We were warned that crossing the border between Croatia and Slovenia (from non-EU to EU) could be a three hour ordeal of waiting as both Croatian and Slovenian guards (sitting at tables opposite each other) have to stamp your passport, passing them back and forth “very efficiently”. Fortunately our guide, Rok knows the drill and took us quite a few miles away to a lesser used crossing (further in miles of course) where the agents got up on the right side of the bed, didn’t make us get off the buss, even smiled while collecting our passports, and had us on our way in 1/2 an hour…saving over an hour and a half on the trip.
[Note: Forgot to identify the paintings yesterday. They were a Manet and a Reubens]
[Also, an apology and a promise. I’ve been having some real difficulty with photo downloads that I can’t solve while away. There are some really good, informative shots that you’re not getting to see. As soon as I get home I’ll load them and send you a link to see if you’d like. Anyway….]
Into the charming and beautifully restored old town of Ljubljana. The architecture of local Jose Plecnik befits the capital of Slovenia. It suffered from a devastating earthquake in 1895 and has been coming back ever since.
No cars are allowed inside the town’s inside ring anymore, but bikes are becoming a bit of a nuisance. Ljubljana was named “greenest” city in Europe and it is. Saw the mayor (below) who is an innovator and a gladhander. Electric cars join the bikes inside as the only wheeled transportation. Recycle containers including biodegradable (above) that are locked and has scales. Residents have a card they insert when what they dispose of is weighted on an integrated scale – it credits their annual bill.
The mayor, working on a Saturday, greeting everyone and posing with members of our group.
There are six bridges that cross the river running through the middle of the town (that was raging today because of the heavy rain we’ve had the last couple of days) connecting loads of small shops, outdoor cafes, restaurants and, of course, a farmers’ market.
Some of Plecnik’s work and restoration.
Now we head off toward the historic, resort town of Bled, only about an hour from Ljubljana. Rok, our guide, was raised in Ljubljana and you can see why he loved it. As a boy he lived on a farm, just a few minutes from the town center. He had the best of worlds, with all the city could offer and minutes access to rural beauty and quiet and to centuries of history, including the Castle on Lake Bled we’ll explore tomorrow.
Keep it coming! We’re in Ottowa and had a great dinner tonight, our first night.