oh perfect. your plans worked. you saved the trip to the coast for your last full day, crossing your fingers the entire time that it would be nothing but blue skies. and your hopes came true. a cold and wet bled was worth it for the sunny adventure you’re about to experience. your first destination today is seča.
everything gets better and better.
the weather is stunning
and here, you smell it, feel it, hear it, see it – the ocean. salt. water. for a girl who lives normally five hours away from a gulf that isn’t pretty even without oil spills, visits to oceans and seas are always treasured.
you’d hear the sound of shovels digging. mini wooden trains rolling along the track. special sandals walking around delicately.
that’s right, you’d hear salt being harvested.
you’re at sečovlje salina nature park. a wildlife preserve to over 250 species of birds. salt pans that are over 700 years old. a salt park where salt is still gathered traditionally by hand. no giant machinery here. just techniques passed down person to person over many years.
you finish up here. and start walking… to the next town.
slovenia may be small, but their public transportation is not that nice. the buses run infrequently, so you’re better off just walking from town to town sometimes. but you don’t mind, since it means you get to see more. you do make a mental note that perhaps traveling with a bicycle next time is not such a bad idea. anyway, your next stop is portorož.
you arrive in portorož. finally. starving, you buy lunch: meat, cheese, bread, and tomatoes. perfect. you walk around a bit… but then you spot a bus. which can take you to the next town, piran. you decide it’s better to catch the bus now rather than later because who knows when the next one will be. you barely saw portorož, but oh well…
you arrive in piran. you give yourself no more than three hours to explore before you catch the next bus. it’s an absolutely beautiful medieval city. you almost forget that you’re not in italy because so much of it resembles it’s neighbor. it’s almost like visiting italy, but without the italians.
the salt makes a come back, this time in a retail store. it’s something they are very proud of. and whosever’s idea it was to put sky-blue couches outside… genius. you would have sat, but you have to rush to catch the bus to the next town, koper.
just a small interruption to show you a map because i’m pretty sure not many people are familiar with slovenia’s geography. and a map always helps clear it up. from ljubljana, i travelled to the area that is circled.
and i had to visit 4 cities in one very short day. i had to. no choice, because the important thing for me to visit was the salt park. which is the x at the very bottom. but the only place that that a train back to ljubljana was from koper, at the x at the top right corner. and there was no direct way to get to it from the salt park. the only way to get to that city to catch my train back to ljubljana was to travel between 4 (!) cities. so while this isn’t my normal way of traveling of see, run, see, run, see, run, i didn’t have a choice if i wanted to visit the salt park.
back to ljubljana. for your 8 am flight to zurich, then to paris, then finally, back to evreux.
the next day…
a volcano blew up in iceland and so everything went down the drain.
ah-hah! notebook to the rescue. it’s a buckwheat cake with cottage cheese, sour cream, eggs, cornmeal, and salt. it’s called hajdinksa pogača and it’s from trzin.
memories of taste are forever. memories of words… easily forgotten.
and with a stroke of luck, you do make it back to evreux, about 24 hours later. it involved a very crammed 8 hour train ride to munich. and then a 8 hour drive in a smart car that began at midnight from munich to paris. and then another hour train ride from paris to evreux. and then a walk from the gare to your place. and then you are so glad to be back in a place you like to call home.