Monthly Archives: January 2015

SKOFJA LOKA: FIRE & ICE

t’s Christmas day and Natasa and I have it alone-together.  Natasa suggest we walk around Lake Bled I tell her I also want to go on the river walk that has all the bridges, VINTGAR GORGE.

IMG_2003

IT’S A TRULY AMAZING HIKE WITH THE WALKWAYS ATTACHED TO THE SIDE OF THE MOUNTAIN.

I last visited Lake Bled on my original bike tour through Slovenia, it was fun to come back.

IMG_2023

LAKE BLED IS AN AMAZING PLACE IN AN AMAZING COUNTRY.. THAT’S THE CASTLE ON TOP OF THE ROCK ON THE LEFT.

After a full day of adventure hiking and walking, were not done.  I’m driving and suggest we go into Ljubljana for the Christmas lights.  There’s a river cruise, so the tourist in me says, let’s go for a boat ride.

IMG_2028

I HAVE NO IDEA WHY THEY HAVE E=mc2 (squared) IN LIGHTS

Meanwhile back home, it’s snowed and the sledding hills are showing themselves in Skofja Loka

IMG_2090

THERE’S A GREAT SLEDDING HILL RIGHT NEXT TO THE CASTLE IN SKOFJA LOKA

You can tell by the last post Christmas was awesome.  The excitement didn’t end there.  I had the flu so on New Years we stayed at home watching The Grand Budapest Hotel.  We heard this big explosion, looked at each other? WTF?  Being it was New Year’s and there were plenty of “real” fireworks and explosions that night, we shrugged it off and  went back to watching the movie.  A few minutes later, we look and see this.

IMG_2048

THIS IS THE FIRE JUST GETTING STARTED (those are 2 lights below the flames)

Soon the entire apartment is engulfed in flames.  The first 3 fire trucks only had extension ladders.

IMG_2054

THE APARTMENT ACROSS THE SQUARE WAS ON FIRE, AT ONE POINT THE FLAMES ON THE BACKSIDE WERE 5 METERS (15 FT.) IN THE AIR.

From our window you could see the whole thing unfold.  One firefighter stood on the ground using a hose, that couldn’t reach the fire, it would have been funny if it wan’t potentially so tragic.

IMG_2059

THE LADDER FIRE TRUCK FINALLY ARRIVED  FROM A NEARBY VILLAGE AND GOT THE BLAZE UNDER CONTROL.

They thought they had extinguished the fire, and brought the ladder down.  From our vantage point we could see the fire had started up again.  They raised the ladder again and extinguished the flames again, they did that twice.
The next day we learned that the guy committed suicide by lighting a room full of natural gas.  I talked with the neighbor yesterday, he said he saw the explosion, a blue flames shooting out the windows and the whole roof had lifted up.

We got some sunny winter weather and I was able to bike around .  People ask how do you ride when it’s -3?  I always say, it’s like going skiing, you just wear a few extra layers and off you go.

IMG_2131

I”ve never actually lived where you could or had to bike with snow all around.  I have 5 layers on,

IMG_2134

RIDING THROUGH THE FARMERS FIELDS, “IN THE SUN”

Surly sent me some parts for my bike and told me to go to Pici Bici  to have it fixed.  They had some cool bikes and other bike stuff.  They specialized in refurbishing old bikes and are the Surly representatives in Slovenia.

They had a bike with a sharpening stone attached.  You removed the bike chain and attached the grinder chain to the front sprocket, start pedaling.  I think something like this could work really well at on of Portland’s many Farmers Markets.

IMG_2143

BICYCLE WITH SHARPENING STONE ATTACHED

IMG_2144

LOOK CLOSELY AT THE FRONT BRAKE ASSEMBLY. YOU PUSH THAT ROUND KNOB, THAT THEN APPLIES THE BRAKE TO THE TIRE

IMG_1988

IT’S A BBQ BIKE TRAILER, MAYBE ANOTHER BUSINESS OR A BBQ PARTY!

