Wednesday, March 08, 2006

I was in Ljubljana

I was too late to book an affordable direct flight to Ljubljana. Fortunately, Easyjet saved the day, although I had to wait two to three hours in London before changing my plane. No big deal, I always carry a book with me when I am travelling. This time I had two. Oh, and I finished the two.

I enjoyed the journey itself. Part of the enjoyment comes from the anticipation of fun, the other part, I don't know. Maybe it is that I am not in a rush. I can just sit, walk and just enjoy the view. I especially enjoy departing from Schiphol airport, in Amsterdam. The lounges after the security checks show that a lot of thought went into their design. You are compelled to relax before your trip, unlike London Stansted where everyone seems to be rushing somewhere. Take a look at Schiphol.

The passport check in Ljubljana took longer than usual. The delay in the passport check hinted that Bolivians don't usually arrive there in crowds. Luckily I did not have a thorough baggage check as I had in Dubrovnik.

It was impossible to get lost in the journey from the airport to Ljubljana. Especially because my reception committee was waiting right outside the customs gate.


The following days consisted of waking up late, walking around the city center and eating at home or in some traditional restaurant.

When visiting museums, monuments and other famous buildings it is handy to have a student card, the entrance prices are often halved if you show it. I do not have a student card but eventually I started saying I forgot mine at home. Some of the ticket sellers were disapprovingly shaking their heads but they gave me the discount anyway. It is a sin to forget your student card, there are so many offers for them. At the entrance of the Postojna cave, one lady did not initially buy my forgotten-student-card-story. She then asked me where I come from. When I replied I could see how worried she was for me, this poor boy forgot his card in another continent, she must have thought. So, lucky me, I got my discount.

In the last weekend of my stay, we hit the Slovenian roads in a car that Metka and I rented. Since I do not master the art of driving, I left that pleasure to her. The first day we went to a town in the northwest called Bled. I like mountainous landscapes, especially now that I live in the flat Netherlands. Take a look at the views from the castle in Bled and at the lake in Bohinj.



That evening, in a typical restaurant in the small town of Radovlica, I was thrilled to discover tongue among other delicacies that are rare in European restaurants nowadays. This lovely dish of tongue was served with potatoes and grated horse radish. This last vegetable is a sure success among the lovers of spicy ingredients and watery eyes.

Radovlica: They eat tongue too!

The next day I visited the Postojna caves. Once again I established my poor reputation as underground photographer. I should have asked the email addresses of the Japanese tourists that did the visit with me. One of them took the picture of every stalactite, surely too busy to listen to the explanations of our guide. Another visitor was constantly chatting. After a while I realized it was a monologue, his friends were looking in awe at the cave, paying no attention to him. Maybe he was preparing a radio program about the caves.



The caves impressed me a great deal. The larger "rooms" reminded me of some passages in Jules Verne's Journey to the Center of the Earth.

We visited ten kilometers of the cave, the most of it in a small electric train. I am eager to one day try the real thing. That is, just go with a torch, some equipment and plenty of time.

The last part of the trip that day ended in Piran, a lovely Adriatic coastal town.




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