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Supporting appealmobile on his world travels

Monday, 27 June 2011

Slovenia, (Doris, Lhubor, Vlasta, Alicia and Branco)

Each stage presents a theme for the problems ahead.
The moment I got to airport security I realised the theme of this section was going to be lost items. My phone was no longer with me.
I knew then I was going to have problems with missing or lost items.
Sure enough it happened. I arrived at Treviso where I collected my bike from the wonderful car sales by the airport. It was roasting and I was eager to get going and get the cool air round my body.
A couple of hours was all I was prepared to ride and I stopped at a delightful little village called Fiume Stella, 60 kms short of Trieste. It was on a river/canal and was very quiet and idyllic with a couple of bars. I slept after my usual beers in the open near the waterside.

I was off quickly in the morning on what was to be another scorcher and I soon passed through Trieste and over the border into Slovenia. Slovenia doesn't seem to have a helmet law so off it came for the 30 odd kms to the Croatian border, where the theme of missing items would hit me.
I arrived at the check point of what I thought was Croatia, showed my passport and went through. I wasn't sure about the Croatian attitude to helmets so I donned mine till I could see evidence of others riding without. Two kilometres down the road I came up against another check point. My head was scrambling to remember if there was a bit of Sebia poking through to the coast, when I realised I had only been riding an expanse of no-mans land.
I was asked politely for my passport and then my bike documents, which I couldn't find. I cant remember when I had them last but was sure I hadn't removed them from my coat or bag, since the Barcelona section
They were very apologetic as they turned me back.
I arrived back at the Slovenian check point fearing the worse.
"why have they sent you back?" they asked
"Erh I have lost my bike registration"  says I.
A lot of discussion took place amongst themselves and I had visions of existing in No-mans land till new documents arrived.
"have you got a driving license"was the question that followed their dic"Oh yeah" I replied and was into my wallet, when the police official just hurried me through.
I have never felt such relief, as I did then.

Koper Slovenia

I decided to wait for a response from back home to my missing documents and pulled into Koper which I by-passed on the way to Croatia. I was glad I did as at first glance it looks a little bit like a dock side town and nothing much more to it, but I was delighted to find a very homely small port with plenty of space for swimming drinking and eating and a town that is inhabited by the nicest people you could expect to find.
As I said earlier, it was a scorcher of a day, so my first stop was a bar with shade by the market that turned out to be my home and base for the next five days.
I wasn't sure as evening came whether this was an ideal place for stopping wise as I hadn't seen any obvious sleeping places, so set off out of town and up onto the hill behind Koper. Firstly to try and find some breeze and also to find a sleeping situation. I found a bar and was having a couple of beers there and became adopted by an old lady of eighty something who was playing their version of bowls in a covered sport arena behind the bar.
Ever 20 minutes or so she would pop back and have a drink of someones beer before popping back to her game. She was one of those people who still had that sparkle in their eyes, that they had when in their twenties.
I popped up to the arena and realised I had my hotel for the night.
The bottom left corner is the seafront with 3 mtrs of sea to dive into

I returned to my bar by the market in Koper the following morning and as it was my birthday, designated the day to sun swim and beer.
I was enjoying the sun and then too many beers so opted to buy some art materials the following day and do some drawing.
Through that I have met some wonderful people. Hubor and Vlasta amongst many.

We became instant friends and after spending the evening in the bars in Koper I returned to their flat to drink more wine.

It was fortunate for me as one hell of a thunderstorm broke and I was offered a settee for the night.
The following morning I was invited to Zazid which translates to behind the wall.The wall being a tutonic cliff face at the back of Koper. There was a festival which was basically a 6-a-side football tournament between teams from villages around the community in honour of two footballers who had died at a young age some years ago.
The notion of community is lost in England and the comradeship was clearly still in evidence here in Slovenia.
The small shed which was converted to a community centre was adorned by photos of Tito as was Brancos house where I went with Lhubor and Vasta.
Food lamb and roasties done in a wood burning range with a Palenta, which is a corn pudding. Plus copious amounts of the local vino.
There is a hostel up here which is a good base for cyclists walkers or climbers. The day was freezing cold with a strong easterly wind but the tournament went well with the eventual winners being Zazid. The whole tournament was played in a real friendly atmosphere and I was offered the chance to play but the pitch was a little bit too bumpy for me and I declined.
We returned to Koper for the Barcelona show and then collapsed.
The next day was a busy day with all the villages displaying their wines and delicacies for sampling in Koper.
A cruise ship had arrived in port and the town was heaving with the passengers snapping away with their cameras.
I was hoping to leave Koper after the exposition but finished up staying another night. The art work had gone down well and I was commissioned to draw the hotel cafe that Doris ran.
I bought pastels and completed two drawings that went down well. Alicia arrived who is also an artist and I spent the day with all of them at some point.
The most amusing part was the day of the cruise ship which apparently arrived courtesy of Doris who had spoken to the Captain previouslt and invited him to come to their port. Not sure how true that is, but I'll choose to believe it.
During the day I  turned a corner to come acros Branco, the friend of Lhubors from Zazid who cooked all the lamb and roasties.
His comment on meeting me was quite Irish in a way.
"Harry! Like a never ending story." He exhorted
His humour was quite dry and was a man after my own heart as he drank apparently 2 litres of wine a day.
I retreated to my market bed and returned the following morning to Doris's bar to complete two drawings that Doris has promised to foto and e-mail to me. (Come on Doris get your finger out) During the afternoon Lhubor and Branco arrived at the bar and we concluded the day visiting bars I would never have found.
Another quick visit to Doris's the following morning to 'fix' the drawings and without hearing anything about my lost documents, I said farewell to Koper for now and set off in the direction of the mountains of Emile Romagna, with the intention of riding down to Sicily.


1 comment:

Unknown said...

Thanks for sharing ur information......its very interesting to read........

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