Ljubljana, Slovenia (9.4.09 – 9.7.09)

Ljubljana. I arrived in Ljubljana in the late afternoon of September 4th– a Friday. I followed the instructions given on the website and found my way to a bus stop, from which I would travel to my hostel. I arrived and was greeted warmly; I checked in and before long, decided to go walking to see if there was anything to see or do in the vicinity of my hostel. My hostel was somewhat removed from the central city, but I found a grocery store and decided that I would make myself dinner that night. I browsed the aisles and before long had a meal in mind, gathered the necessary items, and some beer– it is crucially important not to forget the beer. I returned to the hostel and cooked my meal: pasta with chicken and tomatoes in a cream sauce. And I have to say, I was quite pleased with the results that this cramped kitchen produced. I ate and I drank and I talked with new faces who came and went from the common room. I chose to stay in that night, and got a good night’s rest.
The next morning, I woke and ate my free breakfast, and meandered about until lunch, which was the leftovers from the meal I cooked the night prior. After lunch I took the bus into town and walked around to see the sights. I stayed on the bus far longer than I should have, as I didn’t see the stop at which I thought I needed to get off. I finally got off of the bus, realizing that the scenery consisted of housing, rather than the bustle of the center of the city. I walked for about an hour to get back into town, and continued to wander, taking in the sights, sounds and general atmosphere of Ljubljana. It was Saturday, and like many European cities, Ljubljana was somewhat quiet, as many businesses close for the weekend. After a few hours of seeing the city, I returned to the hostel in order to sort out my plans for the next day, as I was due to check out of the hostel at 11 in the morning, and head somewhere new. After a few hours of exploring my various options, I decided that I would spend another day in Ljubljana and take the night train on Sunday night/Monday morning to meet my cousin in Cannes, in the south of France.
The next day, I checked out, left my bag in the hostel and went off to see more of the city. I ended up being very glad for this extra day in Slovenia, for Sunday proved to be a much more pleasant day than Saturday had been and I got to see some beautiful things that I, otherwise, would not have discovered. The streets lining the River Ljubljanica were littered with vendors selling strange assortments of antiquities, art, books, and treasures. I will describe more of what I saw when I show you pictures below. After many hours in the center of the city, I headed back to the hostel to pass the hours while I waited for the time to come when I could begin a long day of travel to Nice. Everyone was very social for a Sunday night and I ended up befriending a group of four Americans from California. We ordered some very mediocre Chinese food, but I was glad not to be munching on bread and cheese for a change. After a good deal of waiting, it was 1:40, and my taxi arrived to take me to the train station to catch my night train that departed at 2:30 in the morning. After hearing horror story after horror story about night trains, I was nervous about the experience ahead of me, but was pleasantly surprised by the lack of problems of confrontations.
With a long day and several trains to go… I was off to Cannes.

franciscanchurch

This is the Franciscan Church in Preseren Square in the center of the Old Town.

balloons

A man giving away balloons in  Preseren Square. It made me smile.

triplebridge

A view of the Triple Bridge over the River Ljubljanica from a bit south of Preseren Square.

treasures

Treasures for sale.

castle

The Ljubljandki Grad (castle).

Ljubljanacathedral

The Ljublanica Stolnica (cathedral).

frombridge

Another view of the River Ljubljanica. It really was a beautiful day.

dragon

This is the Dragon Bridge, with 4 dragons, one at each corner of the bridge. From where I was standing, you could see the Ljubljandki Grad overlooking the city.

explodingchildren

These signs were everywhere. I will forever remain vigilant, watching for children exploding out of triangles… and I didn’t even know I needed to worry about such things. Thank you Ljubljana, for continuing my education about the dangers of the world.

view

The view from just down the street from my hostel. Ljubljana is very beautiful.

Alright, lovebugs, I still need to update about Cannes, Nice and now Rome as well, but I’ve just arrived in Florence, so these things will have to wait.

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