For our only real day off the bikes this trip we chose Ljubljana, the main city in Slovenia, and winner of the prize for European capital with the most consecutive consonants! This language is really impossible to decipher, so thank goodness so many (young) people speak English and German. Yes, that’s right, we ended up using German as a Plan B, when English didn’t work. I knew those Hogan’s Heroes reruns would come in handy someday…anyway, check this out. It’s a sign at a department store. I think you’ll see what I mean.
Next, some pictures of the town.
And some bikes around town.
By the way, all these pictures were taken within a period of about 20 minutes, I think. I have no clue why, but Ljubljana has a remarkable variety of two-wheel steeds.
I’ve saved the best till last. On our way back to the hotel after dinner we happened upon this curious (and popular) machine.
Turns out it is a milk machine (MLEKO, possibly the only word in Slovenian that I could connect to English). The lady in front of these guys told us that it is refilled at least daily (you can read exactly when on a digital readout) and the milk comes from farms near the city. You just rock up with your empty bottle (like the man in the foreground) and fill ‘er up! If you don’t have a bottle, you can get the same stuff in bottles from the machine next door. Here’s a close-up of the introduction/instructions.
I was really impressed by this for some reason. Look at the machine – spotless. Not one lick of graffiti. If the French ever tried to pop a milk (or maybe bread…?!) machine in the center of town it wouldn’t survive its first night, I am sure. I haven’t seen a phone booth or ATM machine in France that hasn’t been vandalized in some way or another. This was another world altogether.
This is a similar machine nearby, selling other farm products, equally fresh and equally unspoiled.
Don’t blink, we’ll be riding through the rest of the country soon!