Another country formerly known as Yugoslavia

Trip Start Jul 01, 2007
1
17
29
Trip End Nov 25, 2007


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Flag of Slovenia  ,
Tuesday, October 2, 2007

We have a spacious modern apartment in Ljubljana just on the edge of the old town for 4 days so we get busy organising what we are going to see and do. The mornings are foggy but by midday it has cleared and there is brilliant sunshine.
Although Zagreb and Ljubljana are a relatively similar size and not that far from each other, they have a completely different feel. Ljubljana feels much more laid-back and relaxed. The river which flows through the middle is thronged with people strolling along in the sunshine (lots of young couples with children, buskers, not too many tourists, cafes and restaurants lining both sides of the river.
The afternoon sunshine is quite seductive, and after going to the flea market and lunch and climbing up to the castle, etc we find some seats at a cafe in the late afternoon and sit there contentedly, almost dozing off while autumn leaves lightly fall on us.
Ljubljana has beautiful architecture and is centrally situated, near Croatia, Italy, Austria, etc. We decide to make it our base for a couple of excursions and go and hire a car from the equivalent of 'Rent-a-bomb' for a few days. We go over to collect the car to an old army barracks that has been turned into a hostel and this soldly built, tough-looking guy takes us over to this small, beaten-up looking Citroen AX, which he tells us has just had new brakes put in. Alice looks at me a bit doubtfully about taking this car but we decide to take the chance and fork over the money. The guy doesn't bother with taking my passport or licence details and says to leave it in the hostel car park when we get back. For all he knows we could just take the car and never bring it back. I have never driven a Citroen before and this example will probably not give me the best impression - I think it's at least 15 years old and goodness knows how many kilometres it's done.
So, we plan our first trip that night - an ambitious journey covering 3 countries in 2 days, hoping like hell that our car doesn't break down.
I have been looking at menus the last few days and there seems to be a lot of horse-meat arround - we see a sign for horse-burgers (only 3 euros) in one fast-food place (I last had horse-burger in Catania in Sicily nearly 5 months ago) and another menu has the choice of Fillet of Foal or Stallion Steak, so the last night I have the foal in a mushroom sauce - very nice. Alice, as a vegetarian, is no doubt appalled but I think she mentally closes her eyes and thinks of England.
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