Friday, April 4, 2008
A long day . . . so far. And still going . . . .
I didn't sleep last night. I dozed off for a few minutes here and there. I was really worried about not waking up for my taxi ride to the airport at 4 am. So I pretty much just stayed awake all night. And then, at 3:30 am or so I double checked my itinerary on my email and realized my flight was at 5:05 and not 6:30 or whatever I thought it was. The taxi driver was right on time though and we got to the airport by 4:30. I was watching his meter click off the cost in Macedonian Dinars. It was up to 1700 or so as we pulled into the airport (about $45.00). As I was pulling the money out he pushed a button and it jumped to over 6000 Dinar ($150.00). He said that was the "total". Needless to say, we had words. I think he ended up with about $80.00...still probably $30-$50.00 more than he should have gotten.
Arrived in Slovenia at 7:15ish am. My guidebook said there were busses to and from the city but I let a taxi driver nab me again. It cost about $60.00 to get into the city...probably double what it should have cost. We'll call it "the american tax".
He wanted to pick me up to bring me back to the airport but I ditched him and figured out which bus to take...it cost about $7.00! You'd think I'd know better by now.
To top it all off, I ended up getting back to the airport like 4 hours too early. I thought my plane to Ukraine left at 3 and it leaves at 6 almost. Oh well. At least I get to update the blog and my facebook pictures.
The Capital of Slovenia is Ljubljana (Lyoobli ahna). It is the smallest Capital in Europe. It's also the greenest. So far in my limited experience I'd say Vienna is the only city I've been to that's prettier. It is stunning here. You can see snow capped Julian Alps to the north. There are trees and parks and daffodils everywhere. The architecture is wonderfully European. Most of it dating to the middle ages and after. Unlike the other cities I've seen so far on this trip, there is very little Ottoman/Muslim influence. It really makes a difference in the look of the city.
It's very clean. It's just beautiful. The Ski resorts are an hour away. Their are Medieval Castles throughout the land. The hiking is supposed to be amazing in the summer. Lots of people speak English. Yeah, I want to come back here.