Tuesday, 10 December 2013

12# IDa4 MURAL IN EUROPE:Celje, Slovenia. MCC Hostel

Our Time In Celje...

Well I'll start  this blog entry with a simple question: when is the right time to say i love you?
Well for us, Slovenia and especially Celje, it was love at first sight! I don't think we have had such a lovely and amazing time since we started this journey 3 months ago. 

From the long, long drive from Milan to Celje, we were welcomed at the MCC by a very enthusiastic 17 old receptionist, who was really welcoming and showed us around the very impressive hostel.  He told us that the hostel was recently refurbished and that they had got local artists to come up with concepts for each room, based on characters, myths and legends of Celje. He also told us the history and the story behind every room, the Ninja room was our favourite! ( a guy dressing up as a ninja and throwing death stars at police?)

When we dumped our bags, we went down for the obligatory pint of lager, where we first met Eva,  We chatted outside, while drinking Lascko and the national spirit, a Blueberry Liqueur. then we chatted on a bit more,  finding out she's a talented abstract artist and in two bands. cool girl.

After this warm welcome we'd thought we hit the town for a few more beers, where we came across Metropol, a bar with a art cinema attached,  inside we found another warm welcome in Anja behind the bar and her good friend Mitja, who gave us a detailed list of all the best places to visit in Slovenia.  from food, to caves to general sights.   We spent the rest of the night, drinking Laško and his grandfathers homemade wine! very nice it was, this homemade wine was going to be a tradition in our stay in Celje.

Mitja and Anja were so nice to us and made us so welcome that night Mitja even suggested we meet up the next morning for a personal tour around his home city, this was a lovely gesture and we found out about the history of the place and what were the most liked building in the city. we were also induced to burek a Bosnian pastry dish filled with three different types of meat, they also do a cheese version.  This was going to be our staple diet while here.  (Greggs our favourite bakery in the UK have lots to learn from this delicious snack!

We went back to the hostel and were greeted by more loveliness in the shape of the two receptionists Deveda and Netica.  and behind the bar we meet Nejc, Sašo and Stopar

This place was beginning to feel like home!

The next night we were making food and  Đevada and her boyfriend Matjaž , popped into the hostel to see us, so we all sat down and shared a meal that i had prepared together, while drinking Matjaž's homemade wine, this wine was so nice, you'd pay top dollar back home for it!  they left but not before inviting us  to a poker evening the next day, MINT!

So anyway, the same night we ventured out to see a bit more of Celje, we ended up in the local hang out for artists called, TamkoUčiri, again we were meet by really friendly people and were shown around the local gallery even though it was approaching midnight! 

The art in there was amazing , we returned to the bar where we were drinking with Celje elite artists and musicians, this city was just getting better and better, they invited us back the next night for a private party... hmmmm poker or private party.. one of life's tough decisions

Well we choose. Poker with Matjaž  and the boys! We glad we did, out of 50 people, Chris came 3rd and won the bronze prize of a poker t-shirt, sun glasses and a 10 euro health certificate. Nice!
After the game we went back to the  MCC bar to witness, if I'm to be honest the best and probably the worst  and definitely the funniest and the drunkest  magician I have ever seen. I nearly fell off my stool I was laughing so much.  the guy was accidental genius!

The next night was the wine night at Matjaž and  Đevada's.   To get invited to a night like this means the world to me and Chris, and what travelling is all about to us. A side of the country and people you don't see on any tick list in a travel book. 

Our hosts could not have been nicer, lovely people.  When we arrived we were promptly introduced to everyone then taken to Matjaž's wine cellar where he keeps his freshly made homemade wine, he told us with great pleasure about the history of the wine, how they make it and its process. 
We tried the two types and both were nice but, the white was good enough, you would have ordered it in a restaurant.  We were then told he had produced 200 litres of the stuff! this was going to be a night to remember! or try to remember in the morning!

Well the night pasted quickly and presently, with new friend made, dancing and a good sing-along at the end of the night to Balkan songs, some I even( thought) I knew the words to. good wine!
But we were here to do some art, so I think I better talk about that now!! but thank you to Eva Verdev,  Đevada Mehmedovic , Nastja Rogač, Stopar Miha, Sašo Wimmer, Anja Popov, Nastja Jezernik, Matjaž Dolenc  for making this a place to remember for us. and also a  big thank you to Klemen Sagadin, who is the manager and was the one who said yes in the first place, organised the media fest, unfortunately we didn't see much of him because his wife just gave birth to their second baby, thanks and congratulation.

I cannot recommend Celje and the MCC more, if your thinking about coming to Slovenia, come to this city and this hostel! you wont regret it and you might, just like us, not want to leave..

So about the Art.

We were happy to find out that we were part of a media festival, at the MCC when we arrived with poster and leaflets  explaining what we were doing with the exchange idea and what we would be doing in the hostel.  We were even interviewed on Slovenian television for TV Celje

We are given two huge walls to do in the middle of the court yard. one would be the theme of the people holding the monuments and the other would be more abstract with different images in a frame like shapes, dotted round the wall.

The monuments that we used were the castle, the train station and the Slovenian flag. The images on the other abstract wall were some of IDa4's favourite one's with links back to North east with the Tyne bridge and north eastern sayings.