Finally made it to Slvoenia.  This country has been on “the list” for quite some time.  Rewind about 11 years, back to 1996.  An ex-girlfriend and I were travelling in Greece, watching the sunset on the island of Santorini.  As we stood there, watching the sun set, two young women were taking photos of each other nearby.  I volunteered to take a photo of them, and they took a photo of us.  A quick snapshot turned into a conversation and soon we were exchanging addresses.  Over a decade later, we are still sending post cards to each other from our travels.

Sabina, one of the two girls, remained pretty faithful with the post cards.  For a few years it felt a bit like a competition, each of us sending cards from far away locations, almost tempting the other one to take on some more travel.  Invites to come visit to Slovenia came and past.  Really, its not too often that you happen to be passing through Slovenia.  But, I always kept it in the “plan” and thought that if I ever had a few days or a week, I’d drop by for a visit.

On that note; to fellow and perspective travellers: when on the road, if you meet friends, stay in touch.  With the advent of email and now even Facebook, it really is too easy to keep your travel friends in contact.  Sooner or later you’ll be passing through (or by) their country, or they to you.  It really is fun to catch up with old travel friends, show them your photos and tell them your travel stories, and to see and hear about theirs.  I have friends all over the world that invite me to come and visit…  if only I could find more time…

As I had said before, the original idea for this blog was to keep the friends and family “in the loop” in my travels; specifically, to “bring them along” while I travel.  So, some of the photos and stories may be a bit mundane, but the idea is for the friends and family to see and understand what I’ve seen.  To that end, the photo above was on final approach to Ljubljana (pronounced Lub-lee-yana, but everyone says it so fast that it sounds like Lub-yana).  So, now know everyone knows what the Slovene countryside just west of the capital looks like…  Please excuse the glare and dirt on the window – both out of my control – LOL.  The photo below was shot in the suburbs outside of Ljubjlana.  The country very much reminded me of Austria, as it should, as Austria is only about a 1/2 hour drive away.   Actually, I think the entire country of Slovenia is only an hour drive top to bottom, side to side.  It really is a beautiful country with pretty green farmland, low rolling hils, mountains on the horizon, and pretty Tudor looking European houses everywhere.

And what does one do when one first gets to Slovenia?  Apparantly, we have a drink!  Sounded great – especially after so many months in a “dry” (no alcohol) country.  It was nice to cut loose and have a good laugh over  a drink.  In the two photos below, Sabina (first photo – middle right) introduced me to her friends and we just had a great time talking and and laughing, oh, and drinking.

The bar was quite crowded and lively with activity.  It was a weekend, and it was rainy outside adding to the festive atmosphere inside.  Everyone was so friendly and they all made me feel right at home.

Enroute from one club to another, we saw the wreckage of the day.  The wine festival was going on all week and visitors from across the country, and from other countries, were visiting and participating.  While we never did make it to the festival (we were busy touring the “tourist” sites), I did see a map and it reminded me of a walking marathon with wine stops all along the way.  It seems that a designated path through and around town was walked by the participants who stopped and tasted wine all along the way.  Seriously, it was just one big party and everyone was having fun.  The photo below is what remained for the night time cleaning crew.

Before my sobriety failed me, I was cognizant enought to shoot this photo of Ljubljana from one of the bridges.  The pink building to the left is the famous Franciscan Cathedral built in the 1600′s.  Just to the right is one of the famous triple bridges.  Ljubljana was just a wonderful little jem of a city and I was really looking forward to touring around.

Shot some time after “oh-dark thirty” and after many beers and glasses of wine…


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