New Euro Adventure
Subj: Tours and Food
Ok — last full day in Ljubljana before I train off to Zabgreb, Croatia.
Last look at all those red roofs outside my hotel window.
I bounce down to the lobby and there’s this little sign for a walking tour startin’ at 10:30.
It’s 10:23. The clerk sez the ticket must be first purchased at the Tourist Info center. Then you meet the guide in front of city hall by the fountain.
I haul butt 5 blocks, get a ticket and make it over to the fountain. All that in seven minutes — try that in LA.
Five minutes from the hotel and I’m there. The biz part of town — all these neat buildings and no billboards or ugly signs… Nothing but interesting old world architecture
I see the crew and check in. Super nice tour guide guy — student, spoke five languages with English admittingly being his worst.
Since the tour was in English, he asked we please correct his mistakes so he can learn — “Americans are always so polite — they never correct me”.
I let him know, it ain’t we’re so polite — we’re just embarrassed as all hell to only speak one language. “Ah!!! Now I understand!!”
Started out at the original city hall, which is still t he city hall. Walked around the place and saw stuff — little of which I remember except at some point the word Turk comes up.
Tour guide keeps talking about “threat of the Turk”. Seems like Turks have invaded every country around here at one time or another.
Being Armenian — I ain’t no fan of “The Turk”. They been screwin’ with people for hundreds of years and the ramifications are still felt. Not sure who they’re screwing with now but the Kurds and Kurds come to mind. Turks — a warring culture to say the least.
On the flip side, you have Slovenia. Any county where the capital city that has a statue of a poet smack in the center of town, is going to be a bit more pacifist, ya think??
Go to the D.C. and I doubt you’ll see any poet statues anywhere. Plenty of war memorials and presidents — maybe that explains our gun toting, wanted dead or alive mentality?? Anyway the poet’s name is France Preseren, Slovenian’s most fav poet.
Tour guide says something about the uproar over the Girl Gone Wild nudie hanging over his head however I wasn’t paying attention.
Tour guide says Slovenia is the land of poets. It’s also the land of accordion players. They are everywhere.
Flying in, the airline magazine has an exposé on the hot new Slovenian accordion players hitting the scene. These aren’t Frankie Yankovich types singing “She’s too fat for me”.
I keep thinking of that Pepsi commercial where a young Jimi Hendrix almost buys an accordion rather than a guitar and how Purple Haze woulda sounded a whole lot different. The poet stuff is ok but the accordion…. It sorta doesn’t work for me.
Tour guide takes us around pointing out the many diff architecture styles of the city. The place had been severely damaged by earthquakes twice and each time the city was tastefully rebuilt. Nice stuff but do they really know what they’re missing by not building mini-malls??
They also built this monument to Napoleon. Why? Cause for the four years the French were here — he allowed the Slovenian language to be taught in schools.
What a novel
Part of why I like it here — all these new identities being forged. They want you to share in it and are happy to help you.
I’m overloading and checkin out this sign for the Kaktus Bar.
Now this is a landmark I’m interested in seeing! It’s cut-outta-the-tour-time for moi and hi-tailin’ over to the KaKyus. Except the place ain’t open!
No matter — there’s a place a few doors down called Spajza and their door is wide open. I wander in and the place looks great — “old world written all over it.
Except the waiter comes out and tells me the place ain’t open either. They’re prepping lunch for a large party of NATO execs and could I please return tonight…
Nice guy, so we chat it up a bit.
He's fascinated with my accent and asks where I am from… “Los Angeles” — Oh, L.A!!
Waiter boy spent a month in Santa Monica and loves Californian’s. He tells me about his girlfriend and how they both have jobs here to save enough money to return to Kal-i-forn-ia… He insists I return tonight for dinner. He will serve me personally.
Sounds good dude however I STILL need a place to for lunch. It’s hot — I NEED FOOD AND REFRESHMENTS!
Travel book list Pri Vitezu as one of the best in L town — I beeline over. It’s just as quaint as the last place AND they’re open. I grab me a corner table & order a Coke to cool down.
From there — it’s a salmon as I’ve never ever had. A mix between Italian and E. Euro cooking. Unique and truly a deee-licious meal.
For the first time on the trip I am relaxed.
Time to kick back — enjoy my fine Slovene wine, reflect on all I’ve seen and done in the past two days. Tonight there’re a bunch of free concerts around town — must check’em out.
In the meantime, I’ll watch this guy in front of me read his paper and think about who he is and what his life must be like.
Tomorrow I head for Zabreg, capital of Croatia.
Here’s to Ljubljana…
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