We can be students if you want us to be.....

Trip Start Aug 09, 2004
Trip End Oct 08, 2004

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Saturday, September 4, 2004

Zagreb, Ljubljana, Lake Bled, Bohinjsko Jezero, Koper, Piran

04/09/04 - 09/09/04

Before getting into Slovenia there was a quick stop off in Croatia's capital of Zagreb. Another incredibly slow train ride which took about 7 hours. We could have run faster than this thing moved. Zagreb was a beautiful city and you can see all the money that is being pumped into the country now that it is a hot spot for tourists. After spending the day in Zagreb we jumped on another train this time to Ljubljana - we seem to be on the trains a lot at the moment. Because we didn't leave Zagreb till late in the afternoon we didn't get into Ljubljana till quite late as well which we found out to be a huge mistake - actually it was a huge mistake not booking accommodation. The most common phrase that we came across that night was "We're full - all Ljubljana booked out" which was not much helped to us and to any of the other many people that we ran into looking for accommodation. We were going to hop on another train out of town (after 11pm) to get accommodation but just before we left I went back to one of the hotels to check once more whether they had anything. This time there was another guy on the door who was a little more helpful and kind enough to give us a room. He was even going to give us the student rate. It was a huge relief after spending 3 or so hours looking for somewhere. We were even luckier enough to get breakfast included in the price but not too sure as to the quality of the food or drink, the funniest comment that I heard was some guy saying, "well it said that it was coffee".
Ljubljana is yet another beautiful city - there seems to be a surplus of them on this trip - but seriously has to do something about it's lack of accommodation. The old city runs along either side of a river and up behind on a hill sits a castle. When we were paying for our entrance fee the guy asked us if we were students (which we got a lot) and I hesitantly said "no". But then I said that we could be students if he wanted us to be - he gave us a discount - think that we will try this more often, has been successful so far.
That afternoon we were on the go again (non-stop fun I know) to Lake Bled, a little north of Ljubljana. This area is up in the mountains, so lots of hiking in the summer and skiing in the winter. Lake Bled was so beautiful and peaceful - with the only island in Slovenia sitting in the middle of the lake, with a little church on it and a castle up on a hill overlooking the lake - very fairytale'ish. Supposedly if you ring the bell in the church and make a wish it is suppose to come true. We'll see. The bell was ringing constantly through the day. We hired a row boat and I rowed us out to the island to make our wishes - you can't go against the grain. From Lake Bled we did a day trip to Bohinjsko Jezero (Lake Bohinj, a glacial lake). Yet another beautiful lake up in the mountains. Even had a quick dip but will emphasize "quick" as it was so bloody cold. We also walked to this much visited waterfall ("Savica waterfall") but after climbing about 500 steps we came to a gate where you had to view the waterfall from and this was about 100 or so metres away - a bit disappointing. We also took a funicular up one of the mountains for the most amazing view of the valley and lake.
From Lake Bled we headed down south to Koper, just above the Croatian border. We were only going to stay one night here so that we could get a look at Piran and then head into Croatia. Lucky we were only staying one night - it was the last stop on the train and a real ugly one as well. You could say that it had been beaten by the ugly stick a few too many times. However, Piran on the other hand was a beautiful little seaside town.
From Koper we literally ran (with our backpacks on) to catch a train to Rijeka (Croatia). Think that my shoulders were about to fall off - we have so many close calls with catching trains and buses, one day we have to miss one.
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