24 July 2010

sea. salt. the end of easter vacation, and the return to france.

slovenia62oh 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.

slovenia63you arrive.

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.

slovenia64if only it were summer, because things wouldn’t be so silent.

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.

slovenia65you’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.

slovenia66just like you thought, the walk is worth it. you keep following the coast.

slovenia67you spot a horse. and you can’t resist trying to get close to him to say hello.

slovenia68you 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…

slovenia69you 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.

slovenia70you love admiring boats. you wish you had a good friend with a boat you could give gas money to and borrow. juuuuust wishing.

slovenia71castle time! this time, some of the steepest stairs you’ve ever seen. so steep that with each step you take, your stomach lurches a little bit.

slovenia72obligatory view from a castle. this part never gets old.

slovenia73why hello there. more of the pink and yellow combination that catch your eye.

slovenia74would you believe you weren’t in italy?

slovenia75 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.

lmap 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.

lmap2and 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.

slovenia76koper. you have two hours before your train back to ljubljana, so you don’t see much. you do some major power walking to get a quick glimpse of the city.

slovenia77you may rush, but you still pause every now and then to just look.

slovenia78of course anything pink and yellow will stop you.

slovenia79the train ride back to ljubljana is stunning. but it was a train-bus-train ride because there isn’t a direct train between the two cities… fun fun.

back to ljubljana. for your 8 am flight to zurich, then to paris, then finally, back to evreux.

the next day…

slovenia80wait. 8am flight? you’re still at your host’s place hanging out and it’s 10am. not possible. what went wrong?

a volcano blew up in iceland and so everything went down the drain.

slovenia81you stress. but you take advantage of your extra time in ljubljana, and buy this hmmmm….. you forgot. it’s a specialty from….. hmmmmmm…. you forgot.

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.

slovenia82and you leave your sweet host with a sweet chocolate cake from her favorite place to buy ice cream. if they have good ice cream, they must have good cake, don’t you think?

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.


Rosa's Yummy Yums said...

A great trip back! Your pictures are really expressive...



Lizounette said...

What a lovely adventure!

Jennifer said...

As always you paint the perfect journey in words that I feel like I was there! Beautiful pictures and adventures!!

cathy said...

and your comments always make me happy! more motivated than ever to find a job that will keep me traveling now.