Leaving the EU

Posted by on 10, May 2010 in 2010 - The Caucasus, Europe, Slovenia

Leaving the EU

IMG00025-20100507-1509After the successful catendectomy we drove on to Ljubliana and for someones benefit I feel obliged to point out it is the capital of Slovenia not Estonia! No names but you know who you are Ali.

Crossing the border we began to lose the German Motorhomes (not that they were following us or anything) and we weren’t surprised when we arrived at the campsite to be joined by a young British couple. We were however surprised when another British couple turned up in there caravan – they must have been at least in their 70’s. That made 4 brits on a campsite, we haven’t seen that many Brits on a campsite since Luxor, well, not outside the UK.

Ljubliana is a gem. We cycled in from the camp on dedicated cycle paths with the right of way over cars and arrived in the middle of a festival celebrating the countries of the EU being held by schools. There was singing, stalls with food from each country (except the UK – presumably because they didn’t know how to cook Chicken tikka Masala) models of famous features and a great atmosphere too. All of this being held on the river bank right in the centre of the city.

Much of the centre is still being renovated and it is in places a bit of a building site. But the finished areas are wonderful, large grand colourful central european buildings built in the 18th century looking over street cafes and cobbled pedestrian streets. It is a mini Budapest and in many ways much nicer. It is a small city so has a compact centre and retains a charm and quaintness that larger cities do not. We loved it and plan to return when it is finished.

The caves at Postojnska were our next stop. Jon said he’d never seen anything like them – at least till his brother phoned later that night to say he had been to them too – with Jon and their parents when they were at school. They really are spectacular especially seeing as you have to take a little train into the mountain to see the best bits. The train weaves through tunnels and in and out of small caves beautifully lit filled with Stalagmites and Stalagtites. It fare races along and feels almost like you are in an Indiana film, especially as there are two tracks side by side that often split and take different paths and tunnels.

As we left the EU and crossed the bridge into Croatia the budding prosperity of Slovenia was replaced by roads that were a patchwork repairs from the last 20 years, houses in desperate need to renovation and tin roofs. The bridge into Croatia looked as if no one knew who owned it and would eventually fall down because no one was prepared to repair it. It us amazing the difference 10 metres of bridge and the words “Welcome to the EU” can make to a countries prosperity and in turn to an individuals life. It really is as simple as one side of the river you were in Oxfordshire and the other side the third world.

The road to our campsite at Karlovac was tiny. Taffy had no room either side in patches and we couldn’t see road at all in the mirrors underneath us. Eventually it widened to our relief, which was short lived as we viewed the pontoon bridge. Crossing it was fun linda was hanging on to the door and the car behind waited until we were nearly off before following!

So Zagreb next.

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