Monthly Archives: November 2015

BIKING AROUND MARIBOR, SLOVENIA. BETTER THAN DISNEYLAND

We’ve gone to different craft events around Slovenia and it seemed a lot of artist came from Maribor. So I wanted to go check out the artist scene. I was hoping to visit by bus this winter.   Natasa gave Sara a long weekend visit to Vienna for her birthday.  The problem is the train ride takes 2 of the 4 days they had.  I found a bus from Maribor, I suggested I drive them to Maribor then they can take the bus to Vienna, it’s a plan. Now they got 4 FULL days in Vienna and I got a biking weekend in Maribor, perfect.
Before we can leave the cat needs to go to Grandma and Grandpa’s.

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THE CAT KNEW SOMETHING WAS UP AND WAS HIDING

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LOADED UP AND READY TO ROLL

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CAT DELIVERY SERVICE

We were early for their bus, so I dropped my stuff off in my hostel room. The UNI-Hostel had an excellent breakfast buffet, that helped make up for the room, which was actually pretty good.

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MY COMPUTER SCREEN IS BIGGER THAN THE TV’S

I visit the tourist office after walking them to the bus station.  The women working there said she remembers me from a visit to the Ljubljana tourist office, Slovenia is small.  I gather information and maps for the next day.


The tourist office told me about the Gondola ride at Pohorje’s mountain.  I ride my bike out there and take the Gondola to the top.  I look around and see some cars and realize there’s a way to bike up.  I go back to the tourist office with my map and see there’s 2 roads to the top.  I like loop roads so I decide to take one up and the other down.


Just as I was about to head downhill a local on a bike  decided he would shadow me all the way down. It was fun to bike with someone, we were flying down.  He’s riding with no hands and right next to and behind me.  One false move and were both toast.  You can get going maybe 50-60 km an hour.  I tapped my brakes just a couple times, you can almost ride the whole thing without brakes.  They have really smoothed the road out.  It takes maybe 45 minutes (with a few photo stops) to get to the bottom.  The weather is so nice and warm, I decide the next day to take the gondola up with my bike and ride down, again.  It cost 8 euro for a one way ticket up with bike.  This was probably one of the best “tourist” experiences I’ve had in Slovenia, better than Disneyland for sure.  I timed the ride 2 hours to ride from the old town of Maribor, ride the gondola and bike back to Maribor.

Maribor has the oldest wine grape plant, over 400 years old, according to Guinness Book of World Records.  I visited the largest and oldest underground winery in Europe.  It took 11 years to build and has 2 km of tunnels, lined with wine barrels.  The barrels were allowed to dry out and are no longer functional.  The new “automated” winery is just out of town now.

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I sampled a couple glasses and was in bed at 8:30, reminded me of why I don’t drink.
Some women (girl) was handing out flyers to some event.  I asked where it was and decided to go.  I forgot to a ask them what the event was, it was in Slovenian (go figure).

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                        IT WAS A SNAKE AND REPTILE SHOW AND SALE.

If I had known I probably wouldn’t have paid 7 euro to get in, oh well.  Maybe it’s time to learn a little Slovenian?

THESE ARE  SOME FUN PHOTOS I TOOK

Hope you can visit Maribor soon, I had a great time and bring your bike.
I’m still going to Paris in a few weeks.



NEXT: TRADITIONAL CRAFTS OF SLOVENIA

THANKS FOR READING THE BLOG,
Jeff

MUSHROOM PICKING IN THE FOREST OF SORICA, SLOVENIA

We had a wedding celebration dinner at Jesharna with some friends.  While enjoying desert at our house they mentioned they were going mushroom picking the next day.  I happily invited myself to join them, they said OK.
Sorica was only a 1/2 hour drive from Skofja Loka.  The sisters, Mateja and Majda  grew up here, so they knew where to go.

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It’s great to go mushrooming with someone who knows where to go and find them.

It is so peaceful up here, no freeways in the background or traffic on the one road for that matter.  I’ve been buying wild mushrooms at the farmers market, so I’m pretty excited to actually find some myself.
LOTS OF DIFFERENT MUSHROOMS

We scoured  the hillsides and found quite a few mushrooms.  I’m still not very good (or at all) speaking Slovenian.  But I get a lot of sympathy (help)

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MATEJA BROUGHT HER TRANSLATION BOOK, JUST IN CASE.

It went a lot quicker than I first thought it would.

