My adventure in Floating Castle

Živjo vsem! For those who doesn’t know me my name is Juliette. I’am 20 yo and I am from France (Le Havre in Normandy). I will be volunteer in MC Zagorje and the primary school until december.

Slovenia is not unfamiliar to me since I arrived in January in Brežice for my previous volunteering, also in a youth center. I studied tourism after high school. That’s why I chose to go abroad, traveling has always been one of my favorite hobbies! If your interested by french language, or culture in general I would be very happy to share something about it : )

In this article I will share with you my experience in the Floating Castle.

On Wednesday 26 July me and Ronja left for the floating castle, a festival in Slovenia located in the forest of loska dolina. 5 intense days of volunteering were waiting for us! As a volunteer, I was a member of the eco team which is basically taking care of the cleanliness, picking up the waste on the floor, changing the toilet paper and trash bag, while paying attention to the recycling system.

The first day at the floating castle was pretty calm for all of us because we arrived one day before the festival was open to the public. The opportunity for us to make our mark, discover the place, build up the tents, and meet the mentors of our teams! The place was amazing and so large the festival spread over several hectares of forest, with more than 20 stages and 4 different camping sites for the visitors. More than 220 concerts were expected during the 4 days of festival.

The first day – People are coming and it’s time for everyone to start working, my schedules were a bit different from the others. I was often assigned to two rounds per day, one at noon and one in the evening, with the help of another person. Considering that the festival is quite big two teams were divided, one in the upper area and one in the lower. I used to work 3 hours per day which gave me a lot of time to enjoy the festival, compared to other volunteers. The parking people for example had to work sometimes 8h per day (because it was a mess on their side).

The programme of the festival had plenty of different workshops and shows : circus, parade, orchestra, traditional music concert from a lot of different countries , kids programme, and even an open market with different products, jewelry, drawing, clothes, stones… The program was extremely varied and we had time to enjoy almost everything and especially during the night : )

Despite the joy shared by the festivity, 5 days of festival are still tiring, and especially if the quality of sleep is not at the rendezvous!
With Ronja we slept in the same tent which was initially not planned because this one is too small to put our stuff. So we had to do an incalculable number of goings and comings to my car every day to get our bathroom stuff, clothes. . . And I didn’t expect it would be so cold. So the first night in the tent was terrible, my sleeping bag and the clothes I had brought were not warm enough and we discovered that the tent was not totally waterproof! So I woke up with my pillow totally soaked during the first morning…
Then at 7am the sun rises starts tapping on the tent which makes it a real sauna, so I went from dying of freezing to dying of heat in less than an hour. The second night was no better than the first since I slept in my car on the passenger seat. It was not much more comfortable and did not allow my legs to fully stretch out (and plus the daylight that woke me up early in the morning). I think I slept barely three hours. This does not give a good result to be optimal at work.

For the next two nights, I finally found another tent that a friend I met at the festival lended me. I could refund the sensation of SLEEP, that feeling that seemed so far to me. But the sleep is only the apparent part of the iceberg, you also had to face the cold water showers with the curtain opening every 10 seconds because of the wind which reveals your ass to the whole campsite.
But the worse was probably the dry toilets (i’m not gonna comment on this one). And finally the food that was pretty good at lunch. But for dinner it was basically a slice of bread and paprika except if you’re one of the 40 first lucky people. But except these little details about comfort I really appreciated this festival. It was an amazing experience that allowed me to meet so many people all around the world! from Canada, to Japan, Europe, and also surprisingly a lot of french people!

The last day is fast approaching and it’s time for us to say goodbye to all the wonderful people we could met, a part of me is sad but the other part can’t wait to find a real bed.

With Ronja we had planned to leave around 5pm to reach Rijeka right where we had booked our hotel to spend a short holiday. But life reminded me once again that nothing goes as planned. Indeed when we tried to start my car, it appeared that it didn’t want to leave the festival…
But everything ended well since we found good souls to help us restart the battery, and were able to reach our destination!

Juliette Boumendjel

Projekti prostovoljstva v okviru Evropske solidarnostne enote mladim nudijo priložnosti za prostovoljsko delo. Odgovarjati morajo na pomembne potrebe družbe, prispevati h krepitvi skupnosti in ob tem prostovoljcem omogočati, da pridobivajo uporabne izkušnje, veščine in kompetence za svoj osebni, izobraževalni, socialni, državljanski in profesionalni razvoj, s čimer se izboljšuje njihova zaposljivost.

Več o programu Evropske solidarnostne enote (slo. ESE, ang. ESC, bivši EVS) si lahko preberete na povezavi: