A Retreat in the Country

Hello Everyone! Our group has been gone on a lovely getaway to the Slovenian country side. We had the pleasure to stay in a renovated family house. The family didn’t try to remodel the house. Instead they used whatever leftover material they could to preserve the personality of it all. The owner said it was expensive and took a lot of time to renovate, but its beautiful location within vines and acreage of land makes it all worth it. For each night the students were separated into two different groups. The first group of students were in charge of cooking food the first night. They made a Moroccan dish with fish and vegetables. It was delicious.  The second group made a veggie and a meat lasagna with a salad appetizer as well. Both meals were spectacular.



During our stay we also got to look at the Port of Koper. Thanks to its methods to reduce multiple pollution, it recently won an award for being the most eco- friendly port. The port uses a paper sludge left over from paper mills to coat coal and reduce pollution. Basically the cellulose within the mix dries and produces a layer thick enough to trap the coal. It is then burned. The port also is the first in the world to pass legislation to prohibit light glow. In addition to its monitoring methods to reduce pollution, the port also recycles material to produce housing bricks. When the port dredges (to increase depth and safety) silt is pumped to the shore. The silt contains the perfect mixture of materials to produce housing bricks. According to the presentation, they have made enough so far to produce three houses!!


During our stay we also had the opportunity to visit the salt pans. The salt pans were doing great pack in the day due to its expensive value. However, the market today has decreased its worth so production has also decreased. Now only a portion of the salt pans operate in Lera. The system is still the same today despite modernization. The salt pans are also and important eco system to preserve organisms and bird species. 350 out of the 360 bird species have been sited here and is also home to special flora adapted to a saline enviornment. We also had the pleasure of visiting a wooden spa located within the salt pans. The spa uses untreated larch timber and is beautiful! It has only been in operation for about a year now and is entirely dependent on the weather.




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