We left Seattle on Thursday April 25 via Delta Airlines to New York JFK with just an hour layover before we caught the Air France flight to Paris arriving on Friday morning April 26, We made our way around Charles de Gaulle Airport by bus to the remote Terminal 2G and took the 2 hour Air France flight to Ljubljana, Slovenia.
Waiting to meet us at the airport were my cousins Marijan Kalister (2nd Cousin) and his daughter Margita. My maternal grandmother Rose Chekado came to America from Slovenia in 1920 and her sister Paula stayed at the family home in Dolejena in southern Slovenia near the Croatian border. My great aunt Paula Chekado Klarich passed away in 1991 but her daughter Marica (mom’s first cousin) and son-in-law Marijan Kalister raised their family in Dolenja and where he expanded the family automotive services business adding an Opel Car Dealership in Dolenja and Goodyear Tire shops and automotive repair shops in both towns of Dolenja and Ilirska Bistrica (See their business online at http://www.gume-kalister.si/ ). Our afternoon drive took us past Ljublana and past scenic views of the country to the family home in Dolenja.
My parents visited the Kalisters 25 years earlier when their children twins Margita and Monika were only three years old. A lot has changed in Slovenia since the 1980s when Slovenia was part of Yugoslavia. During the years between we corresponded by letter, then email, and more recently Facebook to stay in touch. In 1991 Slovenia became independent from the former Yugoslavia and it is a member of the European Union and has undergone many changes to become a modern country over the past 2o+ years. And both twins were married in 2012 so we enjoyed meeting the new husbands too!
On Saturday we went to visit the famouse Postojna Cave and Predjama Castle which I will enter in another blog and on Sunday we visited the old church in Dolenja that my grandmother attended as a child before leaving Slovenia to come to the USA in 1920. I was happy that we were able to see the inside of the old church now closed except for one festival event a year.