Slovenia (June 27th – July 1st 2018)

Slovenia (June 27th – July 1st 2018)

Day 1: June 27th 2018

It was Wednesday June 26th and me running around Bratislava with my two backpacks on my shoulders. I had to finish some administration about my future au pair year in the US. I wasn´t realizing that within an hour my bus to Slovenia was about it leave… I also had to stop at my working place because I forgot to pack my hair brusher. But I made it! I caught the bus that took me to Vienna where I was switching bus to Ljubljana, Slovenia. I spent like five minutes staring at the information board and about three times I told myself that I should be on the right place and there´s no need to go anywhere else. Okay, I had to go to the bathroom but other than that nowhere. To be 100% sure I came back to the information board two more times to check if nothing had changed but no. No changes.      

My trip to Ljubljana lasted for 7 hours. It is the same like if you travel from Bratislava to Košice but you´re still in Slovakia. Funny, isn´t it? So I am here. What to do now? I left the bus and felt the same way like when I came to Prague and was looking for a bus station to Český Krumlov. So I called my best friend and I told her the same as I did the last time: “I don´t know what am I doing here, I should go home and I feel like a small person in a big city.” Just for the record Bratislava is bigger that Ljubljana… She told me that I´m just overreacting and I should calm down and go to look for my hostel…

Hotel Fluxus is located in a beautiful old building in the center of Ljubljana. I found out that I was wrong when I thought that I booked women´s room only. It was mixed but it was okay. This mix of people made me feel like I was in a summer camp and people were really nice there. There were three rooms in the hostel – one with single bed, one with 4-bunk beds and one with 6-bunk beds. Then there was a kitchen, one toilet and one shower. For so many people! I was able to get over the possible fact that if I want to take a shower it might take a while to get in but one bathroom? And the location of the bathroom was even worse – it was straight next to “reception” and there was a hole between the door and floor so basically if you make any noise, the receptionist will hear it. I could barely pee in there. So I had to find my “poop restaurant” – a restaurant on the next street where I used to go to poop. Before this radical solution I gave a chance to this hostel. I came to the receptionist guy and I asked him if he can leave for a while. He gave me a weird look so I had to explain him that I have to poop. But he said that he can´t leave anywhere but what he can do is that he´ll turn on some music so he won´t hear me. Well… good try but it didn´t for out for me. And the best was that when I came back to my room my roommates were asking me why the receptionist is making a party there… Ehm.      

In the evening I went out to discover the city and my first feelings were following: Slovakia shame on you… In Ljubljana there is a bigger probability that you´ll be crashed by a biker than a car driver. I haven´t been traveling a lot yet but this shocked me a lot. Be aware from the bikers because they´re everywhere. And another brilliant thing: everywhere were recycling bins. If you come to Slovakia you are happy when you find at least a bin. At the end of the day I went to Ljubljana Castle and I had such a romantic view on the city. There was also Festival Ljubljana going on a Kongresni trg and I had a perfect view on it from there!    

Day 2: June 28th 2018

Being accommodated in a hostel has its miracle. You meet a lot of interesting people. For example today in the morning I found out that if you ask an Irish guy if he is British, you´ll offend him. It is the same like when somebody tells me that I am from Slovenia. I was the biggest attraction there because turned out that everyone from our room was at least on a two months long Europe trip. I was on a long weekend trip and when people asked me where am I going after Slovenia, I sadly said: “To work”.  

Around 11am I left to explore the city and at 3pm I attended free walking tour there. There is an interesting story about symbol of Ljubljana. The symbol is a dragon and the story says that this dragon once saved a woman and her child from a bad guy and this is how he became a patron of Ljubljana´s women and children. I tried to look it up but I didn´t find anything about it. So I don´t know maybe the tour guide just made it up to make the tour more interesting who knows… But it was a nice legend.   

In the late afternoon I was talking to my roommates and we went to a rock concert in the center of alternative art on Metelkova. Unfortunately by the time we came there, the concert was almost over and they didn´t let us in. At least they let us buy a beer so we didn´t have to go anywhere else. This is an interesting neighborhood – during the day there is literally nobody but in the evening a lot of rockers, gothic and metal people come here, you hear a lot of different music from all the houses and you smell weed in the air.