IMG_1989

AND OF COURSE A PORTLAND FAVORITE, KEG DELIVERY.

RIDING THE SNOWY BACKROADS CAN BE CHALLENGING, YET LOTS OF FUN TOO.

IMG_2126

SOME PARTS WERE A SHEET OF ICE, ALMOST BIT IT, BUT NO.

IMG_2128

ONE PLUS, THERE ARE NO CARS OUT HERE!

IMG_2130

                                                 SOMETIMES I FEEL LIKE I’M LIVING IN A FAIRY TALE

I wanted to get a clock for the living room wall.  I shopped on ETSY for bike clocks, but with shipping it was going to cost $50 easy.  So I was in the Chinese shop at the mall and bought a clock for 8 euro.  I  also bought a bike shoe box at the same store a couple weeks ago.

IMG_2164

I SCANNED THE BIKE SHOE BOX AND REMOVED THE OLD CLOCK IMAGE AND PUT THE BIKE IMAGES INSIDE THE CLOCK.

IMG_2165

I MADE MY OWN BIKE CLOCK FOR ABOUT 10 EURO ($12)

WHAT HAPPENED TO THE JABBA THE HUT?
IMG_2076

IMG_2106

IMG_2158

IMG_2162

i didn’t take a photo of Natasa cleaning up and stomping down the last of Jabba the Hut. It took 3 weeks to melt.

The stories that I planned to write about this time will have to wait till  next time.  There is so much to share about living here in Skofja Loka, Slovenia and best of all with Natasa.
MORE PHOTOS HERE

Thanks for reading.
People People where are the comments?
JEFF

NEXT? Farmers market, walking bridges  politics, and?

10920256_798894383499509_4273806686308447794_o 10900008_796194627102818_3580626294155265109_o 10869554_791672180888396_9051499019254963684_o

SKOFJA LOKA, “More than I could ever wish for”

                                                HAPPY HOLIDAYS FROM JEFF’S BIKE TOUR

Xmas card

IT SNOWED LAST WEEK AND LOOKS JUST LIKE THIS. CHECK OUT THE PHOTOS.

We are doing super. I have a great situation, Natasa and I are super happy together.

IMG_1656

SHE WANTS MY HAIR DRY, (I don’t really care), but it’s fun!

Not only is it great with her, but Sara (her daughter) and parents are great to be with too.
The family situation for me is something I haven’t had in my life, for a long time. After my grandmother died in1995, there has been only a couple family Holidays for me, once with my brother. My mom died last summer, I hadn’t talked with her in 20 years.  My Dad? That’s another story too, I’ve written him once in the last 10 years.   I unfriended my 1 brother  on Facebook, a couple of months ago. Enough. 

So that gets me to what I want to actually talk about.  The great family situation I’m in now.  Natasa & I laugh and love all day, I’ve never had it so good.  “Living the dream” that’s really the truth.  Natasa’s parents are only a 5 minute walk away.  We’ve  had them over for breakfast. Sunday night dinners and Christmas.  Natasa’s Mom, Mirjana  had a 70th birthday party this summer.

IMG_1396

MIRJANA IS IN THE RED. I GOT TO PRUNE THE APPLE TREES BEFORE THE PARTY, IT’S GREAT TO HAVE SOMEWHERE TO PUT MY ENERGY TO HELP OUT.

They had numbered birthday cards but they were sold out of the 70 ones, I went to 3 stores!

 

IMG_1388

                                        “HUGE” VEGETARIAN NIGHTMARE

IMG_1398

NATASA\S DAD, FRANC, MOVING FURNITURE BETWEEN RAINSTORMS AT THE PARTY.

Both Franc and I were on our own for dinner one night. He tries to speak some English, it’s still better than my Slovenian. We had coupons for 2 free Bosnian Sausage dinners, we went and had a great time-even with the language problems.
I cooked Christmas dinner this year, turkey, vegetarian shepherd’s pie, salad, mushroom stuffing.  I looked down at the table and soon realized, I cooked the whole thing, holy shit.

