Saturday, May 20, 2017

Saturday, May 20th, Ljubljana, Slovenia


My knowledge of Slovenia has been sort of like a grey cloud, not much detail and a hint of bad news.  So it wasn't a big surprise when the first full day here started out with lots of clouds and is ending with heavy rain.  Everywhere from Amsterdam to Athens is getting soaked, and the Monsoons are hitting Bangaladesh.

But before it started coming down hard, we got a morning's walk through the city with our tour guide, Branko Campos.  An extremely knowledgeable local, he wove humor and social commentary into history, culture, mythology, and religion.  

Ljubljana, the capital city of Slovenia, is an 11th century castle across a river from a central city area.  With two million people in the country, there are only 280,000 in the urban area.  Flying in yesterday afternoon, we saw lots of villages on small mountain roads where the rest of the residents live.

We're resting and drying out in the hotel room before dinner, but our impressions are that the city is safe and smart and uncomplicated.  Long ago, the city banned cars in the city center, and there are strict physical barriers and stiff fines for violations.  Bicycles are made available and are almost free.

Every day, the markets are filled with fresh food, and there is plenty of drinkable water, beer, and wine.  Our taxi driver, Alex, moaned about the same things we all do; high living costs, inept government, and young people who take everything for granted.  But he wouldn't leave for any amount of money because he loves the quality of life here.

We're doing the laundry, and tomorrow, we leave for five days in the mountains. These two-day stops in one place are very helpful, especially at the start of a new adventure.

To see all of the photos taken today, click on Saturday, May 20th, Ljubljana, Slovenia.        

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