We have busy lives here in Skofja Loka, I was in Bristol Dec. 3-7, 2015, I’m just now getting this blog post together. Saturday I took a felting workshop in Ljubljana. This time I made a wool felt hat. it was 4.5 hours of standing and working the wool, (felting!). It killed me!
At first I was just coming to Bristol to see Courtney Barnett. When I started doing some research I discovered Bristol was similar to Portland in many ways. They have approximately the same populations, Bristol 440,000 Portland 610,000. Bike lanes, great healthy restaurants, mass transit and an active political scene.
I made my hostel reservations 6 weeks before I arrived. I requested a 6 share room, they said no problem. When I arrived I ended up in a 14 share room. I was the only traveler at the hostel, everyone else was living here. When I was in Spain the official government policy was for the young people to leave and go work in another country. Many took the advice, the hostel was filled with people mostly from Spain and France. I met a Spanish kid, 26 years old (I’m 60), who had a dish washing job and was super happy about it. I hope people appreciate what they have. The European youth unemployment is high, that makes the U.K. an attractive destination, for young people trying to find their way. The UK set a limit of 120,00 immigrants a year, instead 330,000 moved in.
BRISTOL PHOTOS FROM MY FIRST COUPLE DAYS
After making all my reservations, plane, hotel, trains I needed a ticket for Courtney Barnett, sold out! I had to buy an online scalper ticket, I hate those guys, but thanks. The British Parliament was debating bombing Syria while I was in the U.K. The first night in Bristol there was a demonstration against the war.
I prefer to travel using my bicycle, but not in the winter. I think winter travel is some of the best travel when using public transportation to get around. There are no lines anywhere: restaurants, museums, tourist attractions and most accommodation is discounted too. I just bring my warm clothes and rent a bike as the weather permits. The Bristol bike rentals weren’t operating, (a bad thing about winter travel) so my only option was an E-Bike-I was in Heaven. I love the E-bike.
I first rode to the CLIFTON SUSPENSION BRIDGE which opened in 1864. It was straight up hill, no problem, I gotta E-Bike. Then to the train station and the start of the bike path to Bath, (the city!). At the train station was a mobile bike repair van/shop, drop off your bike on the way to work and pick it up on the way home, great business model.
BRISTOL to BATH BIKE PATH
The 11 mile path to Bath was great, no cars, none. There were bridges whenever there was a road crossing. The English Ivy is winning, it’s everywhere. I needed more time in Bath, I tried to get the bike rental shop guy to open sooner than 10, nope.
I walked around Bristol too, shock. I read where the best fish and chips were, so I walked there. It took me about 45 minutes, I couldn’t wait to sit down and eat, it was only takeaway-no seats. I ate in on a brick wall in front of someones house, it was good and greasy.
There was some good bike stuff going on. There was ROLL FOR THE SOUL CAFE 2 blocks from the Hostel.
BRADLEY WIGGINS FROM THE UK WON THE 2012 TOUR DE FRANCE
Walking around my first night I ran into TEMPLE CYCLE’S Pop-up shop. He had beautifully handcrafted bicycles and accessories. The accessories is what really caught my attention. In Europe you find yourself carrying your bike up stairs to your apartment or at the train station. Be sure to check his website for some cool accessories for your bike.
MEANWHILE BACK IN SLOVENIA
LJUBLJANA is the European Green Capital for 2016. From being a city which was previously dominated by car transport the focus is now on public transport and on pedestrian and cycling networks. Three quarters of the entire territory of Ljubljana are green areas. These areas include contiguous aquatic, forest and agricultural areas.
Ljubljana has implemented numerous urban green measures over the past decade including the planting of more than 2,000 trees, the building of five new parks and revitalization of the embankments of the River Sava. In addition, in 2010 the Slovenian city declared 1,400 ha of the territory as forest of special purpose in being valuable as a CO2 sink. (cut and pasted ;))
Hey America did you see that? Ljubljana recognizes trees are worth more than just money, they help the planet breathe.
Some things here in Slovenia seem bureaucratic, compared to America, but the environmental foresight is something I really respect. We need America to start adopting some things that are done here in Slovenia. No clear-cutting forest only selective harvest. Better for wildlife and water quality. They mow the trees down in America, replant them like corn and spray chemicals to prevent anything else from growing. It poisons nearby streams and people, enough said.
I’m so happy here with Natasa and living in Skofja Loka, Slovenia. I feel like I’ve been re-born.
Thanks for Reading (& commenting)
NEXT: PARIS CRITICAL MASS CLIMATE RIDE, FINALLY WENT TO THE TOP OF THE EIFFEL TOWER, COP21, MADONNA CONCERT, CLIMATE MARCH/PROTEST