March 1, 2010

The Ljubljana dragon - one of 4 on the Dragon Bridge.

I finally made it to Ljubljana this weekend.  Lisa – the Fulbright scholar who’s been here since the fall – organized a get-together.  There are 4 scholars here this semester and another 2 students who have also been here since the fall.  All of them are based in Ljubljana except me.  It was really interesting to hear about their experiences and/or challenges so far.  (One of the other scholars still doesn’t have his residency permit/visa yet!).

The party was a potluck, which presented a bit of a problem for me.  I like to think I generally make a pretty good party guest, but it’s not exactly like I can bake a pie in the “party pan”.  So on Saturday morning I made a few stops on my way to the train station to pick up some bread, sir (cheese), and a bottle of Vina Koper.  (Okay, so while I was at the pekarna, I also picked up a snack for the train – some sort of soft pretzel-like bun with a layer of cheese baked to a crisp.)  You can’t go wrong with bread, cheese and wine, right Amber?

It’s not actually that far to Ljubljana, distance-wise.  Small country and all.  But by train it takes about 2 1/2 hours.  I had a little bit of time in the afternoon after I got there to explore Ljubljana’s old town and climb up to the castle.  Which is a bit of a dangerous proposition since there’s still some lingering snow and ice.  There’s a pretty good view of the city and the mountains in the distance from the top of the clock tower.  I’m sure I’ll be back and will be interested to see how things change once spring comes.

Old Town Ljubljana - the Triple Bridge and Castle Hill

Ljubljanski Grad

Ljubljana from the Clocktower

Lisa has an incredibly spacious flat for a European city and even an extra bedroom, so I crashed there for the night.  After using her tub-shower with the unaffixed shower head, I decided that I haven’t fully appreciated my shower stall up to this point.  I will try to do so from now on.  She was also impressed that I have a clothes dryer, since most people just seem to hang everything out.

We visited the ethnographic museum on Sunday morning (free on the last Sunday of every month).  Oddly enough, there was a rather large exhibit on a 19th century Slovene missionary who traveled in the Sudan that was comprehensively translated in to English, while the exhibit on Slovene culture and identity was entirely in Slovene.  Perhaps they think that such an exhibit would only be of interest to Slovenes.  But it was a bit frustrating for us – that was the part we were interested in.

The latest in food discoveries:  The only cinnamon I could find was a cinnamon-sugar grinder – like a pepper mill with chunks of cinnamon stick and raw sugar.  It’s actually really cool.  I think I’ll get some to bring home with me.  Also, Lisa introduced me to the (nonstop!) mlekomat – an automated dispenser of raw milk.  She says people line up for it in Ljubljana…

Ljubljana's mlekomat

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2 Responses to “”

  1. Carolyn said

    We have some of the same pictures without the snow! I am ready to go back!

  2. Betty Cocklin said

    Let’s see…an automated dispenser of raw milk. Here in Ohio we call that a cow. Funny how the cultural differences surface isn’t it. It all sounds too perfect to be true. The pictures are beautiful; the food keeps sounding better and better; the party pan, not so exciting.

    I am back with time to really enjoy each and every word so I am excited! Keep ’em coming – I’m loving it.

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