In "Farewell To Arms," Hemingway's Mr. Henry speaks of living in a house that looks across the river. As you read along through his journey of injury, war, and love he paints a picture of war torn Italy and Slovenia and neutral Switzerland. You can't help but wonder how much of this book is semi- autobiographical, as so much of his writing is. Although he did go to Italy as a volunteer ambulance driver and did get injured, his WWI saga is not as autobiographical as he would want you to think.
That house that looked out over the river was written to be in Kobarid, Slovenia and that river was the raging Soca. After learning that Hemingway had visited the area and watching a great episode of "Chef's Table" on Ana Ros I had an undying urge to visit this gem in the Alps. When making plans to visit I called Ros's Hisa Franko to find out they do not open back up for spring dining until the week after we leave. Bummer, but I had to move on. When we got there we visited the amazing Kobarid Museum to find out that Hemingway actually never spent time in the town, although they still relish in the folklore of it.
The Kobarid that I had imagined was not the Kobarid that I got, and that was perfectly okay with me. The scenery and nature is one of a kind and the people are even better. Marie from our bed and breakfast had a great knowledge of the area. The bartender next door let me freely use her wifi when I thought I was lost. The museum director took his time to show my sisters and me the impact WWI had on the area. As a history fan, that was especially appreciated. One of my favorite mornings of the trip was just going for coffee and walking around the sleepy town, ending up at the museum. I will never forget it.
If You Want to Know:
Where I Stayed- Hemingway House Bed and Breakfast Apartments was the perfect place after long days of travel. Very clean, safe, and roomy. Marie, the owner, was a great hostess. Every apartment is named after one of Hemingway's wives. We stayed in Mary's Apartment. Can you tell I'm a Hemingway nut, yet?
Where I ate- Restaurant Topli Val was a great first dinner in Slovenia. The staff was sweet and food and wine were delicious. We ended our dinner with a complimentary nightcap of grappa.
Cinca Marinca- a lively coffee shop that quickly turns into a lively bar.