I spent this winter researching potential bike trips and discovered the Drava River Route. It runs from Italy through Austria and ends in Slovenia. The train can be used to start or finish the trip. From Toblacher, Italy, for 400 km along the Drava River, through East Austria to Ptuj in Slovenia. Continue reading
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.
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.
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.
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).
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
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