My Idria Trip l983
It would not have happened, had we not been to Denmark early summer and husband being ill there. I honestly only said in fun, that after nursing him, I needed another holiday. And bless him, he asked where I wanted to go. Idria came to mind and he agreed. This time he would stay at home, as he did hear about Idria lace before. After all he booked the trip to Denmark, not telling me, otherwise I would have mentioned that there they dont say Danish , but Tonder lace. He had an aversion to lace, because in his opinion it was a waste of time doing it. I soon changed his mind, but that is another story.
Booking the trip was easy and so I set off for a very long train ride. PARIS, alas it was night and nothing to see, on to Switzerland and in the morning past the lakes in Italy. Train stopped at Verona but the Three Men did not greet us at the station. End of journey, V E N I C E. I could not believe it. And what do people do there ? Sight seeing ? No, not Lace Makers. They go in search of laces as I did. From the station over two bridges and into the shop. And what a lovely sight. It goes without saying that I had to buy some pieces.
Back to the station and on to Ljubljana, arriving shortly after midnight. The Border- control at Trieste was very interesting and at times uncomfortable but that is all part of my adventures, when going behind the Curtain.
Saturday morning and off to explore the town. Found the Three bridges and from there followed the smell, which lured me onto the open market. Dont laugh but I could not resist a handful of Sauerkraut. Well, I was not the only one that was eating it there in the open, while looking at unusual herbs.
Next there were stalls with leatherwork, very tempting but .. in the distance I saw lacy things hanging. No, not bobbin lace but everything was knitted. Lovely tablecloth but nothing I wanted.
Just as I was going to the next stall, out came something unusual. An oval mat, beautiful made and I had no idea what it could be. Of course our conversation was nil but I had to have this piece. Price was very low but I had first to go to the bank, which was closed by the time I got there. I tried to tell her that I was coming back, showed her that I had only 2ooo Dinar and her price was 3ooo Dinar. She took my money, handed me the cloth and I went.
Monday I returned to the market, handed her the rest of the money and took a photo of her and her friend. She then gave me a present, a pair of knitted socks. I then bought a little knitted mat and after her hug left.
Tuesday was planned to visit the museum to look at laces, because Dr. Markova of Bratislava gave me the name of the curator. Alas she had retired and nobody knew anything about lace but I did not give up.
Across the road was a big building, wide open doors and big murals at the walls. So I went in, at the far end was a desk with uniformed people standing about. I asked them where the museum was, showing the address I had. One disappeared and the other went away. Was that a hint that they could not be bothered or what? I stood my ground and one came back eventually. He showed me on a map the same museum where I have come from, but it took quite a time to take it in that I should go round to the back door and someone will be waiting for me. IT WORKED.
As luck would have it, the lady did speak German and was busy unpacking laces which have been sent in for a display. And my eyes popped, seeing all those lovely pieces. No, they did not just make tape lace. Alas I was not allowed to take any photos but she insisted that I would go to Idria. I promised and the following day I was off.
No trains to Idria, only a bus. So paid the driver and sat in front ready for the next adventure. The mountains I saw in the distance from the town came ever nearer and than it happened, we were climbing up, sometimes the road got narrower, which was a bit frightening. At last a sign, that we are on the outskirt of Idria, the driver turned to me, IDRIA he said, I nodded, he stopped the bus, out I got and there was nothing to see of Idria. I waved, hoping he would stop, but I only got a wave back.
Eventual I saw a restaurant, ordered coffee which turned out to be mainly ground and little water. I asked the way to the lace school, got the direction, but was offered a lift into the town. Was taken to the wrong school, which was closed, so decided to find a shop where I could buy some lace. I was in luck there was a shop and in the window was one piece of lace displayed.
Hoping for more I went in and found that the young lady could speak a lot of German. She told me that her mother in law was a lace maker and if she would get permission from the boss, she would take me to her. Little did I know that that meant having to climb even higher. Mother in law was very nice, invited me into her house, and when told what I have come for, was pleased to show me her laces. Difficulties arose, when my guide left and we could only communicate with sign language. The laces were very nice and a feast for my eyes. Then came a surprise. She shouted to her next door neighbour, she apparently invited us to come. Little did I know that that meant, we had to go down the hill first and then up again, but it was all worth it.
This lady spoke little German and told me that she makes the lace and sells it in Italy.
After seeing the laces, out came the patterns and of course I had to have some. Trouble was that she had to get copies and only goes once a month into Ljubjana and who could blame her. So I paid and hoped to get all I liked.
Next adventure was to be the visit to the lace school. Found it. I met two teachers and many schoolgirls, very quiet doing their laces. When the teachers went to get me some patterns, I looked at what the girls were doing and gave them a bobbin each. When the teachers came back, my bobbins were nowhere to be seen.
Pity nobody told me where the museum was, would have liked to see it, but time was getting on and I had to go back by bus again. What an informative if exhausting day I had, one I will never forget. The patterns arrived about 3 month later, I nearly gave up hope.