Rainy Ljubljana

Ljubljana Travel Blog

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Leaving Villach, the train station behind.

(Clicking the plus sign on the map to the left will zoom in so you can see where I am!)


Lasko Pivo. That's my new favorite beer du jour. I'm enjoing a bottle right now as I eat and drink and blog. Now THAT's multitasking.


I left Stefan's flat on Wednesday, and took the 2 ½ hour scenic train ride to Ljubljna, Slovenia. (okay, another pronunciation lesson: Loo-blee-ana)


Slovenia was once part of Yugoslavia. I heard it was supposed to be like Prague was 10 years ago, but I'm finding that's not really true. There are plenty of tourists here as word gets out how charming the city is.

The Ljublijana River.
I think it's much more like Vienna, complete with a castle on the hill and everything.


I had e-mailed my couch-surfer-host-to-be that I was coming, but I was sketchy about the dates. I sent a quick e-mail from Stefan's flat, before I got on the train, and luckily when I arrived, there was a free e-mail computer in the tourist office, and I checked it and he received my message. He said he was confused, he thought I wouldn't arrive for two days. I DID arrive a day earlier than I expected, but also, he thought it was the 25th when actually it was the 26th.


When I finally figured out how to use the pay phone (could write another blog on that alone) and spoke with him he asked where I was. He sounded grumpy. “I'm at the train station” I told him.

You wait-me in front McDonald's” he said.

From the tower, the castle grounds fore, and the city in back.

I offered to take a taxi to his house.

YOU WAIT-ME IN FRONT MCDONALDS!” he said.


Click.


I don't know if the pay phone ran out of time or he hung up, but I waited-him in front of McDonald's. Only 5 minutes later, I heard someone call my name while standing at the open trunk of his car.


Andrej was less grumpy in person. He had just been at the doctors with his son and x-wife (although they are still married.) His son had some sort of stomach problems. Andrej had a cold and sore throat.


We drove a few blocks to a bar that a friend of his used to own.

Andrej, the waitress and I after I wait-him to pick me up.
It was a slow night at this bar and we were the oldest patrons by some 20 years. He told me it's mostly frequented by high school kids, although it looked like one or two could have been college age. He told me that here, anyone, of any age can go into a bar, they just can't order drinks until they 18. I wish I had my video cam as the bar tender lit two shots of something on fire, then suspended an alcohol-soaked, skewered sugar cube above it, and just as the flames were about to die, the kids drank the flaming shot.


After that, we visited a hippy commune, in a converted military barracks and prison which also has a hostel in it. Apparently this is the “hippest hostel in Europe” according to Lonely Planet. The rooms are in redecorated prison cells! Each one has been decorated by a different local artist....or so I'm told, as I didn't really SEE one.


Finally, we got to Andrej's house in the suburbs, about 8km from town.

Part of the refinished attic. Very cozy (and warm.)
He has a spare room that he uses for his guests. He said I'm the 84th traveler he's hosted this year. He had bus schedules laid out, and traveler information in several languages, etc, etc. The house is one he got 8 years ago, and converted part of it into an apartment for his mother. The rest of it is still in a state of re-model, but he's done a great job of converting the attic into living space, where his room is, as well as a lounge, his son's room (when he visits, he's 3) and what will someday be a bathroom.


I slept well in the chilly basement spare room, with the help of several blankets. Did I mention that it's been raining since I left Villach? I hope it let's up. It's kind of a drag sightseeing in the cold rain.


This morning, Andrej went to work about 9:30 and left me the key. I took the bus to the town center and spent the day there looking around, dodging the rain and seeing the castle.

His spare room and two twin beds.
I also bought a Slovenian SIM card for my cell phone, so now I have a Slovenian phone number. Call if you like, incoming calls are free to me!


When I called Andrej in the late afternoon to see how he was feeling, the GRUMPY Andrej was on the other end of the line. “Do you have something to ask? We don't need to use expensive time to talk on the phone”. I just wanted to know if he wanted to grab a bite to eat, He said he felt really bad, and was just going to stay home and rest. No problem. I caught the bus back to his house. Easy as pie and only a buck.


When I got there the nice, hospitable Andrej was there. I think he's just curt on the phone. He was sick and was coughing and stuff. I used an ethernet cable to connect my laptop to the Internet and did some checking of e-mail, then walked the half mile or so down the road (in the rain, with an umbrella I purchased in town) and I am just now finishing my dinner, and my blog and my beer.

Andrej's house in the suburbs.
Actually, I think I just might order ANOTHER beer. I couldn't read the menu, it's a local suburban restaurant, and the menu is just in Slovene, and I didn't know what to order so I just had a big salad. It was good, with lots of cabbage and some beans.


Saturday, I'm going to leave for the Adriatic Coast.  Slovenia only has 47 Km of coast on the Adriatic, between Iataly and Croatia. 


So for now I leave you. Fall is in the air here. How are things at home?




EEEhehehe says:
ahahah.. yeah. good choice. Lasko is certainly one of the best beers :)
Posted on: Sep 28, 2007
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Leaving Villach, the train station…
Leaving Villach, the train statio…
The Ljublijana River.
The Ljublijana River.
From the tower, the castle grounds…
From the tower, the castle ground…
Andrej, the waitress and I after I…
Andrej, the waitress and I after …
Part of the refinished attic.  Ver…
Part of the refinished attic. Ve…
His spare room and two twin beds.
His spare room and two twin beds.
Andrejs house in the suburbs.
Andrej's house in the suburbs.
Across from the bus stop, a hundre…
Across from the bus stop, a hundr…
A pedestrian plaza, at the foot of…
A pedestrian plaza, at the foot o…
Looking up through the shaped tree…
Looking up through the shaped tre…
The obligatory dragon on the bridg…
The obligatory dragon on the brid…
From the Castles tower.  Too bad …
From the Castle's tower. Too bad…
Ljubljana
photo by: Chokk