09 September 2008

Day 8: Kočevje–Ljubljana

I woke up briefly this morning to see pure white outside the windows: the heavy fog of a Slovene morning. For a brief moment I had no idea where I was. Then I remembered I was in Slovenia, but couldn't recall why. Then I went back to sleep and when I woke up I had it all figured out. I think. I am in Slovenia, right? The places you find yourself.

We didn't end up going to Ljubljana for sight-seeing today; Jason and I got put to work for Maja's dad Stane, helping him for a few hours to scrub and varnish tables and chairs for the party on the thirteenth. Stane does a lot of refurbishing of antiques and old pieces, and has re-inovated numerous houses into the resort homes that he now owns, mostly on a Croatian island called Vis.

Before getting to work, Jason, Maja, and I ate at Vila Silajovic, a hundred-year-old house that formerly belonged to a local lord and lay destitute for years. It was recently restored and changed into a five-star hotel and restaurant. Sten picked up some food here to take to the workers at the house where the party is to be held while the rest of us ate. I had Wierner Schnitzel, a good standby food for me in Europe—it's almost always good.

After hours and hours of scrubbing and varnishing wood, we went to have pizza at a local restaurant. As in Bavaria, pizza this close to Italy is always excellent.

The plan now is for Maja's mother to take Jason and I back to Ljubljana for the evening and go sightseeing tomorrow to Ljubljana Castle, the major sight in the city. Maja has to get some work done tomorrow, so her mom will be our tour guide.

I have to apologize for the slight change in the blog, but I have run up against som technical issues, one of which involves the different configuration of Slovene keyboards. The y and the z are switched, as are many simple punctuation marks, so when my NEO downloads onto Stane's computer, it believes that it is a Slovene keyboard and inverts all the characters. I have to go back over the whole document and correct it. I am experimenting with reversing the two letters while initially writing, which takes less getting used to than you might think. Nonetheless, for a few days, until I return home, you may notice some strange errors creeping into the blog. Also, downloading photos is a problem, so you wont see many for the time I am in Slovenia. I promise to upload the backlog later.