Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Slovenia, the outlier

A few more passport stamps and we were into our last former Yugoslav country. The train line ran along the bottom of a deep, densely wooded gorge. Spring colours gave way to overcast skies, while the river ran swiftly below. Trains in Slovenia drive on the left. L, J and I spent an hour or more with our heads out the window screaming into space. Only drops of rain slamming into our faces at 160km/h could drive us back inside. I was surprised to note all the roof panels were already open and accessible, possibly to simplify border customs searches.

After a few hours we stopped in Ljubljana. L was continuing to Munchen, so we said farewell before walking into town. We found lunch and our CSers M, E and baby A, and got a quick run down on why Slovenia, of all the former Yugoslav countries, was absurdly well organized. Osmosis from neighbouring Austria, perhaps?

We walked into town and saw the castle and the triple bridge. Ljubljana, while charming and organised, does not sport the attractions of many other cities. Nonetheless we had a satisfying drink at a cafe by the river. A, who at 10 months old is the youngest CS host I have ever had, got tired and grumpy so we returned home. Ljubljana has some terrific mountains on the north horizon, all lumpy and craggy.

That evening we watched Men in Black, ate a terrific dinner, then retired to rest on an absurdly comfortable couch.

Next morning we woke with the family at 6am, ate fresh brown bread with chestnut jam for breakfast, then walked to the station. With minimal drama we found our platform and train, and under an early morning fog completed our stay in Ljubljana. After a slightly rushed connection in Maribor we were on our way to Austria, and the end of J's and my three week trip together.

UPDATE: Photos.

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