How do you spell it again? L-J-U....

Trip Start Mar 31, 2011
Trip End Jul 05, 2011

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Flag of Slovenia  ,
Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Not sure why Slovenia thought it was a good idea to put two silent 'J' letters in the name of their capital. Ljubljana is pronounced "Lubyana" more or less. We met some funny British boys who pronounced the J's. Not quite as beautiful when you saw it that way.
The train to Ljubljana was SO much nicer than the other trains that we have taken in Croatia. It was such a nice relief to have a proper compartment without any strangers strewing their stuff/themselves all over your space. We had to go back through border control to get back in the EU-- it was interesting to go through the border with the Dutch boys. The immigration officers looked through every page of our passports and asked us a bunch of questions, where as the Dutch boys barely even got their picture glanced at before getting their passport back. Ahh, the luxuries of living in the EU. Oh well, nothing could be as bad as the border between Poland and Ukraine. Or Nicaragua and Costa Rica, for that matter. Overall-- very easy border. 

Upon arrival in Ljubljana, we waited for the boys to store their bags in the train station and figure out their night train to Belgrade (Serbia). Turns out that their train didn't leave until 10 PM, so we had the whole day to lounge around and explore Ljubljana. We walked to our hostel to drop off the backpacks then headed down to the main square. The buildings in Slovenia were really different from the architecture Jenna and I have seen so far-- it was much more like the Baltics then anything else. There was a nice pink church in the main square that we took a bunch of pictures of, and the town is situated around a river (also making for nice pics). We popped into a few churches before trekking up a pretty substantial hill to get to the castle. The castle looked pretty cool from the bottom of the hill, but it was definitely anticlimactic from the top. The views were totally stellar though. 
We were completely starving by the time we made it back down the hill, so we went to a little pizza place to feast. The pizza in Slovenia surpasses the pizza in Hungary by a huge margin-- must be because we are so close to Italy! They were also twice the size, so Jenna and I each had half a pizza as leftovers. Those will definitely come in handy later! After depositing our leftovers back at the hostel and picking up a bottle of wine we had been carrying around since Budapest (silly, we know...), we went to a huge park on the outskirts of the Old Town to enjoy the sun. Because we were all tired from the night before, we napped for a while then listened to some tunes. The boys were being pretty silly and dancing around-- luckily I was able to capture some of it on film. They seem to particularly like that ridiculous "Barbra Streisand" techno song by Duck Sauce. Hilarious. 
We walked back around the town at dusk then went back to the hostel for a "pancake party. Pancakes in Europe are actually crepes, and the hostel did a really good job of it. There was a ton of fresh Slovenian wine from one of the receptionist's family's vineyard, and they had some traditional Slovenian schnapps too! It was nice to be able to try the traditional drinks without having to actually buy an entire bottle of it... Then we walked our Dutch friends to the train station and said goodbye for now! I will hopefully see then in Rotterdam in June, and maybe someday for a vacation to the US! 
Jenna and I were pretty tired so we headed back to the hostel to return to the pancake party. There were twice as many people there when we got back, so we socialized and made a bunch of fun friends from Australia and Slovenia! One of the Australian guys (Ryan) staying in our dorm room also had plans to venture out to Lake Bled in the morning, so we decided to combine forces and go together! But more on that later... Nasvidenje for now!
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Mom on

Those Dutch boys look like lots of fun. Are they also recent college graduates? Looks like the weather is holding out for the blue skies are very clear. Lovely photos with wonderful views. Thanks for the details of your exploits. The social life connected to a hostel visit is an added benefit, isn't it?

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