Saturday, June 12, 2004
I collect Matthew from Cambridge and head over to Bernie's. Bernie drives us to Stansted Airport.
Courtesy of Easyjet, and a
2 hour flight, we're in Ljubljana.
the capital of Slovenia, is on a plain, surrounded by mountains.
We board a coach at the airport to get to Ljubljana bus station.
Curiously, the driver detours via an obscure route though a forest. We soon
realise why: he's giving a lift to his mates.
We spot the Hotel Lev
as we drive in to Ljubljana. This is
the hotel Matthew had previously booked. The hotel's fine,
comfortable and modern. Yes, I said modern. Ljubljana is definitely in 2004. Any
pre-conceived notions I had of entering East Europe and stepping back into the
past were soon gone.
|I have a new toy with me: a Blackberry.
It's a mobile phone with email, Internet web browser, and note making facilities. But
the mobile phone company in Ljubljana doesn't support GPRS! I can't play with my
toy! This means emailing folks back home is not
possible. I'm not connected to the Internet!
We're amused by the Bar "Arcus"
around the corner from the hotel. "Arcus" is such an odd name, it's
also my compatriot's surname. (Matthew's Shetland ancestry.)
We never did get to have a pint there - it was always closed.
We wander to the three bridges in the centre of Ljubljana. Decent rock guitar is played
in the Franciscan church.
We investigate the monastery courtyard attached to the church - and get locked
in! That will teach us for being
It's a steady walk up to the castle. There's toy train to take you up
the hill, if your legs are past it. We declined.
walk on the grass! (You get shouted at!)
The castle, like many places we visited, would make a great Quake level.
Matthew enthuses over the chapel's ceiling: "Oooh, look, Thurn und Taxis, Ulrich
von Lichtenstein, very nice". The ceiling is emblazoned with the heraldic
devices of the upper ranks of mediaeval Germanic chivalry.
There are good views of the
town and surrounding mountains from the tower.
I look down longingly at the
found that most of the castles, palaces etc. along the way were very
much Germanic, with the Slavic peasantry confined to towns below. (The
name "Slav" is cognate with "slave".)
Back in the town below we enjoy some mighty fine Union Beer and steak. (£24 all in) (Fortunately, we don't have any vegetarians with us:
the veggie options do seem limited.)
It begins to rain.
Pivo (beer) is about
£1.42 for 500mL, around half the price of beer at home.
During our evening repast the weather worsened - lightening and downpour.
May be I should have brought a coat with me. (Idiot!
Fancy expecting fine weather!)
Back at the hotel there's a pleasant dark beer on offer. Soon we're in bed
(separate single beds, if you must know) listening to the thunder rolling around