On my last day in Venice, I knew I could take it easy. The fastest bus to Ljubljana was only to leave at 11:50 from Venice Mestre, a 12 minute train ride from the island. What followed was a story of how bus rides should not exactly work. The destination of the bus ride, Ljubljana, the Slovenian capital, was however definitively worth the trip.
After a relaxed breakfast in the bar, to which the Backpackers House Venice is attached, I slowly made my way to the Venice Santa Lucia train station. There I got a ticket from the vending machine to almost immediately board the next regional train to Venice Mestre. The bus station was supposed to be right next to the train station according to the lady at the information booth.
Once in Mestre, I followed the signs to the bus station. Inquiring at the ticket booth, the guy at the counter told me, that the next bus for Ljubljana was leaving at 4:50pm… not exactly my information. So I asked him where the Eurolines busses were running from and he sent me back to the train station. On the way, I saw the bus for Ljubljana, so I walked up to the driver, if I could get a ticket from him and when he was leaving. He explained in broken German, that he was leaving more or less in an hour. He already let me put my big backpack in the luggage compartment.
An hour later, I was back at the bus and after waiting for another 45 minutes (it actually was the 11:50 bus), the bus finally left. But only to leave the freeway just before the first toll booth. Oh, nice trick: drive around the toll booth somehow for not having to pay the fees… but the bus turned around at the next roundabout and headed back to the Mestre train station. Apparently some lady had forgotten her partner or a piece of luggage. What followed was a larger commotion, before we set of for Ljubljana again.
I continued my explorations on the next day, by walking across the market and then by climbing up the hill to the castle. Should you ever be in Ljubljana, the 4 euros entrance fee for the museum and the watch tower are money well spent (add another 2 euros if you don’t feel like climbing the hill, but take the funicular instead).
The museum of Slovenian history apparently only just recently (re-)opened and spots very interesting multimedia displays which allow you to take as much detail about the history as you would like. And the view from the watch tower is just superb, Not only can you see the whole city from above, but you also see the alps and the Dalmatian mountain range at the horizon.
The afternoon was spent lazily eating a tortilla (Slovenians seem to love Mexican food, you find some dishes on almost any menu) and drinking an Espresso on the edge of the Ljubljanica river.
My plan for tomorrow is an excursion into the Slovenian Karst to visit the Postojna caves and to the coast either at Koper or Piran.