Monthly Archives: January 2016

CALIFORNIA FRIENDS VISIT SKOFJA LOKA and MORE EVENTS

I met Russ when he married my high school sweetheart, Jody.  Jody passed away from cancer over 10 years ago.  We still kept in touch over the years.    Russ & Jill still live in California and  over the years I stopped by on my many bicycle trips down the California coast.  He suggested I meet them on his annual Italian vacation.  I suggested they try something new, come visit us in Slovenia.  So they came to visit us here in little Skofja Loka.  So this is that visit.

The best traditional Slovenian food in Skofja Loka is Starman’s, I try to take all my guest here.

                RUSS FIT’S RIGHT IN, ENJOYING LOCAL SLOVENIAN WINE

Natasa had to work so I agreed to be the tour guide to Lake Bled, Vintgar and the Bee museum (I’ve been wanting to go here).  I’ve been in Slovenia 2 years now and  there’s still so much  that I haven’t seen.
We start early with a breakfast buffet overlooking Lake Bled & the Castle, visit the local crafts fair, walked  up to the castle and then hike the gorge at Vintgar.

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Beehive painting, which was most prolific between 1820 and 1880, started to die away with transition into 20th century.  Painting on the frontal panels of bee hives is a particularity of Slovenian Alpine region and is an indispensable part of Slovenian folk art. The host took us on a private guided tour of the museum, I love Slovenia!
 MUSEUM WEBSITE  AND MORE IMAGES OF BEE DOORS HERE

Natasa got a few days off, so the four of us went to Ljubljana one day and the next day we drove around Mt. Triglav, through the Soca Valley.

I checked about getting a tour guide to take us around, $50 hr.  So I bought the $2 book and biked the tour of the Art Nouveau buildings in Ljubljana.  Jill wanted to visit the Joze Plecnik museum, it had been closed for 2 years for remodeling and  had only been open a week.  Joze Plecnik designed many of the buildings, markets, and bridges all around Ljubljana.  It was cool to go through his house.  His life was very similar to that of architect  Gaudi: single, religious and lived a simple life.  Joze Plecnik use to use his drawing pencils until they were so small he could no longer hold them.


Doing the pre-tour of the Art Nouveau was somewhat empowering.  I knew where to go and what features to point out to my guests.

I met the head of Tourism for Slovenia, she told me the Soca Valley is the most beautiful part of Slovenia.  I’m not sure which is my favorite part of Slovenia, but having biked the Soca Valley I can tell you, it is very beautiful.
We re-visited camp Kamne where Natasa and I met. We drive over the Julian alps on our way through the Soca Valley.  We visit the World War I museum in Kobarid.

Russ and Jill stayed several days in Skofja Loka and said they can’t wait to come back.  When Jill got back she wrote about her trip that was published in the San Francisco Chronicle.

Often-overlooked Slovenia worth a trip

Updated 7:08 pm, Thursday, October 15, 2015

Why we went: We have an American friend who recently moved to Slovenia. This often overlooked country has much to offer, with abundant natural beauty and a lovely capital city, Ljubljana.

Don’t miss: The Skocjan Caves in Slovenia’s Karst region are absolutely incredible. The caves, on the UNESCO list of world heritage sites, comprise one of the world’s largest underground river canyons.

Don’t bother: Touring the museums in Ljubljana. Your time is better spent strolling the town center and exploring the interesting squares and architectural highlights, including the Art Nouveau buildings and Joze Plecnik’s many contributions to the city.

Coolest souvenir: Hand-painted replicas of beehive front boards that reflect an important part of Slovenia’s tradition of beekeeping and that are the visual, cultural equivalent of folk songs, poetry and fairy tales.

Worth a splurge: A day or overnight trip to Piran, a picturesque town situated on the southern tip of Slovenia on the Adriatic coast.

Wish we’d packed: More waterproof hiking clothes. Slovenia gets lots of rain throughout the year, as evidenced by its lush landscape and abundant rivers and lakes.

The Beatles Tribute Band was great, sharing love songs holding Natasa’s hand while they sang “I want to hold your hand” priceless.  I was watching the young people lip syncing the Beatles  songs, our generation won’t be forgotten.  The Dreams Band covered the Allman Brothers Band songs, I was living the dream-I knew every song.

Thanks for reading, if you like this blog please comment.

