of the Krka river,  which provides many opportunities to harness it’s power.   If you take a gander here,  you’ll see where the river has been diverted.  It just so happens that there was a mill there,  which was previously a saw mill.   Since our resident tour guide (the cousin) has no difficulty what so ever approaching anyone she meets to ask questions,  we ended up getting the whole story from the lady who lives there.  They’re now using the power from the penstock to generate electricity for themselves,   as well as selling the excess back to the utility. 


It’s a little hard to make out,  and equally hard to photograph,  but behind the wire mesh that appears in the doorway there,  are two hydro-electric generators.   Like an idiot I didn’t have the right lens with me to get a pic from inside,  so you’ll just have to take my word for it.



You can see here how high the diversion is compared to the ground just off to the right there.  It’s a fairly powerful and constant river,   so there’s no worries about running out of power.



Looking from the other side,  you can see the wire mesh I mentioned in through the window on the left,  giving you an idea as to the amount of drop.




So,  what’s the significance of this collection of buildings?  Well,  just a little ways upstream,  and you can catch a glimpse of the building here,



I think it was the white one,  but I might have missed part of the conversation (hey,  it’s all in Slovenian,  cut me some slack!)  here…



…is the house (mill)  where Travelling Companion’s oldest sister spent her childhood.  Unfortunately,  the people who bought THAT place,  have decided that they didn’t really want anyone wandering through the tunnel under their house,  and in spite of the cousin’s willingness to bang on their door to gain access,  we didn’t think we wanted to be that intrusive.  Possibly some sort of Canadian thing.   In typical fashion,  I managed to NOT get a picture of the front of the place.  Idiot.


So then,  you might wonder,  why wouldn’t you just stay in such a cool place?  Well,  basically what happened was, that war we mentioned yesterday came along,  and she and her Mom had to make tracks.   That’s a whole other story,  involving covering many, many kilometres on foot,  if you consider that they ultimately ended up in Spittal,  way up in Austria. 

I’m not kidding. 

They didn’t go there directly,  since they were on a train headed for a concentration camp when,  once again there was some Allied intervention and the train came under aircraft fire,  and she and her Mom were able to lie low (literally)  and make an escape.  

If you just stop and think for a moment how everything could have been so different had that event not happened?

It boggles the mind.


I’m sure there’s way more to the story,  and I’m only paraphrasing from snippets that I’ve managed to piece together.  As is the case with most anyone who has survived a war,  it’s not really something that gets brought up very often. 

To think,  the biggest annoyance I had in my childhood on the farm was having to do my chores.


What blissful ignorance.


If there’s room,  I’ll put the remainder of the photos on Picasa.



Enjoy your day.




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Well, I've been getting too many spam comments showing up. Just a drag, so we'll go another route and hope that helps. So, we won't be hearing anything more from Mr. Nony Moose.
I guess I'll just have to do without that Gucci purse.