Wednesday, 22 July 2009

Eastern Slovenia

Sunday 19 July: Bus to Lubijana then train to historic town of Ptuj (pronounced pit-two-ee, like a bird call) on the river Drava with hill-top castle once owned by the Leslie family of Aberdeenshire. Local wine mostly very drinkable Halzone whites and some reds. Tuesday 21: train day return to Sempeter Roman necropolis and Celije Castle, the largest fortress in Slovenia. Pictures under Ptuj.
Slovenia summary:
Or an introduction, depends which way you look at it:
Water: Drinkable throughout the country.

Drinks: Wine - good local reds, Teran, Refosk, Merlot and Malvazija white, most from the Karst south particularly Vipava Valley and also Halzone whites from the east. Beer - Lasko Zlatorog with the mountain goat logo is good. Tea - wide selection of delicious fruit and herb teas. If English tea is your bag, bring your own. Coffee good in bars and restaurants but awful at hotel breakfasts.
Toilets: Upright, clean and free at stations, shopping centres, places to visit, large stores etc (M=Male, Ž=female but most have graphic).
Euro (currently £1 = €1.12).
Language: Most Slovenians speak English. č is pronounced ch as in church, š is pronounced sh as in shower ž is pronounced sh as in sure and j is pronounced ye as in yes. Dobber Dan is hi/hello/good day, Wahla (as in the French 'there you are' when presenting something) is thank you, prosim is please and no problem is just that.
TICs: Helpful and enthuiastic with free local town maps, most with free or cheap internet access. Will book accommodation for you.
Accommodation: Bed with
breakfast (bread, cheese, ham, preserves, fruit tea) is the norm.
Food: Good variety of local and international dishes
and, of course, pizza.
Supermarkets: Everywhere, Mercator mostly but also large Spar and Aldi on outskirts of town.
Transport: Trains are comfortable and cheaper than equally reliable buses. Return tickets are the same price as two singles. Access train timetables
and bus timetables online.
Medical: Health Centres, in most towns, will treat visitors.

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