Monthly Archives: December 2014

THE RAVEONETTES IN ZAGREB, CROATIA

I enjoy seeing live music every so often, in Slovenian? Not often enough.  While doing a search for concerts near here, I found out that one of my favorite bands were playing in Zagreb, Croatia.  Natasa couldn’t get off work, but I really needed a music fix, and especially from one of my favorite bands, THE RAVENONETTES.  On my bike trip I played ALY, WALK WITH ME, nearly every morning.  The lyrics of “Aly, Walk with me in Portland” reminded me of my home of Portland. Before I left, I wrote them on facebook and requested they play this song.

I took the bus to Zagreb, about an hour or so away.  I went early in the morning so I could spend the day exploring Zagreb.  First, the tourist office at the bus station in Zagreb, pointed to the English map and said nothing else, she had nothing to share about her city.  She said the tram cost 6 kuna.  So I boarded the tram and find out you need a pre-paid tram card to ride, that would have been some useful information I could have used.  I got off the tram at a place that looked like a town square.

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I FOUND THE FARMERS MARKET AND THIS REALLY AWESOME FISH MARKET.

I only brought a day pack with me, but was still able to buy a 1/2 kilo of awesome dates and figs.  I walked around and came across this pretty spectacular church.

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THEY’RE RESTORING THE CHURCH, YOU CAN SEE THE ORIGINAL ON THE LEFT AND THE REPLACEMENT REPLICA ON THE RIGHT.

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If you’ve read this blog, you may know, I’m not a big fan of walking.  I always prefer my bike, but walking does offer opportunities the bike does not.  There are signs everywhere, pointing in every direction, to some museum or monument.

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THE “MUSEUM OF BROKEN RELATIONSHIPS”

I use to have a handicrafts business for 10 years so of course I chose the Croatian Art and Craft Museum.

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“WOMAN HANGING LAUNDRY”

The furniture was really exquisite.

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I REALLY LOVE THE INTRICATE INLAID FURNITURE.

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AS A FORMER WOODWORKER, SOMETHING LIKE THIS GIVES ME PAUSE

 

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CANDLE HOLDER, i’D PUT THAT IN MY HOUSE, FOR SURE

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FUNCTIONAL ART IS ALWAYS PLEASING

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FUN ART IS JUST AS PLEASING TOO!

I made it to a small room on the third floor, all clocks.  Of course I asked the person who was working alone up there, “what time is it”, I kinda flustered her.  I had to explain the question was for fun, she laughed.  Check photos for more museum art photos.

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IT’S ALWAYS TIME FOR LOVE

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PHOTO GALLERY

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REMINDS ME OF PORTLAND, (the part I don’t miss)

After walking around the museum for hours, it’s time for lunch.  While walking (yes walking) to the museum I passed a must visit restaurant;  I was talking with the coat check lady and told her where I was going for lunch, she that’s her favorite place in town.

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I LOVE MEXICAN FOOD AND THIS WAS GREAT! THEY EVEN HAD BLACK BEANS!

I stayed and talked with the owner for awhile.  He lived in California for 6 months and thought bringing mexican food to Croatia could work.  He is about to open a second location and then start trying to serve breakfast.  Breakfast around here is coffee, cigarettes and maybe a piece of bread.  It might take awhile before Croatians realize how important breakfast really is.  I met a Portuguese student who was there with her visiting mother and little brother, she said her friends brought her here when she first arrived for school.  She also said her friends were going to see the Raveonettes too.

I was going to ride the tram to the concert, but the restaurant owner showed me how I could walk the park all the way to the show.  So a walking I go……………………………….

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I SAW THESE ALL AROUND TOWN, BICYCLE STREET SWEEPERS

i wanted to show up early for the Raveonettes show,  hopefully  I could catch  the sound check.

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MISSION ACCOMPLISHED

The Raveonettes are from Denmark, they sing their songs in English, but during the sound check they were speaking Danish to the sound board guy.

