Daily Archives: August 21, 2012

Day 39: Rest day in Ljubljana

I was awake before I had to be, of course on a rest day, but was excited as I was planning on Skyping my children at 8:30am. I had breakfast and came back to the room to Skype, we chatted for over an hour, it was good to catch up! I am going to talk to them again soon but probably by phone instead of Skype, depending on what time we get to Venice.

I had arranged to go out straight away afterwards so that I would not get homesick. I met Walli and we headed off to sightsee. We spent ages (about 3 hours) at Ljubljana castle, we visited the museum up there, and went up and down on the funicular railway. We also had lunch up there.

View from Castle Ljubljana

Tourist train Ljubljana

We then went on a boat trip along the canal (or Kanal in Slovenia). There has been just about no rain this summer (usually they get lots of thunderstorms in summer) so everything is dry. The canal is lower than usual and quite stagnant. The highlight for me of the boat trip was seeing a musk rat – also called a nutria – they are really big and look a bit like otters. They can grow up to 10kg but the average is about 4kg. It was swimming along, and then just as we got our cameras ready it dived under the  water into a pipe. (Photos of these rats can be found here).

View from canal trip in Ljublijana

Canal trip Ljubljana

Church in Ljubljana (forgot the name of it)

Afterwards we looked around town, and watched a few street performers and buskers. I had dinner with Daphne, Shirley and Walli. We went to a Pizzeria called Ljubljanski Dvor – it had 102 different kinds of pizza, and we had some nice red wine with it. I had a mixture of sardines, cheese, pepperoni, tomato and onion. It was really nice but even though it was the small one, it was too big for one person.

Then it was back to hotel to pack up again, it is an early day tomorrow, with our bags out by 6am.

I have really enjoyed being in Slovenia, and Ljubljana is a beautiful city. The people are friendly, and the city is not too big and not too expensive. Slovenia has t-shirts and all sorts of other tourist stuff that says “Slovenia the only county with LOVE in its name”. A lot of people from neighbouring countries come here for honeymoons, stag dos and hen parties.

There is a large student population; the total city population is 280,000 of which 60,000 are students. Readers Digest 2008 called this the world’s most honest city. I must look up what that was based on. The national symbol is a dragon (green). Anyway, it is 10:30pm so I better go to bed.

Here are some links:

Dragon Bridge (Zmajski Most)
Old Town
Julian Alps, Slovenia
Butcher’s Bridge
Ljubljana Castle (Grad)
Landkarte – ÖAI EN

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Day 38: Prebold to Ljubljana – 60k

3,137km down: 3,088km to go (just over half way!!)

The ride was only 60k again today and not very many hills. We had a slight up gradient for first 15k than a bit of a climb, but at 21k there was a big downhill for about 15k. Overall we only climbed 500 meters today.

At Trojane (at about 21k) we stopped for donuts as we had been told they were really great. They were really big – and otherwise average – but we all got one.

In line for the World Famous in Slovenia donuts

In Slovenia the donuts are as big as your head

After this we rode for another 15k and then it was the lunch stop – and it was only 9:30am! Seeing as I had eaten breakfast at 7am then had a donut 30 minutes before lunch, I was not really able to muster up an appetite, but I ate a couple of nectarines.

I rode with John again today, it’s always helpful to have another pair of eyes when coming into a city. We got here by 11:30am, check in was not until 2pm, but I used the time to go to the laundry, the post office and chemist. Tomorrow is a national holiday so no shops will be open, so it was great to get all this stuff done today. The hotel assures us all the tourist stuff is still open tomorrow, so we will have the usual to see – a castle, churches, the Old town, a river etc. There is not so much need to rest, as after we leave here we only have three riding days until we get to Venice, where we have another two rest days.

We are staying at the City Hotel in Ljubljana. It is a nice hotel, I have a huge room, with a queen sized bed, chair, desk, and plenty of floor space – enough for about 10 tents. It has a nice ensuite plus Wifi.

I went out for dinner with Gen, Louise, Gareth and Walli to a place in the old town called “Marley and Me”. Gen found it in Trip Advisor, it was very nice. I ordered the lamb, and Walli ordered the gnocchi which I had thought about. My lamb was great but her gnocchi was amazing, it had truffle and beef shavings. We all had dessert, I had a chocolate and pear tart which was totally delicious.

Delicious chocolate and pear tart

Afterwards Walli and I walked around the old town, watched the street performers, had another red wine, listened to some music, and then headed home at 10pm. This was a late night, usually I am in bed by 8pm on a riding day but I am trying to change it around so that the first rest night I stay up late and then the second night (before riding again) I go to bed early. We have planned a sleep-in in the morning, so hopefully I will not be wide awake at 5am.

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