2 August, Slovenia – ‘All Over The Place – Europe, Part 2’
I’ve been to Slovenia once before – filming ‘All Over The Place’ last year we drove between Croatia and Italy and stopped off for a McDonalds (don’t judge me). I arrived yesterday hoping to see a bit more.
For reasons too boring to explain we flew into Vienna in Austria and then 6 of us climbed aboard a 50 seater coach that we had all to ourselves for the 3 hour journey into the Slovenian Alps. When we arrived at our hotel at the bottom of an out of season cable car lift our cameraman Geraint realised he’d been here before filming a CBBC show called ‘Gimme A Break’ over 10 years ago! Later that evening my new co-presenter Lauren arrived fresh from her delayed flight from Manchester and fitted straight in with us all.
Since this was the first time she’d ever worked on ‘All Over The Place’, what better way to break the ice than to dress up as a stork and be pushed down a 100m zip wire in front of a crowd of cheering Slovenians? That was what we set off to do this morning, and when we arrived in the village of Velika Polana they couldn’t have been more pleased to see us, greeting us with plates of cured meat and cheese and proffering bottles of wine (which we politely declined!). Their festival celebrating the storks that visit during the summer has been running for 20 years and is now reaching fairly epic proportions, with thousands of people turning up over 8 days to dance to live music till 4am and cheer on grown adults dressed as storks taking part in events such as trying to catch the most foam frogs using only their beaks, throwing babies down chimneys and seeing who can get closest to their “nest” (a raised metal platform) at the end of a zip wire.
Once we’d donned our very stylish stork outfits (the 2nd time I’ve been dressed as a stork on this show…) we got stuck straight into the zip wiring and in what felt like no time at all I was hung up from my back on the wire and pushed off the balcony of the village football terrace, managing to cover quite some distance. Lauren tackled it all very bravely considering she’s a bit scared of heights, but for some reason twisted around a bit in the air, leaving me the victor shouting “I beak you!” and waving a trophy in her face. Get used to it Lauren. Things are only going to get weirder…