Ah, the serenity
11.05.2007 - 19.05.2007 26 °C
Slovenia....ah the serenity...to quote the movie "The Castle". In the case of Slovenia though, it couldnt be more accurate.
With some spare time up our sleeves we decided to take the car to Slovenia. This was my 3rd visit to Slovenia and my love for the country grows each time. We based ourselves in beautiful Bled and stayed there for 4 days. Firstly because it is such a beautiful, quiet and peaceful place and secondly because we were staying in a great apartment with our own kitchen so very much enjoyed being able to cook our own meals for the first time since being on the road.
Slovenia is great for those who love adventure and beautiful outdoors. We did kayaking, walked through gorges, around lakes, up mountains, to waterfalls and natural springs. Personally, I could do this for days as I love just watching the power and constant flow of the waterfalls. Scotty however liked Slovenia but had seen enough waterfalls to keep him going for a while. He is a bit more of a hustle and bustle, city (shopping) kind of guy.
So, of course he felt much more at home when we had 4 days in Venice!
My last visit to Venice was 6 years ago on a Contiki tour, and I think I saw St Marks Square, did a overpriced Gondola ride and saw little else of the city. So my memory of it is not that great and I wouldnt be lying if I said I wasnt really that interested in going back to Venice. Scotty, however had memories of good shopping in Venice.....so was keen to go back!
We had 4 days to explore with no schedules. A little different from my last experience. We walked all the different islands of Venice, did a little shopping (Scotty was restrained) and enjoyed being in this very vibrant city.
They arent lying though when they say Venice is Italys most expensive city. We enjoy trying to find local places for eating and drinking that arent massive tourist spots. This is harder than you would think to do. On the second day we did find a great little coffee shop (that the Lonely Planet recommended) that served the best coffee weve ever tasted....for the mere cost of €0.70 ea. This was however a day after we paid €8.00 for 2 very average tasting coffees. Needless to say, we started each day with a great little macchiato. Nothing makes us more frustrated than places that effectively take the piss out of unsuspecting tourists. You would think we learn, but on our last day in Venice we sat down for a drink in a square before dinner and had 1 glass of beer and 1 glass of wine for €14.50!! The day before we had 2 glasses of beer and 2 glasses of wine for only €11. So, as I said, it is harder than you think not to get ripped off and it does frustrate you, but we do get a very good sense of satisfaction when we find somewhere great that the locals probably enjoy.
We departed Venice today enroute for Siena in Tuscany. Upon arriving we parked the car (outside of the town, as you cant drive into the centre) and did the hunt for accomodation. Being Saturday night, we werent having much luck as most places were booked out. So we decided to get back in the car and continue onto Rome, where we found accomodation in a hotel on the outskirts of Rome where the receptionist looks like Mr Bean, the hotel is run like Fawlty Towers and the shuttle bus driver doubles as the waiter. Its good entertainment for a Saturday night!!
2 nights in Rome and then we head South to Sicily.