Day 10/11: Leaving Slovenia and Life stuck in an airport

Wow what a tough trip back home. We were suppose to only spend about 13 hours traveling back home, but we ended up taking 46. This was due to one flight being completely cancelled and the other one having leaky oil. So having to sleep an evening in the Dulles airport was a terrible and frightening ordeal. Hope I never have to experience that again…

Anyways, back to the main topic at hand. The Slovenia trip was the epic highlight of it all. I got to meet some amazing BLP people, got to witness several companies that were making innovative and creative changes, and see a whole new country and experience its culture and beauty. Overall I have no regrets for this trip.

My favorite business has got to be Pipistrel, for their amazing vision and ideas that transpired into global award winning planes and contracts with major countries.

My favorite experience has to be when we were watching the sunset in Piran. We got to see the orange beams of light glitter across the ocean and the picturesque building slowly darkening as it fades to darkness. Honestly, what a view.

My favorite (new) person has to be Emma, honestly I got to see a side of her that I haven’t seen before, her positive energy really makes any place exciting.

Worst Experience? Waiting for an airplane with a 14 hour “layover”

 

Thanks Everyone,

~Harrison Luo

Day 0: My Expectations and Goals

When I decided to take this trip to Slovenia, my original goals were to get credit hours, boost my resume, and finish one of my honors requirements. However, as the weeks rolled by and I slowly began learning more and more about the small little country, I began to realize that my new goal in this trip was to experience a new culture, meet new people, and see a part of the world few would ever get to see. My first leg of the flight to Slovenia leaves in under 12 hours, and I couldn’t be more excited. I’ve triple checked my passport, repacked my suitcase twice, and can’t contain my excitement for tomorrow.

By visiting Slovenia, I think I can learn more about their history and they country. I hope that even though I know very little Slovene, I can use my little vocabulary list and pick up some of the language (I’m heard that language immersion is the best method for learning) . I also hope to learn more about the companies and taste some of the famous gelato that I’ve heard so much about. Another goal of mine is to use my Garmin Virb and properly document more pictures of Slovenia so more tourists and curious travelers come visit this small but unique little bit of paradise.

I expect to be surprised. I expect to learn a lot. And I think I expect to enjoy myself these next 10 days. And when I look back at this post that I made the night before the trip, I hope that I hit these three criteria

 

Thats it for me,

Goodnight and see you tomorrow Slovenia

~Harrison Luo

Day 9: Last Day in Paradise

Today was our last day in Slovenia and we had a blast. We first started our day by visiting Elan, a famous ski making company. They develop some of the world’s most famous skis, for some of the best world skiers. Their plant was really innovative even though some of the boards are still made by hand, a lot of it was automated so that each board is made with extreme precision.

Finally the definite highlight of the day was Lake Bled. It was truly a sight to behold, the clear darker blue water and the partial cloudy sky made the setting all the more beautiful. The castle on the top looked out on the lake and the island, and it was extremely pretty. DCIM101_VIRB

We also rode the Pletna across the lake, and the rower that took us to the island was an Olympian rower. Today was the best way to spend my last day in Slovenia.

Thank you Slovenia, Thank you Petra, and Hello U.S.

~Harrison Luo

Day 8: Krka & University of Ljubljana

Today we visited Krka, and it was one of the most well-prepared visit, I have ever seen. Krka is a pharmaceutical company, who helps develop medicine and produce the medication developed by other companies. With hundreds of name brand medicine under their name, they produce up to 18 billion pills a year. Krka had a really interesting presentation style. After introducing us to the beginnings of the company and how far they have come, we were all piled into a large elevator and that’s when the actual production tour began. On the walls were two large TV’s and little animated people demonstrated what each part of the visit entailed. Then the elevator moved and showed us the rooms where the medicine was mixed, where the medicine was pushed into shells and painted so the bitter medicine is masked, and finally the storage area to hold the medicine was absolutely massive.

