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Published: September 21st 2019
We used Saturday morning to plan the final weeks of our trip. We've decided to base ourselves in Split for ten days and take day trips or perhaps an overnight to an island. We will take a bus to Dubrovnik on the 8th and fly to Venice, where we overnight and fly to Boston very early the next morning.
When we got tired of looking at airbnb possibilities in Split, we headed out to get bikes again, and ride to the Botanical garden. "Established in 1810, the Ljubljana Botanical Garden is Slovenia's oldest cultural, scientific and educational institution operating uninterruptedly since its foundation. The Garden contains more than 4,500 different species and subspecies. One third of them are endemic to Slovenia, while the rest originate from other parts of Europe and other continents." My favorite parts were the display on von Humboldt, the amazing botanist and explorer, who documented human caused climate change in the early 1800s, and the bee house. While we were looking at the bee house, the two men nearby (who were doing something intriguing with sketches and a computer and were on bikes), spoke with us. The older one suddenly counted the "jewels" in my earring
and said it was lucky number!
We rode back across the river, and sat in the warm sun, while planning our next stop. We decided to visit a church that had unusual architecture, then hang out in a cafe and people watch. There was a an electric/hybrid car show by the church, and a kids' push bike race!
We found a cafe along the river and sat for a lazy hour, and then headed for the skyscraper of Ljubljana. "Built in 1933 to designs by Vladimir Šubic, the Skyscraper was the tallest building on the Balkans and the ninth tallest building in Europe at the time of its construction. The slightly above 70-metre high Skyscraper was built on the model of American skyscrapers and equipped with several technical novelties of the time, including fast lifts, air conditioning and fuel oil central heating."
On the 12th floor, there is a terrace where we had a drink/coffee and looked at the lovely city one more time. We rode bikes home, and got ready to start packing and cleaning. tomorrow we rent a car and drive into the mountains north of here for a two day stay in National Park
cabin. Then we will come back to Ljubljana, return the car, and catch a bus the Zagreb, Croatia!
Ljubljana was even better than all the hype we had heard in the past few years! Everyone had mentioned how relaxed it is, and that's so true. An example is biking through the crowds near the center. There are no cars allowed, but hordes of people: tour groups, gawking tourists, kids, families with strollers, dogs on leashes, scooters, and bikes. Yet without signage/rules as to who uses what part of the streets and squares, no one is run over, no one yells at anyone, and everyone gets to where they are going.
The city has a strong green ethic. At the events like yesterday's Open Kitchen, kids with T-shirts that said in English "I keep this place clean. What's Your Superpower?" were picking up what little trash people left, and a young woman was sitting by the recycle bins, making sure you knew where each item went. The historic center was closed to cars in 2011. The city bike program is easy and efficiently run, with no bikes left around. (Why Seattle couldn't manage theirs is a mystery). Most roads
have bike lanes, and bikes share the sidewalks when needed with no issues. Everyone was pleasant and friendly, even the girls in the Vigo ice cream shop, who had to serve hundreds of people a day, made eye contact and smiled!
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