Living in such a small country there is always someone you know who lives somewhere near where your going.  On the way home we stop at Mateja and Majda Mom’s house to visit and have some coffee.
Slovenia may be a small country, but there’s is lot’s to explore and experience.  The mountains, lakes, rivers, bike paths, architecture, arts, history and of course it’s people! they truly makes it a great country.  Did I mention there’s one hot women here that I love?  There’s that too.
There’s a tradition here about putting your 50, 60,70th…..birthday via an announcement tree sculpture.  I blogged about this some before.

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This is the first bicycle one I’ve seen. I told Natasa that’s what I want for my 50th birthday. Speaking of which, I was reading the other day that the confirmed date for getting old is now considered 60.  I’m having my 60th birthday on January 1,  “next” year.
We had some friends visit from California, Russ and Jill.  Russ married my high school sweetheart, Jody.  We’ve remained in touch even thought Jody passed away from cancer 10 years ago.  There sending me some photos from their visit and will do a blog story about there visit.  When they got back from Slovenia, they wrote a story about their visit, it got  published in the San Francisco Chronicle.

I’m trying to clean-up the backlog of Blog stories before heading to London, so hang on, here they come.
NEXT: BIKING AROUND MARIBOR, SLOVENIA

Thanks for reading
Jeff & Natasa

I’m sure most people saw this on Facebook, it’s short.

SKOFJA LOKA GETS A NEW TUNNEL

The tunnel talk has gone on for forty years.  So the EU stepped up by giving Slovenia 35 million euro of the eventual 53 million euro total cost.  The route was confirmed in 1991, the year Slovenia broke away from Yugoslavia.  The financial details were resolved in 2006 and construction started in 2013, the year I got here.

THIS IS ONE OF THE REASONS FOR THE NEW TUNNEL

THIS IS ONE OF THE REASONS FOR THE NEW TUNNEL, ONE WAY TRAFFIC ONLY

Natasa and I made a bike ride we call the “Super 8”, it’s 8 km from Skofja Loka.  For 2 years we rode on the new “highway”, before it opened.   It was really interesting watching the tunnel and new road take shape.  I took photos all during the construction up to and including the opening ceremony.

Slovenia is mountainous, so there are lots of tunnels, it must be quicker in the long run to bore through the mountain, than build a road over the mountain.   I walked  and rode my bike through several times, days before the official opening.
THESE ARE PICTURES A FEW DAYS BEFORE THE OFFICIAL OPENING

in the middle of the tunnel it echoes and is noisy, but they wrapped 10 meters at each end of the tunnel in soundproofing material.  It’s amazing how quiet it is, probably to help the neighbors sleep at night. The day of the opening I was riding to Ljubljana, so I stopped by for a last look.  A worker stopped me, I explained (In English), I wanted to just ride through, then he waved me through. I know it was the English that got me through. , he obviously didn’t speak any.

We were out of town when they had a celebration for reclaming of the old town.  The big trucks and lines of cars waiting to get between the buildings, it was time for a tunnel.  The tunnel seems to be mostly good except for one thing.

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WITH ALL THE CARS PASSING BY HERE, HITCHHIKING USE TO BE EASY

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NOW? NO CARS AND NO HITCHHIKERS

Natasa talked with the people who live on the ‘old” road.  They said big trucks were still using the old road and felt the new road wasn’t on truckers GPS yet, who knows.
I’ve been super busy, hence not much blogging, but rest assured we’ve got lots of adventures to share, that’s why we’ve been busy.  There’s a balance between living the adventures here in Slovenia and writing about them.
I came across this article on BBC about Slovenia:: THE LAKE AT THE END OF THE WORLD

I’m going to England for the Climate Change March on Nov. 29, then Bristol to see Courtney Barnett, then to Paris where the World Climate Change Summit is taking place..  First I plan to volunteer for the protest and in between be a tourist for a couple days.

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 IF WE SAY “IT’S FOR THE CHILDREN” THEY’LL LISTEN!?

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LAST TIME I CHECKED CRAIGSLIST THERE WASN’T ANOTHER PLANET FOR SALE. LET’S TAKE CARE OF THE ONE WE HAVE.

If your in London on Nov. 28 or Paris Dec. 12, email me and we’ll meet up at the Protest.
and whoever you are out there, thanks for reading our blog.
NEXT: MUSHROOM PICKING IN SLOVENIA
TILL NEXT TIME
JEFF

                                    I PLAN TO SEE THE “THEE OH SEES” IN LONDON