Published: November 5th 2009October 29th 2009
We woke up brriiiight and early today.. We had a lot on our list to get done! But first, I needed my coffee!! I went to a cute cafe and asked for a mocha. They looked confused. I told them esspreso+ chocolate and milk = mocha. The put two shots of espresso in my cup and added their "hot chocolate" which was actually melted chocolate bars with milk. Let me tell you, that was the BEST, thickest mocha I have had in my life.
We left the city even before we got to explore it.. which was hard but we were saving the city for the next day. So we got on the bus number 1, took it to the end, got on bus number 8, took it to the end, and got off and walked to the mountain Smarna Gora. In Slovenia, they don't quite have the tourism thing down yet. There were no signs for the popularly hiked mountain, so we just kept on walking up. We went through a quaint residential area on our way up, and finally we found some trails. It was a very misty day, so the trails looked a little spooky. As I
The Alps and I
See the clouds below the mountain?
entered the woods, I took a breath of relief. This was my frist time out of a city area since I got to Europe. It was a much needed break!
On the way up, there were religious icons (little shelters with crosses and crucifixes). The hike was embarrassingly hard for us as old men with their hiking sticks we passing us. A lot of people did this hike as a daily routine. We actually had no idea what to expect when we got to the top, but both of our jaws dropped when we reached the top and were surrounded by snow capped alps. We were above the clouds, so all we could see was mountains. At the top of Smarna Gora was a monestary and St. Mary's chapel which we also did not expect, but it was a nice surprise. We learned later that Smarna gora was the inspiration for many painters and poets. It was also a place of refuge during the time that the Turks were invading, but now its just a fun refreshing recreational and spiritual (for some) hike. At the top, we took a lot of pictures, ate our sandwiches, and just enjoyed being
People sun bathing on Smarna Gora
out of the city.
We went down the mountain a but faster than we climbed it and walked to Tivoli Park, Ljubljana's largest park at five square kilometers (3square miles). This was when Mark tried his first horse burger. He didn't actually believe that it could be horse. All he knew was that he was very hungry. We were in search for Roznick hill which we heard was a nice hike. We asked a couple Slovenian girls where the hill was and they invited us to join them. They were a lot more friendly than the Czechs in Prague.. but I guess I have learned that everyone is. That is when we asked if Mark's burger was indeed made of horse. And to Mark's disappointment, they confirmed the worse, he had indeed eaten horse. They were surprised that Americans didn't eat horse.
At the top of Roznik hill was another church. It was a pretty and red, pretty in red church.. nothing spectacular, but pretty cool because of the view. We parted ways with the Slovenian girls and went back down the mountain. We visited the pond and the play ground, and then we exited the park. On
Hike up Smarna Gora
Found some donkeys on the way.. ohhh uhh hey guys.
our way back to the town square, we found a Serbian Orthodox Church. I have never been in one before, so it was strange to me that there were no pews or seats. Bible stories were portrayed on the walls not through words, but through paintings. We met a Serbian man working at the church and we talked about the differences between Orthodox, Protestants, and Catholics since I am Protestant and Mark is Catholic. I realized that Orthodox doesn't really fit into either Protestant or Catholic.
We went back into the town square and went to the tourist office to get information about Ljubljana's beautiful marshlands. We hopped on the 19, again out of the city to see it. Unfortunately, once again, a lack of signs led to thirty minutes of walking around with our heads chopped off. Finally we found someone who spoke English to point us in the right direction. We were surrounded by corn fields and mountains as the sun was setting. It was very beautiful.
Unfortunately, on the way back we hopped on the 19B instead of the 19, and we ended up right back in the Marshlands to our great dismay (hungry, tired,
dirty). We also were out of change for the bus. I told the conductor our sad story and he let us get on the 19 for free :)
We got back to the hostel, showered, and went to Romeo's Cafe. Everything in the restaurant was red yet it was sheik and classy. We split a taco salad and both got giant salads for our entrees. We were sooo hungry, we ate everything! After dinner, we were going to check out a bar, but we were both so tired from our hiking and walking, that we both passed out around 10.
There are more photos below