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YEP, GOT THE PHOTO AND SHARIN SAID SHE SAW MY FACEBOOK POST. HUNG OUT AND CHATTED FOR JUST A FEW MINUTES, SUPER FUN!

I didn’t buy a T-shirt, because at my age I already have a t-shirt for nearly everyday of the year.

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THIS IMAGE WAS ON A KIDS SIZE T-SHIRT, IF IT WAS ON AN ADULT SIZE SHIRT, I MIGHT HAVE BOUGHT IT.

I was there early, so I was able to stand right next to the stage.  There were 5 photographers swarming the front of the stage.  I finally told one, that he had enough pictures and needed to move along so we could enjoy the show, it worked.

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I LOVE THIS TYPE OF CLOSE UP SHOW VERSUS A STADIUM VENUE.

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IMG_1848 THIS IS THE GUITAR TECHNIQUE FOR “ALY, WALK WITH ME”

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SET SONG LIST PLUS ENCORE

It was a “GREAT” show.  So now I’m down by the river and far from the bus station.  I was starting to walk to the bus station, then I asked some folks if they were going by the bus station. YES, holy shit was I lucky.
My bus was suppose to come by at 2am, so at 2 am I boarded the bus and thought, I better ask, wrong bus, that was close.  My bus was over an hour late.  But it worked out, when I arrived back in Ljubljana, the first morning bus back to Skofja Loka was only a 10 minute wait.
I GOT MY MUSIC FIX, I’M GOOD FOR A LITTLE WHILE

MORE PHOTOS HERE

THANKS FOR READING
JEFF

NEXT? SKOFJA LOKA PART III

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LIFE IN SKOFJA LOKA, SLOVENIA (PART II): SKOFJA LOKA GETS A FACELIFT

This is the view from my favorite coffee shop, THE RAJ (translation: Paradise ) it’s right next to the river. They make me a special “Americano” a double espresso with the water run through 4 times,  That’s the castle in the background and the Devil’s Bridge over the river.

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THERE’S A “MUST SEE” MUSEUM IN THE CASTLE.

Skofja Loka is one of Slovenia’s oldest villages, it’s a little over 1,000 years old.  In 1511 an earthquake destroyed the entire village and it was rebuilt.  In 1660 and 1690 fires also ravaged large parts of the town.   So today’s infrastructure is somewhat new, just 300 years old,   And old infrastructure needs to be either repaired or replaced at some point.  So Skofja Loka  had a HUGE makeover this  summer.  There was sewer and water pipes laid.   They tore up all the asphalt and replaced it with cobblestone.

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AS A VILLAGE MADE FOR WALKING, IT WAS DIFFICULT AT TIMES

People still had to shop and get around. People acted like nothing was going on, they all went about their lives.

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AS YOU CAN SEE BY THE WOMEN PUSHING HER BABY STROLLER

It was really interesting to watch the transformation.

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THIS IS THE SAME PHOTO LOCATION AS THE ABOVE PHOTO

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THEY WERE ALL MASTER CRAFTSMAN, IT WAS GREAT TO SEE THE TOWN A NEW (OLD) LOOK.

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THEY’RE INSTALLING HANDRAILINGS

The finishing touches really help give Skofja Loka a great look and feel.

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A WALKING TOWN NEEDS PLACES TO REST, BENCHES ARE A GREAT ADDITION TO SKOFJA LOKA.

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GRAFFITI IS A PROBLEM HERE TOO, JUST PAINTED, SOMEONE TAGGED THE INSIDE OF THE TUNNEL.

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THE CHURCH BELLS USE TO BOTHER ME SOME, NOW? I DON’T EVEN HERE THEM (HARDLY).

Art is always a good way to put the finishing touches on a great job.

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THIS IS A METAL CASTING OF THE VILLAGE OF SKOFJA LOKA

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THE MORE I LEARN ABOUT SKOFJA LOKA, THE MORE STORIES THIS MAP TELLS.

