Pedaling from the Black Forest to the Yellow Sea
Random header image... Refresh for more!

Day 14 (Slovenia): Ajdovscina - Postojna

today’s distance: 51km
total distance: 1384km
riding time: 3h

Heading out of Ajdovscina, I stopped briefly at B52 - with Tea being there since 6 am. I was off into a pretty ferocious headwind, but knowing that the day would be short, I wasn’t overly concerned for time. Battling the wind and traffic, I finally headed away from the main drag and into a small valley. Needless to say I took the wrong road, with a big dog coming right at me. Arghhhhhh … turned out he was a friendly guy after all. The lady directed me into the right place and eventually the road turned into a steep climb to join the main road. A whopping 22% for a good time - not really funny I should say. It was hard work.

Tea had told me that it would be going uphill, but I wasn’t quite expecting the big climbs. It was all good though in the end and I eventually turned off towards Predjama and its castle. The initial castle was only a wall covering the caves and eventually it was enlarged to this magnificence.

The town has a special meaning … after graduating, Ulrich and I toured this part of Slovenia. We had arrived in this town with a great castle, sleeping under the steeple of the little chapel.

More importantly however, we had been helped by an already old couple at the time (it was 1996) and I wasn’t quite sure whether I would be able to still meet them. Our burner back then hadn’t worked and it being cold, there wasn’t much we could have eaten. Our packaged soups were no good after all. We walked up and found an old couple and asked for some tools. There was really no common language, a bit of Italian on both sides. When fixing the stove didn’t work, the old lady took the packages and started fixing the soups on her stove, went to the garden, picked some cucumbers, made a salad and served the soups and the salad with some bread. Life was good again. They offered a place to stay, but we went back to the church steeple. At night, we wanted to show our appreciation and drop a couple of pasta mixes from our large vault of these items. Going up myself first, I failed miserably as the dog came after me right away. Ulrich, the fast runner that he was then (he’s even faster now, look, he just won the Freiburg Marathon by a big, big margin - congratulations!!! - there are more photos here) made it, dropped the soups and evaded the dogs.

Wandering up the sole street in the village I soon recognized the house on the left with a garden and a dog kennel on the right. Sure enough, there was a middle-aged lady around. I approached her and almost obviously, she spoke only Slovenian - with a bit of Italian. So, I started saying something about a friend of mine and I being here 12 years ago and meeting her parents. Once I mentioned that I was German, she eyed me a bit suspiciously, but as soon as I mentioned soups she was almost in tears. Her parents must have talked about it quite a bit before passing away. Sadly, her mother two years ago and her father seven months ago - it would have been great to meet up. So, I was asked inside - we had some tea and biscuits, I had to tell her what I do, what I am going to do after the trip and so forth. It was really amazing and certainly made my day …

Afterwards, I headed to Postojna, I met up with couchsurfing hosts Gandalf and Sara - two great guys. We took the long walking tour of what the Lonely Planet calls the unremarkable Postojna. Thanks to both for your hospitality!!!

Gandalf and Sara are an example of what new Europe (not the Rumsfeldian distinction - he was wrong I think) is about. He’s Swedish, she is from Slovenia, they met in Prague during their time with the European Volunteer Service, they now live in Slovenia where they are both students. We talked a lot about European identities and the difficulties in “creating” one - my two cents are that this process will take place regardless … open borders certainly are a major plus, but it certainly goes well beyond that.


There are no comments yet...

Kick things off by filling out the form below.

Leave a Comment

* Your email address will not be made public.
* Die Email-Adresse wird nicht veröffentlicht.