Monday, April 15, 2013

A day on the bikes

04/14

After we took the train from Rijeka in Croatia to Ljubljana in Slovenia and a good night of sleep we started our second attempt to bike Slovenia. The weather was much nicer and warmer than before so we could really enjoy the last couple of days on small village road through Slovenia. It is amazing how fast the landscape changes and how many different experiences we have, and how many different impressions we are exposed to during only one day. Yesterday, for example, looked like this. In the morning we woke up in our tent in the middle of the field of Ana and Janez. We met them the night before while we were searching for a campsite in the deep V-shaped Sava river valley. It did not look good for us since the slopes were pretty steep and rocky. We past a couple farms and houses, asked several families, but none of them was willing or offering us to camp in their yards. We think it was mainly an language barrier since people are generally really friendly and open. It was already pretty late as we biked by Ana's and Janez's farm and were lucky that Ana spoke German. We asked for a spot and after a couple minutes of talking they offered us the "holy hill" of their farm.

Campsite on top of the "holy hill"
Legend has it that a priest was preaching from that hill in the 15th century and that the people erected a church in that site later as well. However, before we were able to set up camp, Ana invited us for homemade Kuchen & Apfelsaft. It was delicious and we were chatting with them about their farm, family, our trip and Alaska till dark. In the morning we woke up to mist and temperatures around 0°C. We had coffee on the hill, enjoying the 360°, view, let our tent dry and went to say good bye (but not without Ana offering us a coffee). Once we were really ready to go and really said good bye we biked on this sunny Spring day to Celje, which is an important historical city not only for Slovenia, but also for Europe. The Counts of Celje were apparently as influential and powerful around 1450 as the Habsburger family. We visited their castle, had pizza and beer for dinner in town and slept in the local hostel.

So from sleeping in our tent, to cooking coffee on our camp stove, to rural farm life, to pizza in Slovenia's third largest city, to sleeping in a bed in Slovenia's hostel of the year 2011 - we had it all in just one day! Let's see what today will bring.

Castle in Celje


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