In Ljubljana, arrived by train in the late afternoon from Bled lake, we are welcomed by Nika, a girl I knew two summers ago in Rotterdam, because she was also hosted by the same girls with Couchsurfing. We had met for few hours and two years are gone, but in spyte of everything she welcomes us with a big smile and she hosts us in her home, even if she is coming back from holidays and she arriving at home with us.
Our host’s house is half an hour from the Slovenian capital city, lost in the green mountains in a fairytale landscape. A dinner with watermelon, bread and homemade jam (because for picking us up she had not time for the shopping) goes with an evening of experiences, travel and adventure telling. We feel good with her and her boyfriend Jernei and we experience again the feeling to be at home, even if in another Country. One of the biggest joys, in this torrid august which gave us sleepless nights because of the heat, is to sleep under the blanket for the fresh air gladdening these mountains. The morning sees us ready and charge to leave to the city.
Ljubljana is one of the smallest European capital cities, but it turns out in a real treat. We are immediately touched by the colours, by the freshness and the cheerfulness which sprinkle from every corner. After a short walk in the city market, we lost in the streets of the center, discovering romantic views on Ljubljanica river and singolar attractions, like a fake rain in a square and signals indicating the different weather.
The many small bridges on the river are nice to see and to cross, to change in any moment the perspective: everyone is different and carachteristic, adorned with dragons or divided in three smaller bridges. We have lunch buying in a bakery the typical Burek and delicious local sweets of which we don’t know the name but we appreciate the taste. We drink water from the public fountains, of which the city is full, that in this Country seems to be even better than the bottled one.
In a big park surrounded by museums we walk and we write some postcards, before to climb the hill on which the castle overhang the city. In reality this, inside, is nothing special, but here as in an other garden we are impressed by an itinerant library which allows you to read books sitting on the grass, on strange red pillows and small chairs.
After a stop at the cathedral, we meet in a supermarket two friends from Firenze, our city, who never we could imagine to find here. It is the right occasion to have dinner together trying typical sausages and to spend the evening of this saturday discovering local nightlife. In a bar we find out particular cocktails served in jars for jam and a dainty pistachio dessert.
The evening should end with a night train to Zurich, from where we’ll have to reach France. The train is full and we decide to completely change programme: we take a train at 12am which brings us to Villach, in Austria, to reach in the morning – after 5 hours spent in the station – Munich, in Germany. The beauty of InterRail is also this: for every problem you can find a solution, and maybe you even find out a place which wasn’t in your schedule!
Pictures by Eleonora Burroni
LEGGI QUESTO ARTICOLO IN ITALIANO: Un’avventura su due binari. Tappa 4: Lubiana (Slovenia)