Bled, Slovenia 18 March 2008
Our hotel rooms are typical European rooms, small, with two twin beds pushed together each with a thin mattress on a box spring-like base and a duvet on top. The toilet has a big flush button and a small flush button, you use whichever button corresponds to how much water you need. With all the talk in the US about water conservation, I don't know why we can't adopt this same system in America. I guess it makes too much sense.
Breakfast has typical European offerings: breads, sliced meats and cheeses, teas, coffee, fruits and tomatoes, which I know are really fruits, but are treated like vegetables. I won't go anywhere near what they call scrambled eggs or the sausages. I'm not that brave.
Last night we had dinner at a pizza place near our hotel. Another man from our group came in there too. It turns out he is an algebra teacher in California and we told him we have an algebra student. It was quite evident he enjoyed talking with Fern about her class and where they were in the curriculum and she enjoyed his questions and attention.
Dan's missing suitcase was delivered last night after midnight so he had his own clean clothes to change into this morning.
We spent today on a bus tour of the lake area of Austria with a long stop in Klagenfurt (klagen-foot) and shorter stops in Velden and Kranjska Gora (kranska gora) and views of Woether Lake. It was snowing this morning in when we left Bled but it wasn't snowing on the other side of the Carinthian Alps. However, it was cloudy and overcast so we didn't get full panoramic views of the mountains.
When we had our free time in Klagenfurt, Dan lamented having his suitcase back for a brief moment after seeing all the shops with clothes on display in the pedestrian shopping area. Velden sits at one end of Woether Lake, a cute town, but not as picturesque because as I imagine it could be if not for the clouds. Kranjska Gora was the smallest of the three towns, but "famous" for the skiing area, some slalom championships were held there a few weeks ago, the season is almost over now, not many people were on the slopes.
We haven't had too much trouble with the language differences. Usually the store clerks speak enough English to help me buy something. Credit cards, different matter. I tried my Visa today at one shop which only took Maestro, a MasterCard family card. I found an ATM that took Visa and was able to pay in cash. It's a fine science, figuring out how much money you'll need till you leave the country so you're not stuck with a pocket full of euros when you move on to Croatia but still have enough to buy a cappuccino when you want. The prices are reasonable when you think of euros as dollars, but when you throw in the exchange rate... well, just don't think about it, you're on vacation.
We'll walk over to the main town area of Bled (the hotel is about a ten minute walk along the late away) for dinner tonight and I might venture back out later for a visit to the casino. Love me some roulette. I'll deal with exchanging the euros to kuna later.
Tomorrow we ride to Zabreb, I'll post again when I have an Internet connection for the laptop.
BTW, Slovenia = Alps = hills = my thighs are killing me.
5 hours ago