How about Slovenia? This country keeps proving that it is a playground of nature, full of rivers (with water you can drink), mountains (rivaling Yosemite at times), valleys (always with a river nearby) and small towns. It's been an amazing time here, as I've made some new, wonderful friends who have gone above and beyond what I expected. Pretty much got taken all over the country in the week I've been here. Living the local life and enjoying it.
Ljubljana was, as written before, clean, vibrant and amazing. Lots going on, with great vibes along the river. Tina and I rode bikes all over town, zipping from the suburbs into the city center and all over. The huge city park on a hill overlooking the city had a sweet outdoor Olympian photo gallery, as they are very proud of their athletes here. Very athletic people here, and they know all their Olympians and are proud that their downhill skier, Tina Maze, is better than the American Lindsey Vonn.
Also noteworthy about friendly Ljubljana is the fact that the toilets are free (unlike most of Europe where you have to pay), there are free drinking fountains outside (rare in Europe) and free wifi all over the city (nothing like hanging in a park with free wifi). Quite a contrast to most of Europe, making it nice for the travelers. And the people are pretty damn friendly too. Awesome to be staying with Tina and her parents, learning about life in communism and eating great, home cooked meals outside.
I traveled to the west to Nova Gorica, to meet up with some girls I met at the music festival. Ended up staying 3 days in the area with all of their friends, staying with new friend Matic and his mom. Everyday it was off to hike, swim in rivers, drink from the springs and rivers, play beach volleyball, jump off old bridges and relax. Jumping off bridges is pretty standard in this part of the continent, with little platforms built on old bridges. We jumped off a 12m (36 feet) bridge into the fresh water below, to get the heart pumping.
The Soca river is huge, and often has a bright emerald green color to it. We hiked to it's source up in the mountains for some of the best water I've ever had. The Boka waterfalls were the largest in Slovenia and pumped out tons of freezing, delicious water. The small towns are built around the rivers, and are full of friendly, funny people who speak great English. Nothing finer than the owner of a cafe joking around, and then giving me a bag of apricots to take with me.
All in all, it's been amazing. I'm now off to Croatia for some beach time. Adriatic Sea, here I come! Looking forward to relaxing, and meeting up with Tina and her family on an island. The Slovenians take most of their holidays down on the Croatian beaches, so I'll be able to keep up with my learning of the language. Petca!
|On top of the art deco skyscraper checking out the view in Ljubljana|
|Meditating and elevating above Lake Bled|
|Amazing church by Lake Bohin|
|Stretching out on Lake Bohin|
|Coffee stop on our way to the rivers, with Monica, Shayla and Matic|
|Monica looking to snag some fish for dinner|
|Drinking right from the river|
|Source of the Soca River, with no camera filter. Amazing color and taste|
|Amazing nature in Slovenia!|
|Monica showing us to the good swimming spot under the waterfall|
|The view just for us (get it?, Just - us)|
|Where I spent 1 hour waiting for a bus. Amazing!|