CSC_0514

MIRJANA LOVES TO DRESS UP, IT’S GREAT. (photo by Sara )

Franc said if he likes the food he shows it by eating ALOT!  It’s actually quite amazing how much he can eat. Mirjana is a great cook too.

 

IMG_2084

TRADITIONAL SLOVENIAN: RED PEPPER IN  (OLIVE OIL, HERBS), POTATOES, PORK AND SOME SHREDDED ROOT? WITH BEANS

Another traditional Holiday that they have here and not in America is St. Nicholas Day.  You exchange small gifts 10 days before Christmas.  Natasa’s brother’s family, parents and Natasa and Sara.

IMG_1955

THAT’S EVERYBODY ON ST. NICHOLAS DAY EXCHANGING FRUIT, SAUSAGES , TEA AND CHOCOLATE!

 

IMG_0612It’s great living in the “old town”, bike tourist  come through all summer, it’s great to talk with them.   This is Oscar & Patricia from Argentina, on their  3 year journey. They stayed a few days in our basement room. I think their staying in Istanbul now for the winter.

 

 

 

IMG_0600

THIS IS ALL THEIR GEAR THEY HAD 2 GUITARS AND A CELLO!

My plan is to do bike tours here in Slovenia.  I’ve camped and visited maybe 1/2 the country.  There still lots to explore and would love to show off Slovenia to my friends.

 

 

 

IMG_1332

LOCAL POT LUCK: ALMOST ALL DESERTS, (very Slovenian)

We got invited to a neighborhood meeting, Natasa had to work so I went.  They all had kids,  I also learned that people from around Slovenia come to Skofja Loka just to walk around the square with their kids.  I was wondering why I was seeing so many baby carriages.

 

 

IMG_1957

THE NEW TUNNEL 2 LANE “FREEWAY”, MAKES A GREAT CARFREE BIKE PATH (temporarily)

 

It’s been a mild &  dry winter.  I rode into Ljubljana 3 times in 7 days (50 km rt), to Christmas shop.  I’m learning all the “safe” bike routes.

 

 

 

IMG_1963

IT’S CLEAR AND COLD  BIKING TO LJUBLJANA 

IMG_2040

IT FINALLY SNOWED HERE, i TOOK THIS PHOTO FROM OUR 3RD FLOOR APARTMENT.

IMG_2036

I HOPE THE STRAWBERRIES SURVIVE

We have a small patio and the snow was piled up.
It was pretty cold -8 (17 degrees fahrenheit). So the snow was so dry that you couldn’t make a snow man.  So we tried to shovel the into something?

IMG_2076

IT’S JABBA THE HUT FROM STAR-WARS: KIWI EYES, BANANA EYEBROWS, POTATO NOSE, CARROT TONGUE, STICKS FOR LIPS AND ARMS

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

IMG_2071

THE VIEW FROM MY FAVORITE COFFEE SHOP

I’m learning some Slovenian, I’ll say adijo (goodbye), then they say goodbye to me in English.  Everyone knows I only know a few words but when I try to practice they end up just speaking English to me (thanks).  So I thought ok, I call Natasa honey in Slovenian, why not?

IMG_1355

MED IS SLOVENIAN FOR HONEY

So I started calling her Med instead of honey.  She liked honey better.  Medi is a little bear, so I started calling her Med Medi and she likes that (somewhat) we both laugh about it.
Here’s your chance to see how hard the Slovenian language  really is.  How to say “Did you eat anything yet?” in Slovenian.  There’s only 10 ways to say it!

I really feel like I rescued the 3rd phase  of my life meeting. Natasa and her family  are a true blessing for me.
More Photos are HERE

I hope you enjoyed this update.  Thanks for reading.

Jeff

NEXT: FIRE BREAKS OUT ON NEW YEARS IN SKOFJA LOKA & MORE FUN TALES.

10569024_839261079418825_8700062107780346881_n 10612768_854432567901676_8346406539746799288_n

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

homer