I was really happy to be a part of the Interpret Europe course and community, because it revealed quite a new way of understanding guided hiking or biking. When we met for the first day in Geopark Karawanken-Karavanke headquarter in Tichoja/ Tihoja, Austria, our heads were so filled at the end of it, that we could not even express our thoughts. For most of us, nothing had a real sense yet. But during the second day of the course with Thorsten Ludwig, we were pushed to experience real interpretive guiding by exercising in-situ, being filmed and analysed. That was the ‘click’ to the feeling of guided interpretive speech and acting, observing and provoking the guests to actively collaborate and wake up a sense of connection with the land and place.
Our group was nicely diverse – including hiking and climbing guides, foresters, farmers wanting to be guides, community employees. I found my place as a ‘sub-architect’ who deals with place in the most natural way – to pass and observe it, not build and change it every time. That is why I want to pass forward to other discoveries – and the methods of the course provide the right effective way.
A few other colleagues found purpose in the course, too, so we continued in a vibrant atmosphere. We practiced the interpretive skills on phenomena at a little lake and a mysterious little cottage in Tichoja/ Tihoja, and then also in a private museum of Carinthian history, Glavar Museum. We visited the Museum of pilgrimage on Hemmaberg/ Gora sv. Heme in Globasnitz/Globasnica and the famous site of historical pilgrimage itself.
The two courses were run at the same time with a German-speaking and Slovenian-speaking group on each side of the border. The two groups met at a dinner and exchanged the inspiration of the new knowledge and what to do with it. Many experienced guides, who have been dealing with it for many years with diverse groups of guests, found it even harder than the beginners to transfer the course theory into practice. But the course offers many possibilities to try, to ask, to improve your tactics of interpretation under the mentorship of the leader. If one gives 100% for those five days, and deals with the homework a.s.a.p., the soaking of knowledge is really intense and definitely leaves the right marks.
Kaja Kos is an architect, who fell in love with the place and space too much to only sit behind the computer. That is why she decided to become a guide in Geopark Karawanken-Karavanke – the rising star among tourism destinations in Europe. She can be contacted at: firstname.lastname@example.org.
To cite this article:
Kos, Kaja (2019) ‘The brand-new guiding point-of-view’. In Interpret Europe Newsletter 2-2019, 17.
Available online: www.interpret-europe.net/fileadmin/Documents/publications/Newsletters/ie-newsletter_2019-2_summer.pdf