Austria to Slovenia

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July 24th 2013
Published: July 24th 2013
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Our last day and night in Austria was in a gorgeous campsite in Ossiach See. This is a very popular area on the banks of the large lake, nicely landscaped, tiered down to the lake with surprising camping rules. Quiet hours with gates closed and no traffic within this huge campground from 1-3 pm and 10pm-8am. We took the scooter into Villach to explore the city, and visit the castle ruin on the hill, Burg Landskron. We had a picnic and headed back to the campground at about 2pm. Guess what? "GATES ARE LOCKED UNTIL 3 AND TURN OFF YOUR MOTOR." Happily there was a break between the uprights that we could access to get in. They really weren't kidding!
We left for Slovenia the next day and drove through the Karawenken Tunnel that connects the two countries Lots of tunnels abound and they avoid all kinds of very steep mountain passes in this mountainous part of the world. Our Austrian Go-Box beeped twice, meaning we were running out of credit to drive Austrian Highways just as we neared the Slovenian border. Although we were informed by one toll-taker that we could pay at each toll booth in Slovenia, we soon found out that a Vignette is not an option. So for the next month we are good to go on highways in Slovenia.
On to Ljubljana, the capital of Slovenia, and the only campground near the city. We planned to stay for 3 days and the best bargain of our trip so far was the Tourist Card that enabled us to access all public transportation, and all of the areas of interest to tourists.
Our first stop when entering a new city is the information center and we were surprised to learn that English is the official second language of the country. Menus, information booklets, directions, videos, museum guides and tours are all available in English and most of the population speak English. We then took a 2 hour walking tour of the city, narrated by a young man who seemed to be a devoted specialist in European history and the place that Slovenia and Ljubljana fit into it from Roman days to the present. At one point the decision had to be made between having Russian or English as the second language of the country and English was chosen. At the end of our tour we discovered that rather than a Historian as we surmised, our guide was a Mechanical Engineer and an avid Canoeist.
For the next several days we had a boat tour around the old part of the city, a funicular ride to the Ljubljana castle that has been restored by and is owned by the city, a train ride thru the city and again up to the castle. We bought from the local Saturday market, ate a a couple of traditional restaurants and photographed the splendor of the old part of a very modern city.
Our campsite was situated in the northern part of the city, along a walking path and a river right on a major bus route. It is frequently used by busloads of young people from France, Serbia, and other adjacent countries. The only downside was that the adjacent hotel was hosting a TECHNO ROCK BAND for a party until midnight, on our second night there. You don't just hear it, you feel it in every cell. When it finally stopped, the quiet was deafening.
We were intrigued by the different styles of tents, pop-up campers, roof top tents and caravans of every size and description.
We are now at a very quiet, wooded campsite in Prebold and the temperature is HOT. At 4 in the afternoon in our MH it is 32 degrees C. (88F) and it's cooler than outside. We now have a large fan and know the true meaning of the need for SIESTA. We've heard rumors of a heat wave, temperatures in the 40s C. (100f) coming thru all of this area that is expected to last for the next week with no rain or break in sight. This may limit our activity and travel to some degree. Stay tuned.
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25th July 2013

Nice blog, but I must correct you in one thing. English is not second official language in Slovenia. Slovene is official language together with Italian and Hungarian where theirs minorities lives. It's true that most students learn English as second language in Schools and also Italian, German and lately Spanish is very popular. Slovenia is small with 2m popultion and everybody speak some foreign language.
25th July 2013

I'm an avid reader of your posts!
Hi Jan & Guy, Your trip looks amazing as usual! Today we're finally having a cool (and rainy) day, but last week during all the heat I easily could have dived into the market in your picture... the melons and veggies look so cool and delicious! What's the deal with all of the locks on the lover's bridge? Happy travels, Monica
27th July 2013

Jan and Guy, Enjoying the pictures and the stories. Whats on the wires of the first picture. Are they birds? Enjoy your trip. Your Friend, Anita

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