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August 2014

Part 1: From Greece to Slovenia

It's not hard to convince people like me about a trip especially when it's gonna be done on 2 wheels but the "official" excuse for this one was to reunite with friends I haven't seen for quite a while. Well, I won't promise you all reunions went as planned but I can vouch for the stories that will follow. Besides... when people make plans God laughs :).

(If there's one anyway).

On a hot late August day I rιde all the way from the South East end of Attiki region up to the port of Patra (Greece) in order to take the ferry up to Trieste (Italy).

Here's my loaded trusty donkey waiting to enter that long ferry in the back:

Arriving early enough I was able to find a good spot for my tent:

Best way to pitch a tent on a ferry? Neodymium magnets from a hard disk:

The ferry generously offers me awful impressions. The lack of enough toilets and trash bins was beyond imagination. Needless to review the rip off at the restaurant for portions designed for sparrows. The drop of service from ferry companies over the last years is hard to comment. The view of the calm sea as we reached the port of Igoumenitsa (Greece) next morning fortunately is quite the opposite:

The view of the sun before diving in the sea somewhere in the middle of the Adriatic sea is not bad either:

Last but definitely not least, the sunset:

Day 3 on the ferry and as we reached the port of Ravenna the weather is already much more miserable. Cloudy 'n rainy it doesn't allow much space for pictures and any joy in general. After 45 hours we finally arrive at Trieste in very questionable weather conditions. I make my way up to Ljubljana via Postojna on a very nice route riding literally and luckily in between dry gaps of rainy weather for most of the part. I risk not to delay for a stop to wear my rain gear and this proved to be a golden decision cause as soon as I arrive at my AirBnB where my host leads me to the garage to park my bike it started to rain dogs and cats. Couldn't be luckier. His mum definitely could be luckier though. I met her upstairs at their nice apartment where I had rented a room. She had just lost her husband and was now trying to continue life living with her son who...ehm...I wouldn't rush to judge someone who lost his father so recently but... Besides, mine was recently gone too. Been there. I tell her about my loss in an attempt to find common consoling ground. Such a lovely hospitable woman and so was her spacious apartment from which next morning I can practice my favourite hobby: observing people going to their early morning commitments.

I finish my breakfast and the son invites me to the top of the building for a much promising view. Of course I can't deny it but I never knew there could be different elevators for the odd and straight floors till I saw this:

The view from the top speaks for itself:

I later take the chance to walk a LOT around Slovenia's capital under fantastic weather conditions. I soon find myself walking in the lovely Jakopic Promenade park:

As you see it's great venue for open air gigs:

In the park two girls promoting Herbalife stop me proposing me to measure my fat. Since I have not much of fat to measure I was intrigued to see what their device would read so...:

The "fat specialist" says my numbers are fantastic and insists in having a picture with me:

Ljubljana already feels fantastic and how else could it be with buildings like the SNG Opera Ballet:

Lovely kids around this sweet miniature of the city:

A stop at Preseren square gives you the chance to enjoy all these wonderful buildings around:

You liked that bridge above? It's called "triple" for a reason:

And gives you a view like this:

Want more bridges? "Butchers" on the left, "Cobblers" on the right:

Walking in the heart of the city is such a joy with these adorable old buildings. Have a look:

Robba fountain has a tough competition but still stands out:

A walk up to the castle of Ljubljana pays back big time with its view:

And its looks:

Words of wisdom in the castle's toilets:

Here's the castle's miniature with instructions for the blind:

An open and a close prison cell:

Downtown again, this time at the emblematic dragon bridge:

You see that green dragon on the right? That's where one of the best ice creams ever waits for you.

Muffin chocolate:

Fancy watching shoes in the air? Some Slovenians do:

One of the smartest touches on an otherwise indifferent contemporary building:

My host's son offers to guide me around Metelkova, his favourite area. Interesting to see the Slovenian equivalent of Exarcheia in Athens:

At some point he had the (feel free to comment) idea of climbing on a rooftop:

Shortly after he thinks it's a great idea (feel free to comment this too) to start banging those metal sheets of the roof top:

Fortunately a lady came out of that window on the right and manages to convince him for a quieter behaviour. He decides to become a bit more low key after enough attention attracted and noise produced. That lady by the way is the one who has done a large portion of the graffiti around this area.

As I finish walking the city Ljubljana takes a very well deserved place in my heart forever. Relatively small but super beautiful, this capital is easily among the best ones in Europe. Cuteness is widely spread around the historic center that's why I keep recommending a visit without second thoughts.

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