Thursday, June 10, 2010

Livin' on a Prayer in Ljubljana

On Friday we left our home away from home to start the 2 day journey to Dubrovnik, Croatia. Sometime a home sneaks up on you, and before you know it, you recognize every curve and bend of a place so well that you can navigate it in the dark (we would never have to do this in the Raab Heim because there are motion sensors that turn the lights on when ever you move- a neat idea until you stop moving long enough to get left in the dark).

I’ll miss the cold breakfast of cheese, bread, cold cuts and yoghurt. I’ll miss the bier vending machine. I’ll miss the city of Linz.

On the way to Croatia we had a one night stop over in Ljubljana, Slovenia. The bus ride there was kind of enchanting- maybe because I stayed up really late the night before and was delirious, or maybe because it really was enchanting. Fog silked down the valleys of the huge stony mountains and the snow capped apexes were just hidden under low lying clouds. The highway was on stilts and wound around the contours of the alps like a ribbon.

That’s about all I remember before I fell asleep and had a dream about being left at the Raab Heim and then being ok with if because there were free Kebabs in the lobby.

When I woke up we pulled into Slovenia. Our hotel was a first class, 4 star establishment (for some reason) and we spent some time just exploring our own rooms.

What Ljubljana lacks in vowels, it makes up in character. I don’t think that many people in the U.S. are aware of a country named Slovenia, and even if they are conscious of the possibility that it exists, they might confuse it with Slovakia. In fact I remember a story a few years back where our own military band played the Slovakian national anthem for some visiting Slovenian dignitaries.

In any case, making Ljubljana a stop on your next Euro trip would not be a bad idea. The city is very well kept and the downtown scene is lively and fresh. The restaurants, cafés, and bars are great and the people are very friendly. We spent most of the night hitting up different places and I smoked a Cuban cigar with the professor.

There was pre-world cup friendly soccer match up on a projector screen at a café. Slovenia is the smallest country to qualify for this world cup.

Some of us ended the night at a bar turned nightclub that played 80’s rock music from the US and Croatia. It was in an Irish pub that basically just dimmed the lights and stuffed a DJ into an awkward corner of the bar. It dawned on me that we had been in an Irish pub in every European city. What is it with the Irish pub phenomenon? Are Irish people constantly drunk? Do they get anything done in the day? What are their immigration laws like?

We cabbed it back home after having our fill of Bon Jovi and left for Dubrovnik the next day. 

I really do.

Guess which country doesn't have a trade embargo with Cuba.

A river runs through it. (Ljubljana)

Professor Lanier and I. 

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