November 22, 2009

sLOVEnia

Before I get too carried away with the ridiculous developments that have recently taken place regarding our apartment, I don't want to forget to write about our lovely two day trip to Ljubljana.

We left last Sunday (November 15) at 6:34 in the morning. Yes, that is right. Christian and I got up at 5:15 a.m. in order to catch a train. It was definitely worth it, though, as we were in Ljubljana by 10:30 in the morning. The hostel we had read about was only five minutes from the train station: Hostel Celica is an old military prison that was repossessed by a group of students and contemporary artists. You can read about it here. The hostel itself was definitely one of the nicest I have ever experienced: clean and light with friendly people, a nice restaurant and several cafe areas, as well as an interesting concept and private rooms. Outside, the whole area seems to have been repossessed as well, with art and graffiti covering the walls of buildings within a radius of about two blocks from the hostel.


After we dropped our stuff off, it wasn't very far to the Old Town, where we wandered around, took pictures, and drank lots of coffee to compensate for our early start. Christian dragged me to the top of the mountain in the middle of Ljubljana (not because I didn't want to go - just because I wanted to take a nap first) where we visited the castle that is on the top. There was a tower from which we could see the whole city and then a 3-d video (which I can't tell you about because I finally got that nap...).



The weather forecast had been for rain, but we were lucky: it was neither raining nor cold the whole time we were there, but also much warmer than Graz.

Since we didn't want to buy a Lonely Planet for such a short trip, and because we both had other stuff going on right up until we left, neither Christian nor I had done very much research about Ljubljana. Once we got there, we relied mostly on maps provided at the tourist office and the hostel. Because of this, we probably didn't get as much of an historical overview as we could have, but we knew at least what there was to see, and how to get there to see it. I think that we will probably be going back to Ljubljana in the summer time, as all the cafes along the river seemed like the perfect place to drink a wine spritzer in the sun.

For dinner we went to a restaurant called Rio Momo (I think), recommended because of its good value, large portions, and authentic Slovenian food. Well. Good value? Check. Authentic Slovenian food? Check. And large portions?...*phew*...check. There was so much food, and we could both eat so little of what was put on our plates, that the waiter came over and asked if everything was OK. The food was delicious, but we could have ordered one dish and been full rather than a dish plus side dish each. When the waiter brought Christian a plate of 10 Ćevapčići, along with a bowl of boiled potatoes and a side dish of roasted red peppers, I knew we were in trouble.



Our room in the hostel was lovely and warm, and after a very long authentic Slovenian day, we both fell asleep instantly.

Sleep would prove to be very important for Monday's task... a journey to BTC Shopping City. With the unpredictable way in which TopShop is spread out over Europe, when you are in the same city as one, it is imperative to go there. And when that TopShop is located in a labyrinth of malls and it is raining anyway and even your boyfriend wants to shop... what other choice do you have? So-- we spent a substantial part of Monday at the BTC Shopping City (similar to Seiersberg, outside of Graz), and then hauled back to the Hostel for dinner, and then hurried to the train station to catch the last train back at 5:25.

That's Europe: a one night jaunt out of the city, and you end up in a different country with a different language and a different culture. And a TopShop, if you're lucky.

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