Day 3: June 29th 2018

I decided for a small trip today – I went to visit lakes Bohinj and Bled. The receptionist guy was surprised that I was leaving that late (it was 10am only). I was surprised even more but then he explained to me that the sunset over there is around 6pm so I should hurry up.

I thought that way to Bohinj will last about an hour but I was wrong. I spent 3 hours in that bus and I almost peed my pants. We literally went through all the villages that were around (but yes it was a nice panoramic journey). When I became the last passenger of the bus, I came to the bus driver and very politely I asked him if he can make a stop somewhere where I can use a bathroom. He pulled over on the next bus stop and his friend (bus security officer) let me use their bathroom – because that was the only one they had there! It looked terrible but the feeling was awesome.

Bohinj is amazing! It´s not overcrowded by tourists (like Bled) and the nature is stunning! It is a perfect place for relaxation, chilling out and hiking. I made some pictures, had a lunch, enjoyed the view and left to a bus stop to get a bus to Bled. When I came to the bus stop I got confused about the bus schedule but what got my all attention was a price for that bus. I decided to try to hitchhike. I wasn´t scared that much because I had my pepper spray with me haha. I got pretty surprised when in a few minutes a car pulled over. There were two about 60 years old men and they weren´t paying any attention to me during the way. For a while I thought that they completely forgot about me actually… But they didn´t. They dropped me off in Bled which was only 20 minutes away from Bohinj.

I don´t want to repeat but Bled is amazing! There is a small island on the lake with a church in the middle and I think you can only float there on a boat. I visited a Bled Castle (pretty expensive deal) and as I was sitting on a Castle walls I was filling out my postcards. I had wonderful view: forest and lake. I´ve learnt my lesson from Český Krumlov and I was cautious about the wind and tried to prevent from blowing away my postcards again. Because if the wind blew them away, I don´t think I´d jump down to collect them. I was observing people and nature, enjoying the gentle wind and suddenly… my phone rang! I almost felt down! It was my co-worker asking me about something. I thought I´ll die. From the Castle I decided to take an easy hike down the hill through the forest. There are actually three ways how you can make it here: you can drive here, take steps (get ready for strong 20 minutes long cardio) or through this forest hike. If you´re guessing that I came here by the steps way you´re right. And I really didn´t want to go back the same way. But most of the people either drive here or walk up the steps. When I came back to the city I found out that I just missed my bus to Ljubljana and the next one was supposed to come in an hour. So I decided to hitchhike again. But I decided to hitchhike only for 30 minutes and if no one stops then I´d go to the bus stop. When my 30 minutes were almost over, suddenly a Jaguar, model from 2007 pulled over and when the guy rolled down the window I saw an Indian Muslim sitting behind the steering wheel. For a few seconds I didn´t know what to say. It turned out that this guy was driving to Ljubljana so I hopped in. I know it was so stupid. But he was really nice! He lives in Graz and this car was his boss´s and he had to drive it to Ljubljana. So he was pretty cautious and I felt safe. He works as an engineer in Jaguar and this was his business trip and this was the first time he was driving this car! I had so much fun with him and the best memory I have is when he accidentally went to a wrong street where he had to make a U turn but the street was so narrow that he was afraid that he´d crush into something so I went out and was showing him how much he can back up. Seriously that was so funny and we also had some audience LOL… And do you know why he pulled over to me? Because he said that few days ago he had to catch a bus and he was late and too scared to hitchhike. If he´d hitchhike he might have caught it. But he didn´t and after this happened he just wanted to help me to not get into such a situation. And he helped me a lot, I saved up 10€! And the best was a face of my hostel receptionist when I came back and he asked me how did my trip go and I told him this story.           

Do you know what is the most interesting about it all? He said that if the situation with him not catching the bus didn´t happen, he wouldn´t pull over for sure. Was that just a coincidence? Who knows…   

Day 4: June 30th 2018

Today I was moving from Ljubljana to Maribor. I really wanted to take a train but I missed one and I didn´t want to wait for 2 hours for the next one so I asked when does the bus leave to Maribor. Mr. from the information center told me that it was leaving at that moment so I quickly bought a bus ticket and ran to the bus station to catch it. I caught it and the ride lasted for 3 hours.