We also visited the University of Ljubljana, specifically the economics department. They showed us around the University and what classes students take and what life is like there. They also talked about study abroad opportunities, and the different chances they offer to their students. We got to meet one of the “deans” and talked about how modern the college is with their new investments in the building.

See you

~Harrison Luo

Day 7: Leaving Portoroz and visiting Pipistrel

After three lovely days on the beach, we sadly had to leave the comforts of our awesome beach hotel, and head back to Park Hotel in Ljubljana. After an hour of driving, we arrived at Pipistrel, which is a company that develops small aircraft and gliders.

Pipistrel had a lot to offer us in both reputation and experience. Through its 28 years of production, their aircraft have won numerous awards, and their company has been visited by many celebrities. It all began as a man’s dream to fly across the sky in Slovenia, but at the time, Slovenia aerospace was controlled by the government, and regular individuals weren’t just allowed to fly. However, disregarding this rule, he decided to build his glider and fly across Slovenia. Every couple nights he would fly his glider and since it was dark, many locals spread rumors that a “large bat” had flown across the sky. This is why the Pipistrel logo has a bat in the background, and how the owner was inspired to develop a world renowned company.

We also met a guy from the U.S. Embassy, and discussed the social-political sphere of influence the U.S. had on the Slovenes. We also talked the recent elections and what exactly an embassy does in other countries.

Also Serbian food is really good.

~Harrison Luo

Day 6: A free day

Today was our free day to spend some time doing whatever our heart desired. So we decided as a group to bike to Croatia. It was a very “adventurous trip”, that took several miles and hours of time constantly biking up hills and around the scenic views. While we had originally planned to go to the beach in Croatia, we just didn’t find the right path that would takes us there, so we didn’t end up spending much time in Croatia.

After our bike excursion to another country, Will and I went and tried out some of the clay courts. These courts are better because they take to the spin a lot better, and you can slip and slide on these courts better so balls that were once impossible to reach become possible. Clay courts were an experience of a lifetime, and I really enjoyed having being able to try out these “European style courts”.

Finally the highlight of the evening was eating a lovely meal and watching the sunset in Piran. You could see the sun slowly fall and the reflection began to diminish on the city. And before you knew it, the city was lit with dinky little street lights, and the night life began to settle.

Today was an exciting time, to relax and enjoy myself, and I had the time of my life,

~Harrison Luo

Day 5: Venice

It rained a lot today. But nevertheless we continued our journey to Venice in the cold and stormy weather. When our boat finally docked in Venice, the rain was pouring hard and we could barely see a couple hundred meters in front of us. However, as if the gods parted the skies; as we walked to the square the rain began to lighten up, and as we reached St. Marks Square the sun shone upon the Saint Mark’s basilica. As we arrived the square was filled with an abundance of people, with vendors crowded around desperately vying for buyers. After depositing our backpacks we gaped at the inside of the basilica. Adoring the walls were priests, nobles, and religious figures. The artwork was lined with bright golden jeweled glass tiles, the picture of Jesus stared down upon the people as many prayed and others stared into the gleaming eyes of their savior. It was truly a sigh to behold.

Venice was packed with tourists today, and it was rather difficult to find an open restaurant. After searching we stumbled upon a little shop hidden from the chaos of the Venetian city, in a quaint little alleyway.  After losing Will for 30 minutes, we finally ate some of the best food Venice had to offer. the menu was: Spaghetti with clams, Fried bass, and steamed mackerels. The Spaghetti tasted extremely fresh and I loved the taste of clams with the noodles. The Fried Bass also was wonderful, the squeeze of the lemon on top and the herbs made the fish just melt into my mouth. And then finally the mackerels were decent (No further comments).

Venice was a visit of a lifetime, no where else in the world can you see some of the worlds most amazing feats of architecture, take a ride in a boat all through the city, and understand why some people decided to build their own city on the ocean. Leaving Venice was the hardest part of the trip, but I think I will be back pretty soon.

Free day tomorrow, looking forward to that.

~Harrison Luo

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