Jeff

NEXT: BRISTOL, UK, EUROPE’S 2015 GREEN CAPITAL AWARD WINNER, HANDMADE BIKES, E-BIKE ADVENTURE, YOUNG PEOPLE FROM AROUND EUROPE COME TO THE UK TO WORK. (promise)

LONDON CALLS FOR CLIMATE ACTION

 

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THIS WAS POSTED AROUND TOWN AND AROUND THE UNDERGROUND

Live music is a difficult find here in Slovenia.  So while re-searching the internet about  Courtney Barnett, I saw she was playing 6 shows around the U.K.  I checked Easy-Jet, 47€ to London, Natasa OK’d it.  When investigating what was going on in London, I came across the November 29 Climate March in London.  My whole trip changed knowing that.

For me the Climate Change issue is far bigger than any live music event and it should be for all of us.  There was a same day march in Paris.  I discovered that Paris, being home of the World Climate Change Summit (COP21), had many other events planned too.  So, my plans were set 5 days London, 5 days Bristol (to see Courtney Barnett) and 1 week Paris.  Before I left, the terrorist attacks happened in Paris.  I was still going, you know, “we can’t let the terrorist win.”

I contacted several hostels in London, They said I couldn’t be over 40 or 45 years old to stay at either hostel.  I got a hotel, $100 per night with breakfast (& lunch, I made sandwiches).  I’ve been reading about London’s Bike Share, called “BORIS BIKES” and couldn’t wait to ride some.  Boris is the pro-bike mayor of London.

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I FIND MY FIRST BIKE TO RENT, NICE FULL RACK.

I’ve never been a big fan of Bike Share, but I really wanted to give it a try. I get the App,  and can now find and rent bikes all around town. I head to the beginning of the Climate March.  The best thing about the Bike Share is that I was able to drop off the bike and walk in the March.  I didn’t have to worry about having my bike stolen. I marched with 50,000 people, it was inspiring and gave me hope for the future.

There were so many solutions to address the impending Climate Crisis: GO VEGAN, POPULATION CONTROL, FOOD WASTE, EATING LESS OR NO MEAT, BIKES, FRACKING, COAL & OIL LEAVE IT IN THE GROUND, END CAPITALISM (this is my favorite),  SOLAR POWER,  OWLS, DOGS, NO NEW RUNWAY, FOOD SECURITY, CLIMATE JUSTICE AND JOBS.  It is great to participate in a protest when it’s something you really believe in.  I can’t wait to see how Paris accepts the protesters?

Now that I’ve got the Boris Bikes figured out, I want to explore London by bike. I want to use the new bike infrastructure that I’ve read so much about and other sights (of course).

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FIRST I HAVE TO FIND A BIKE

The bikes are pretty popular with residents and tourist.  There are 4 stations within a 5 minute walk of my hotel.  There are 10,00 bikes and over 700 docking stations.  The app tells you how many bikes each station has and how many empty spots if you want to drop off your bike.  The London bike scheme cost taxpayers about $15 million, Paris and New York’s are self-sustaining.

LONDON BY BIKE


They say English food is somewhat boring, but I found the food simple, healthy and very satisfying.
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VENISON PIE, CARROTS, CABBAGE SALAD, MASHED POTATOES AND A GUINNESS.

The best thing about the Boris Bikes is the ability to drop the bike off and go explore London on foot.
There was a  Christmas Carnival in Hyde park, so I dropped off my bike and walked around “WinterWonderland”

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CORN ON THE COB 4 POUNDS THAT’S OVER $6 OR 6 EURO–ONE COBB!

Speaking English has never been a problem in the 22 countries I’ve traveled to in the past couple years. The one thing I do miss though, is being able to read the local newspaper. So here in the UK, I bought a paper and read it through and through.
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This story about 007 & his wife selling their property in Spain and not paying the $8 million in taxes.  They interviewed Connery and said he was basically in failing health so they weren’t going to pursue him.  They’re going after his 86 year old wife instead.  She’s facing 2 1/2 years in jail and a $24 million in fines.

A couple of random photos from London.  I also went to see  Thee Oh Sees.  I was talking to the people next to me at dinner and they were going too.  They recommended I sit in the balcony, I’m glad I did the mosh pit was crazy, but fun to watch!

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THEE OH SEES MOSH PIT WAS CRAZY WILD

 THIS IS A GREAT CONCERT MOVIE WATCH IT!

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I SENT NATASA THIS PHOTO AND WARNED HER, I’M GOING TO NEED THE COMB OVER SOON

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TUBE STOP IN LONDON

I hope I didn’t bore you with this looong post, but that’s my 5 days in London, Enjoy.

NEXT: BRISTOL, UK, EUROPE’S 2015 GREEN CAPITAL AWARD WINNER, HANDMADE BIKES, E-BIKE ADVENTURE, YOUNG PEOPLE FROM AROUND EUROPE COME TO THE UK TO WORK.

Thanks for reading
Jefflondon1

london

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