Slovenia: Part IV

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Why is pink not an okay color for a building in the U.S?

Saturday the three of us drove to the town of Ptuj (pronounced pe-tu-ie), where Sanja’s mom, Silva and her partner, Matjaz live.   Ptuj is the oldest town in Slovenia, believed to be settled in the Stone Age. 

We walked the streets of the town, we went up to the Ptuj Castle, and then we ate gelato.  It was really fun chatting with Silva and Matjaz, and they were excellent hosts.  I really appreciated them spending a Saturday morning with me.  I took so many pictures, and I learned so much, but I’ll save some of those photos and trivia bits for when I write a travel book.  

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Ptuj from the Castle.

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I have no idea what these are called, but they are like carriages that are carried by men, so that rich and fancy ladies don’t have to get their boots and skirts muddy in the streets.

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The town tower. Probably older than anything in America by a few hundred years.

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I wonder if these were a structural afterthought, when people started noticing that the buildings were leaning toward each other.

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Town Hall. (Flowers + window boxes = Love.)

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The library.

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Dominican Monastery

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The Drava river, which I learned is a tributary of the Danube.

After our tour of the city, we drove to a couple spots outside the city. One was an ancient Roman temple, but we had to peak through windows because it wasn’t open.  The other was the Church of St. Mary.  It was up on a hill, and there was a stone pathway leading up to the church. Along the pathway there were stone monuments with miniature sculptures depicting moments from the life of Christ.  The inscriptions were in Slovenian but Sanja translated each one for me.  It was really beautiful, and I was really moved by the concept; as you approach the church you feel yourself being drawn closer and closer to the Savior.
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Four really wonderful people.

After we parted ways with Silva and Matjaz we drove up to the mountain’s to Saso’s parent’s cabin.  We stopped at a grocery store and bought some food that Sanja and Saso grilled.  I think I’m doing cooking all wrong because when I watched Sanja make that meal she made it look so easy.  And it was delicious.  Saso grilled sausages, and they were really good and then we had roasted potatoes, grilled zucchini and peppers, and a salad. A European salad that is, which consists of more vegetables and less dressing. (Oil & vinegar do the trick.) 

We were going to stay the night at the cabin but it was stormy and rainy so we couldn’t enjoy the great outdoors.  We drove back to Celja and watched the Lord of The Rings because I’ve never seen any of them, and they are Sanja’s favorite. 

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The view from the cabin patio, where we ate our dinner and discussed the world’s problems.

Sunday we had a few hours before we had to drive back to Trieste for me to catch my flight, so we went to Ljubljana, the capital of Slovenia.  (Pronounced Lu-blee-ana. I think.)  The sun was shining, there were people out and about, lots of street musicians and flea markets.  It is a really beautiful city.  
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The castle. Every city has a castle.

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More bright colors.

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I loved the way he was tapping his toes along with the music.

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Ljubljana from the castle.

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Part of the castle wall.

Ljubljana was the perfect finishing note to my visit in Slovenia.  It was full of European charm but not nearly as crowded as major European cities.  Slovenia almost feels like this amazing European secret.  

Saso and Sanja drove me back to Trieste where I waited for my flight home. I was excited to see Richard and the kids again, but I felt completely satisfied.  

I’ve typed a concluding paragraph to sum up my holiday in Slovenia at least four times and they all sound trite. So I’ll leave it at this- it was an amazing, well-rounded vacation and I’ll never forget it.  

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