I had 4 nights planned for Slovenia, arriving Wednesday afternoon. I decided to spend all of them in Ljubljna and take a couple of day trips to Postojna caves and to Lake Bled.

It was significantly cheaper and quicker to get to Ljubljana from Graz by Flixbus. This was actually OK, but I don’t think I’d want to do a very long journey on it. The views were lovely, and the motorway cut through deep valleys and had several long tunnels.

The city itself was lovely, and not somewhere I’d have thought about going without the recommendation of my Hungarian friends. I went to the caves at Postojna on Thursday as the forecast was for rain. This turned out to be (very) true, as the day ended with a huge thunderstorm, with hailstones the size of (small) ice cubes. There were broken tiles on the street the next day. Glad I wasn’t camping for that.

On Friday I took a day trip to Lake Bled, which left Saturday to explore the city.

The city is pretty small, and very walkable. The hostel owner had also recommended their city bike hire scheme, which gives unlimited <1 hour hires from docking stations for 1 Euro for a week (or 3 Euro for a year). This worked pretty well, though there were a couple of times the docking station was either all full or all empty, and I did get a couple of bikes where the lights didn’t work. It was easy enough to swap for another bike though. As the hostel was the other side of town from the bus and railway station, these proved very useful.

On Saturday I checked out a couple of museums. First it was off to the Slovenian Railway Museum. This was mostly about steam trains and signalling. Most of the labels were bilingual, but there wasn’t much information on the exhibits (in either language). The main museum is in an old roundhouse, and many of the exhibits are still used on special trips

In the afternoon I went to the Museum of Contemporary Art Metelkova (+MSUM). A large part of my motivation for going was that it was quite cheap, and had air conditioning. I was perhaps feeling a little bruised from Graz’s modern art, but actually really liked most of it.

Metelkova is a (semi) autonomous area of the city on the site of an old Yugoslav army barracks. It was quite interesting to walk though. One of my room mates from the first night at the hostel had recently been to Christiania in Copenhagen, and days it reminded him of that. I remember visiting there when I did study abroad in Sweden. I later worked out that he wasn’t even born when I went 😱. It reminded me of it too.

The difference between the “clinical” setting of the gallery and metelkova was quite stark. The gallery’s building is in one of those modern generic public (but probably not really) spaces like millennium Square in Bristol.

Leaving for the station this morning, they were setting up a Sunday market. Went past this stall with an eclectic collection of instruments and… knives. I was tempted to ask for a go on the melodeons, but thought the neighbours might not appreciate it at 8:15

Finally… Not quite a vending machine, but whoever gives this claw machine at the station a go is clearly an optimist: