Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Lovely Ljubljana, Day 3

Rick Steves says the Pri Mraku Guesthouse is "a little rough around the edges". At the moment, when I'd like to make myself a cup of coffee to go with my granola bar, I see what he means. Smaller and more modest guesthouses than this have coffee/tea making facilities in the rooms. Oh well.

This post will also be a little rough around the edges: it's being composed as I type and is basically a list of observations, in no particular order.

- The local population, seen on their way to work in the morning, are dressed like for Israeli winter, wrapped up in coats, anoraks, jackets, or thick-looking sweatshirts. Whereas we decided that spring has sprung, and are more lightly dressed, complete with sun hat. This time I am not wearing my Intrepid Explorer hat seen in so many photos of me (Thailand, Canadian Rockies, U.S. Rocky mountain states etc). The fact that it was inside the lost luggage sent me straight to a beautiful hat store in the center of town just up from Presernov Square, where I bought me a purple hat from a saleslady who didn't know a word of English. When we reached today's destination, Skojan Cave Parks (Park Skocjanske jame), all the other tourists were dressed like for the north pole. Temp outside was around 9 deg C and windy, so I can't quite blame them. Inside the beautiful stalagmite & stalactite cave, temp was more like 12 deg C., and I was actually quite comfortable. And managed the 500 steps pretty well. Our Eng speaking quite was Natasha (her mother was reading War and Peace at the time, she explained). Another set of tourists had a Slovenian-speaking guide, and yet another group -- an Italian.

- Yesterday, towards the end of our tour of the [center of] the city, our guide Simona took us to what used to be the Jewish part of town, and explained how the Jews were driven out in the early 16th century, by the locals who had borrowed money from Jewish bankers and money-lenders, and had no intention of paying back. Whatever Jews returned to the city were later devastated by the Holocaust. This reminded me of Neri Livneh's feelings upon her visit in Poland, in cities that had been completely "cleansed" of Jews.

- We didn't really see the real Ljubljana, I don't think. Just as tourists who visit the Old City of Jerusalem don't see the real, day-to-day Jerusalem and the tourists who walk the quaint paths of Old Jaffa don't see the "normal" Jaffa. This was most obvious from the top of the Ljubljana Castle (fortress, actually), when looking down at the city. The reddish-orange roofs of the older section of town contrast with the outlying subdivisions or sections of town, where most of the population lives, I daresay. If I were staying here longer, I'd ask to be taken on a tour of those sections of town, too.

Here are pics taken at the top of the castle:

Simona with Mike Davis on the left and Mike from Perth on the right:

Simona with Mike from Perth:

View of the city from the castle:

There are, of course, plenty more photos, which will be uploaded to Flickr or Facebook or both when we get around to it...

Tomorrow (Thursday) we're off to Bled. Catch you later!


  1. Well, I was hoping for a photo of your new purple hat!

  2. And rightly so :-) That too shall come.