Maribor is a small city and I really enjoyed the local narrow streets that connect the main street with the promenade. In my hostel I booked a whole room because I was afraid that I might be tired because of bad sleeping in the first hostel (actually I was sleeping well) and that I might need some privacy. In front of the hostel I met one boy who came there for one night to celebrate his friend´s birthday tonight and he asked me to join them. Other than him there was one man from Philadelphia who ended up here just accidentally and few Spanish people from Erasmus exchange. With my new friend we left to the city (he wanted to show me Maribor). There was a nice square where was a lot of people because of Festival Lent that was going on that day and there was supposed to be a firework in the evening. He took me to the local lakes and then we split. He left to his friends and I went on a hill to see the view on Maribor. It was a nice walk around vineyards (Slovenia is famous for wines and borovnica) and the view was great. I can tell that I like to go to places where you can get a nice view haha.

Let´s talk about my evening for a bit. My first plan was to meet my friend I know for like 10 years but he had to cancel it in the last minute. So since my plans failed I texted my new friend if I can come and join them. He said yes and I had such a great evening. We were drinking, went dancing to a local club KMŠ and we saw the firework. It was all great until I came to my room and found out that it was so loud from the street clubs that I couldn´t fall asleep. Well what can I say… I was glad that I booked a private room to get some rest. Life is so unpredictable.           

Day 5: July 1st 2018

I woke up into my last day in Slovenia with a small hangover of course. My friend texted me that he can´t make it today as well but he gave me a tip to go to a hill Pohorje. The bus Nr. 6 goes there and once you´re under the hill you can either hike up there or take a cable car. I took a cable car and I found out that there was a 1. year´s celebration of borovnica (blueberry) and cable car was for a half price. Up on the hill was folklore music playing and local traders were selling their blueberries products: meals, desserts, alcohol… So I grabbed a beer and a small cake and it was delicious!   

I decided to walk down but I ended up pretty surprised when I realized that the hill was very steep. But I survived and also I was admiring all the hikers who were walking up the hill. I don´t know what was worse…

At 5pm my bus to Vienna was leaving but when I came to the bus station I received a text message that it´ll be delayed. And then I received another message that it´ll be delayed even more. Great, I told myself. Mostly I was concerned about switching my buses because I wasn´t thinking that my bus from Vienna to Bratislava will wait for me. And I had to go to the work the following day so I had to figure out how to get back home tonight. But I also told myself that now I have to make it to Vienna and once I´m gonna be in Austria, I will think about my following steps.   

During my almost two hours of waiting for my delayed bus I was talking to two people: Maribor´s homeless and one young Serbia´s boy. Let´s begin with the homeless guy. As I was desperately standing on the bus station looking for my bus, suddenly a homeless came to me. Once he noticed my plastic bag he started staring at it. I looked at him and said: “That is mine!” (in Slovak language). Let me tell you this: it turned out that he was a funny chilled out guy and with my Slovak-Czech-Russian language skills we had a pretty great conversation! Then he left and I went to put down all my things on a bench (because meanwhile I received that message about the bus being delayed). And there was already sitting a young Serbian boy and it didn´t take long until we started to talk. It is really interesting to listen somebody else´s life story. He was only 20 years old from a very small Serbia´s town and he told me about life in Serbia, how he sees Belgrade (he was literally begging me not to come there) and a little bit about his life. He also told me how Slovenia´s people treat him and it´s nothing you´d like to experience… Later I was just thinking that it´s interesting how you can notice somebody´s behavior and his/hers (bad)habits and then you just analyze their personalities and reasons of acting… Okay, I should rather talk about travelling again!

…After almost 2 hours of waiting my bus finally came and on a way to Vienna I received another message saying that the company will provide us a bus to Bratislava (since we weren´t able to make it on time)! And they seriously sent a 49-seater bus for 5 people only. I came to Bratislava in the late night but I caught a night bus and I came home before the midnight!    

So goodnight, sleep tight and I wish you a lot of energy into a new working week!

BUDGET:

– Transfer Bratislava – Ljubljana    31 EUR

– Transfer Maribor – Bratislava      23 EUR   

– Transfer Ljubljana – Maribor       12 EUR

– Transfer Ljubljana – Bohinj         10 EUR

– Accommodation Ljubljana           57 EUR

– Accommodation Maribor             24 EUR

– Walking tour Ljubljana                FREE

– Food                                         50 EUR

– Entrance fee to the Bled Castle   11 EUR

– Public transportation and cable car in Maribor   7 EUR

TOGETHER:   225 EUR