To the Hungarian Border

Trip Start Mar 16, 2004
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Trip End Jun 13, 2004


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Monday, April 12, 2004

I left Ljubljana on Saturday 10th April, with a little bit of a hangover.I headed north out of the city on a really good cycle path. Once again I was following quiet roads through little hamlets.

My route today took me down the Sava River valley. Dull sky, but beautiful scenery. The river was flowing rapidly swollen by the melting snow. Some parts of the valley were steep and narrow gorges.

I remembered that I had nothing to light my stove with and stopped in a petrol station in Litija. The shop assistant spoke no English so I tried to mime lighting a cigarette, but every time I said cigarette he handed me a packet of fags from the display above him. NO!! I could see no matches on display so I couldn't use the international language of pointing. After 5 minutes I managed to obtain a lighter. That was hard work.


The railway track beside me was very busy, lots of passenger trains and lengthy freight trains. I checked my map and saw that it was the line to Zagreb. If I continued along the Sava I would end up there myself. Many of the stations i passed had well preserved steam engines on display outside them.

I decided to stop in Celje for the night, but the only accommodation I could find was in a 3* hotel. Not my usual style but I'd cycled 110km, longest day so far, and needed a bed.

During the night I was woken by what sounded like a party going on, I was too tired to get up and see what the excitement was, and turning over I fell back to sleep. Easter Sunday dawned bright and sunny. As I was paying my bill I discovered that the Chipendales had stayed there after a show in town. By the sounds of it, the entire single female population of Celje followed them.

I had a fantastic day§y cycling, perfect weather, I found all the right roads easily and no serious climbs. The mountains receded into the distance as I entered more open, agricultural land. I set out heading for Maribour, Slovenias second city, but decided accommodation might be hard to find so I headed for Ptuj instead, where there is a campsite.

Ptuj is a spa town and the campsite was packed, mostly German tourists. I got my little pitch between the camper vans and cooked dinner. I explored the castle district on the little hill in the evening, cafes and bars full of tourists, everything else shut.

BAck at the campsite there was a lovely sunset, the sun breaking through the gathering cloud spectacularly.

Monday morning was predictable, cold and dull. The rain held off for most of the day though. Undulating countryside and more forests. I considered taking a little short cut through Croatia but decided to keep it simple. Mondays efforts left me a few km from the Hungarian border in the town of Lendava. The hotel Lipa has a fine campsite and you get use of the outdoor spa. I wasn't tempted, but it was full of German tourists.
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