I Still Don't Know How to Say "Ptuj"

Trip Start Jun 08, 2010
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Trip End Aug 26, 2010


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Thursday, July 15, 2010

I decided "Ptuj" was unpronounceable. I heard it said at least ten times and still couldn't say if it sounded like ptooey or ptoye or ptu...

Anyway, Ptuj was a small town in eastern Slovenia. It had a castle, which was really more like a palace these days, a few monasteries and some churches. Because Ptuj was located at a major river crossing, from Roman through medieval times it was an important source of tax revenue, both from those crossing the river and those going down it. For several centuries, the Lords of Ptuj ruled the city and the surrounding areas from a series of castles, one of which sits on a small hill overlooking the river. After their line died out, the castle at Ptuj passed between various owners, eventually being converted to a mid-sized history museum.

This morning, I started my visit with a short climb up the hill to see that museum. It was three floors, with exhibits mostly focused on the castle's former residents. Slovenian and English explanations were given for most of the rooms. There were two floors of paintings and furniture, but part of the one of those floors had an exhibit with costumes from Ptuj's version of Carinival and items from the lives of peasants. A third floor had an exhibit of musical instruments as well as small collection of arms and armor. The ticket included admission to a sister museum of archeology in a former Dominican monastery with collections of Roman artifacts and monument fragments. None of it was amazing, but it was good. I enjoyed it much more than the Zagreb City Museum.

Apart from that, there was just some strolling to do. Once again, it was hot. Maybe not as hot as the Croatian coast, but more humid and without as much breeze. The A/C in my hotel room wasn't working well, so the closest to cool I got was in the Dominican monastery where the stone and shade caused the lower levels to maintain a cool temperature year round. There was a dramatic difference of at least 20 degrees (F) between the basement and ground floor.

I'm hoping as I go farther north to Hungary, it will be cooler. Locals tell me it's not usually this hot here. I think they may just be trying to make sure I have a good impression of their area. Back when it was raining every day, they told me it wasn't usually rainy. I'd like to hear "It's not usually this cool" soon.

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