celje, reunion, saudade

Three days after my first encounter with Hari, unexpectedly, I had a chance to see him again.

Except for mountain hiking Blaž suggested that we did a small sentimental trip and went to Celje
– a city where he studied before entering the university in Ljubljana and the third biggest metropole in Slovenia. New places mean new adventures so I was really keen on heading north. And the name… Celje, Celje… I was racking my brians why did I recall it… Hari! Of course! He had told me he was going there when I hitchhiked with him! As a happy owner of his mobile number
I sent him a text one day earlier writing that me and Blaž are going to Celje and asking him if he wanted to join us for coffee. Few minutes later the meeting was arranged.

It was the second day of Christmas and the city was very quiet and almost comepletly empty. Blaž led the way to show me his school of the time before we started our stoll. The centre didn’t seem big but it was definitely cosy. We crossed the river and climbed a small hill from which we had quite a nice view of the city and a castle in the distance. Few photos after that we were on
our way to meet Hari.

He came with his car and invited us in.
Zdravo! Zdravo! Zdravo!
The vehicle was suddenly filled with happiness
and three cheerful voices.
I was so glad to see him again!
Kaj si be! Kaj si ti!

We went to the centre to drink hot chocolate. Blaž and Hari imediately got on well and had an impassioned discussion. I would just sit and observe them as I didn’t understand much of it. But I didn’t mind. It was great to be in their company and enjoy the afternoon. Sometimes Blaž would translate the pieces of the conversation to me and I would ask him to translate something back.

After the chocolate Hari decided to take us to the city’s castle. I was entranced! Driving up the mountain with him was a pure pleasure – one could tell he’s an experienced driver. We followed the hairpin road smoothly until we got to the peak. The castle turned out to be a great spot for taking pictures. The common session started, only the photographers would change from time to time. The panorama of Celje was fantastic. If the day wasn’t a bit foggy I think we would enjoy it even more. While the guys discussed the topography of the city I took my time to capture great views and to catch them in the act.

Our lovely afternoon finished at Celjska Koča where a lot of families were having fun sledging. After warming ourselves up with cups of hot tea it was time to get back to the centre and
to say goodbye.

I flung my arms around Hari. Hvala! Hvala lepo!
No words could really describe my gratitude…
For that day. For the ride to Slovenia. No one could have been able to undersand the great saudade my heart was filled with at that moment.
So much happiness for being there altogether,
so much sadness to go our seprate ways…

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