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Travelling to Ljubljana in Slovenia – Day 58
Sunday 27th September 2009 – Slovenia
Today I was off to Slovenia, and was leaving behind a place I liked very much in Slovakia. As it turns out though, today I would not be travelling alone…
I awoke this morning having had an absolute nightmare of a night. It turns out I am sharing my bed with a nest of bed bugs, or at least I think I am. During the night I could feel the itching, and I even squashed a bug against my ear in the dark. I tried to see with my torch what it was, but couldn’t make it out. The previous day I found some bites on me, but thought they were mosquito bites, and I think some of them are, but there were other marks that were much bigger than that. I remember from travelling in New Zealand when I had a few bites one night, I think they are similar marks to that.
I had a shower and surveyed my body in the mirror. To my horror, numerous blotches covered a very large proportion of my body, and I itched from head to toe. I couldn’t let anybody see me like this.
I ended up outside the breakfast room, waiting for the staff to lay out the food, while covering my bites/marks with an insect bite cream. This made it even more irritating, but I hoped it would be doing some good.
The food was laid before me and I had some cereal, with milk that tasted as though it was old, yet again. After which I checked out and walked to the station to begin a long day of train travel.
My first train was at 9am, and I boarded without any hassle. It was only an hour journey, so we were at Vienna train station before too long. From here it was a little walk to another platform where I boarded my second train to Villach. This journey was much longer, over 4 hours in fact, and it didn’t help the fact that it was late in arriving at the station in Villach. The journey was nice though, the leading train escorting its carriages through a nice blend of mountains, lakes and open plains. As we passed a river midway through Austria, even from the train window I could see how crystal clear the water was. I almost wanted to drink some, but that would be silly. Rolling hills and sweeping valleys opened the way to Villach, where we finally arrived, almost 20 minutes late, and I had a connecting train that was suppose to leave 15 minutes ago. Luckily for me, and a group of others from this and one other train, the connecting train was still waiting in the station for us. It was a mild relief, even though I knew it wouldn’t go without us, though I have heard some horror stories of connecting trains not waiting. I’ve been pretty lucky in this respect so far this trip.
The final part of the journey was about an hour and 30 minutes in length, and I spent a lot of it nodding off with a nice little pillow that mum had bought me before I left. The sights were still notably pretty as the train meandered through the hills and tunnels, and across sweeping valleys.
The final train trip would take me to Ljubljana, in Slovenia. The train arrived at almost 5pm, making this an 8 hour trip altogether. I wouldn’t normally mind as the scenery was pretty spectacular, but I was tired, and had a horribly itchy body.
Upon arrival, I made my usual stops at the info place and the ticket office. I sorted out my directions with a very helpful guy at the desk, and got my tickets for Croatia in 2 days time, as well as a trip tomorrow to the caves. All people here speak exceptionally good English, and are more than willing to help. The information guy even seemed sad when myself and a couple of other people left the office, asking us if we had any other questions in a slightly pleading manor.
I was very bad I must admit afterwards, because I made straight for the McDonald’s again, not wanting the hassle of finding food this evening on a Sunday.
The walk was fairly short to the hostel, and the reception very friendly, and I was soon popping my bag down in the dorm of 8 beds. Shortly after, I gathered my shoulder bag and headed for the 24 hour supermarket. I had a chance to take in some of the sights around the city on the way, and it looks quite pretty in parts. I bought some fruit, and trudged back to the hostel where I sat in the common area on the free WI-FI for a while. I didn’t kill as much time as I hoped though, and made plans to amble about for an hour or two this evening out on the streets to soak up some night life. I wondered if I might pass on my bed bugs 🙁 Maybe they are fleas, I hope not!
A walk around the city in the evening revealed many sights of interest. Everything looks so much different in the dark. The bridges across the river were lit up in a green light, and restaurants that line the sides of the rivers, all busy with hungry customers, dealt out an array of varying aromas. Tables had scented candles on them, that brought a wonderful surprise to my nose as I walked by. Some restaurants had tables halfway down the side of the river wall on a platform. The ambiance accompanying these tables was a warm red. It all looked very beautiful, as even the buildings were lit up. One restaurant even had musicians playing to backing tracks while people ate. It was very atmospheric.
I walked a little way in all directions as I usually do, and saw a few places I would revisit in the day time, and as I walked, I noticed how many spiders there were everywhere. Along the bridge and the sides of the river, and in all the fences were hundreds of webs, all with a spider sat in the middle. Some places even had 2 or 3 webs occupying the same space. I don’t know how the spiders would manage to get any food. Maybe they eat each other. They seemed to do OK though as they are all very big. Something for me to think about tonight while I’m sleeping. After all, what could be better than a bed shared with bed bugs and spiders?
My walk eventually led me back to the hostel where I saw out the remaining time before bed. I was still very itchy, and wondered what to do about my probably infested clothes.
Written by Daniel Stevens,
Founder of Roundtheworldtrip.org.
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