When your traveling it’s time to skip the old Europe: France, UK, Germany, Spain etc.  It’s time to see the old “new” Europe : Slovenia, Czech, Albania, Croatia and of course the must see village of Skofja Loka.  Come see a true medieval village with lots of history, photo opportunities that include many hiking and biking options too.
It’s great just living in the old town of Skofja Loka, but when you have to work on the buildings, it can be a little complicated. When the neighbors needed to get on the roof, they must come into our apartment and climb up a ladder from our deck.

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IF THEY DON’T HAVE A DECK WAY TO GET UP ON THE ROOF, IT’S THIS PIECE OF EQUIPMENT.

There is more work being done than just the rebuilding of the old town.  Most roads are just one lane each way and some roads don’t even accommodate 2 cars at the same time.  This is the main road from Skofja Loka to Gorenja Vas (where Natasa works), but only one vehicle at a time can pass through here.

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SCHOOL KIDS HITCHHIKE FROM HERE, SINCE THE CARS HAVE TO WAIT TO PASS THROUGH, IT’S PRETTY EASY TO GET A RIDE, I HITCHHIKED TO NATASA’S WORK ONE DAY.

Being a member of the European Union has it’s advantages.  The EU offered to help Skofja Loka solve the one lane road problem, by digging a tunnel around the bottle neck.  The money has some strings attached, they were given just a couple years to finish the project or they had to return the money.  When I go out for a bike ride on a Sunday, they’re out there working. They don’t want to give the money back!  (they probably don’t have it to give back)

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THAT PILE OF DIRT HAS BEEN REMOVED. THE NEW “HIGHWAY” CAN BE SEEN TAKING SHAPE. THEY WERE LAYING ASPHALT LAST WEEK. 

IMG_1901 It’s really amazing they let you ride your bike while here while they’re working on the road, that would never happen in America.

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THE STONE WALLS, ALONG THE NEW ROAD ARE SUPER ARTISTIC, MUCH BETTER THAN THE CONCRETE WALLS YOU USUALLY SEE IN AMERICA.

There seems like there is construction everywhere you turn, the old town, new highway and the country is getting a sewer system, thanks to the EU again.

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ANOTHER DE-TOUR ON OUR WALKS AROUND THE VILLAGE

We’ve had some pretty incredible storms here.  Houses flooded, roads washed away or covered in mud.  Natasa and I did a bike ride through one of the valleys that were affected.

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THERE WAS MUD AND DOWNED TREES EVERYWHERE

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THE DAMAGE LEFT BEHIND WAS AMAZING.

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THIS IS MUD AND ROCK THAT WAS PILED UP, WITH A BACKHOE,  BETWEEN THE RIVER AND THE ROAD.

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THE HOUSE IS RIGHT ON THE EDGE OF THIS SLIDE, THAT’S A NEW ROCK WALL THAT IS BEING BUILT.

I went back a few weeks later by myself to see how much they had cleaned up.

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THEY’RE BUILDING A ROCK WALL IN THE RIVER TO PREVENT THE RIVER FROM FURTHER ERODING THE ROAD.

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THE GUY WITH THE SHOVEL IS TELLING THE BACK HOE GUY HOW TO SET THE ROCKS SO THEY’RE STRAIGHT UP AND DOWN.

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RIGHT AFTER THE STORM SOME PEOPLE MUST HAVE BEEN TRAPPED IN THEIR HOMES, HOPEFULLY THEY HAVE SOME FOOD STORED!

I hoped you all enjoyed this little tour of Skofja Loka’s many construction projects and storm damage repair jobs.  I have only one more construction project to show you all.

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THIS IS MY NEW OFFICE, WHERE I SPEND “A LOT” OF TIME.

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AS YOU CAN SEE I’M GETTING “SETTLED IN”.

I have had several request on posting our address, email me and I;ll send you the address
I will post all the photos when I’m done with all the Skofja Loka stories I have a couple more.

Thanks again for reading.

JEFF

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I ACTUALLY KINDA LIKE THIS POPE. HOPEFULLY BIRTH CONTROL IS NEXT.

BLACK FRIDAY