87 – Slovenia

So, we rolled down into Slovenia on a sunny Sunday heading towards Landava on a flat and easy route. Our aim was to reach Ptui by the evening and a campsite. Slovenia is very clean and ordered and could be the little brother of Austria which sits directly to the north. They both share good tarmac, mountains, fast cars and, as we discovered when we got to the campsite, high prices. Twenty six euros to pitch a tent for the night is crazy and probably the most expensive in Europe, which is what I said to the receptionist as she looked at me with total indifference.

A little tip if you’re planning on camping in Europe – stay well clear of anywhere that advertises thermal baths. They inevitably attract the older and wealthier traveller, more often than not driving one of those white campervans with pushbikes/motorbikes/small car attached to the back. And they seem more than happy to spunk their pension on paying these rip-off merchants for a tiny patch of earth just so they can feel safe at night.

The next day we took to the hills – not out of choice but necessity. Heading towards Ljubljana, someone stuck a load of mountains in the way. Busy main roads saw us head for the scenic route and mad gradients on tiny tracks with no switchbacks. Not the place to take a loaded tandem and two sweaty cyclists. But, so beautiful. The landscape dips into the valleys and then forests climb back out again. Tiny villages with church steeples poking out of the trees dot to dot their way across the horizon. The sun was shining and the view across the countryside crystal clear.

Back down on the main road, it was business as usual – the commuters were commuting and we joined in with the joke that is rush hour. We passed through Cellje and saw our first and last Slovenien industry before popping out the other side on our way to another campsite. No thermal baths at this one, so no white campers and 12 euros a night cheaper as a consequence.

We arrived in Ljubljana the next day and stayed a couple of days due to the rain. The city itself is small enough to get around has good cycle lanes and an old town with a river running through it and an outdoor market in the centre. Ljubljana is a very ordinary city which I liked. We also met John and Cathy in Ljubljana – you can read about their four month tour of southern India here.

Our last full day in Slovenia took us south on busy roads with hills and the odd rain shower. We managed to get a free night’s camping to ease the pain on the wallet before we rode down to the Croatian border with the Germans, Italians, Dutch and French tourists in tow.

Reading back through this blog entry, I don’t think I’ve done Slovenia justice. It’s a very beautiful country and the people were friendly and accomodating. Yes, it’s expensive, but we are tourists and that’s the nature of the game, I reluctantly suppose. Ljubljana was probably my favourite of the capital cities we visited, very relaxed and unassuming. So, that was Slovenia – now onto Croatia.


3 responses to “87 – Slovenia

  • Nadine

    It looks like you enjoyed Slovenia. So I hope you will not kill me for giving you that tip although it was quite expensive there. Didn’t I warned you about this thermal bath? They robbed me, too. But a campsite in Tallinn – no thermal bath, in exchange a junk yard around – took 15 EUR / night!

    My next tip: Lithuania & Latvia … quite cheap, bad campsites, great towns. You will have to visit Riga!

    Best regards!
    Nadine

    • b1ke

      Hi Nadine

      Good to hear from you. I hope that Slovakia and Poland turned out to be good for you. I’d be interested in your thoiughts on Poland inparticular.

      Yes, Slovenia was a very good tip – we didn’t know what to expect but weren’t disappointed. Hope you’ve got time to read a bit more of our blog. We’re now in Provence after crossing the Alps. We also took your advice about seeing the Gorge de Verdan and it took my breath away. Truely amazing. I’ll be writing up this section of the trip in the near future and putting up some pictures.

      In the meanwhile, hope all’s well with you and if you decide to visit England at some point, be sure to get in touch if you’re anywhere near Brighton.

      Take care
      Chris

  • Nadine

    Hi Chris!
    Hi Janyis!

    Glad to hear you are alive. I rifled through the blog, searching for new entries, beginning to think about land mines in Croatia …

    And please don’t ask me about Poland. Bad start, bad end, communication problems and evrything garnished with two or three lousy days of rain. The only thing that put me upright was the fact you cycled in a rain like that for several weeks. So I cycled soliloquising, telling me that I shouldn’t have to moan and thinking that I wouldn’t be as brave as you giving the sky the finger for so many days.

    I got over Poland with it’s ceaselessly barking dogs, bad nonverbal communication and many maledictions.

    Last but not least I have some good memories, too. My favorite: Nobody tried to nick my bike. 😉

    Ok, that’s half the truth. I stayed the night in the garden of a loveable familiy. I liked Krakow. Masuria is quite nice.

    Nadine

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: