Rusanka Ljapova

Every travel is a journey towards oneself. You always see yourself in the eyes of the others and get to know more about them and about yourself. Here in Pazin, in The House of Writers, among birds, lush green trees and bright blue skies I had an opportunity to read, write and think undisturbed.

I tried to tame solitude, to fill it with meaning, self comprehension. It is said that at home even the walls are helpful. In Pazin you even get helped by the famous Cave that drags your thoughts into its depths and sooths your impatience with wisdom of eternity.

Thanks to the beauty of the nature and generosity of local people my days in Pazin became an unrepeatable experience! For a Bulgarian translator such as me, living in the heart of Istria, feeling diversity and layers of cultural identity of its people was an exceptional opportunity, since otherwise I would have never learned of the Istrian dialect or literature. I spent my one month fellowship, awarded by the International Publishers Meeting “Journey to the Centre of Europe”, into two terms – in the second half of May and in August 2011. It gave me the opportunity to see Istria in springtime and in late summer, to attend different events, and to descend to the chasm of the Pazin Cave.

It’s not easy to simply count all the things I saw, people I met since I’ll probably miss something or someone, so I won’t count. But all the landscapes and faces have melted into an indelible memory that will always stay with me under its magic name Istria.