between the lands

Jessica and Andrew’s travel journal

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Mushrooms, Squat Blocks, and Alpine Cheese - Slovenia

Posted by Jessica in balkans, SLOVENIA (January 14, 2008 at 7:27 pm)

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Slovenia - the last country before we re-enter Italy and complete the circle. And it is a beauty!
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First we go to Liboje (lee-bo-yay), to visit Andrew’s friend James. He’s been ‘hiding out’ in this teensy tiny town for a few years now.
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It is surrounded by mountains, green pastures, endless skies, and a few townsfolk. Very few. We took a gorgeous hike to a hilltop looking out over the valley.
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James turned out to be a GREAT cook, making home-made apple pie and an amazing mushroom soup from the fresh mushrooms his friend and neighbor had picked that day. I still dream about that soup…
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Liboje was a nice, chill spot to read James’ great books in front of a wood-burning stove, see nature, and eat fresh yummies. But after 2 nights, we were ready to see the ‘big city’ - the capital Ljubljana! (loo-blee-yana)
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We stayed with Spela, a real Ambassador. That means she spreads the word and facilitates couchsurfing. She had some great stories to tell about the program, and was a great host.
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Spela took us to Metelkova, a small compound of squat-land in the middle of the city. There is a youth hostel made from a converted prison(!), a few bars, lots of artist and activist space, and tons of ART!
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Ljubljana offers some really pretty architecture, CIMG6074 j with dragon.jpgCIMG6082 river reflects trees.jpgand real horse burgers! To tell the truth, they tasted just like regular hamburgers. Yum! (Sorry, Mr Ed)
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Ljubljana also has lots of grafitti, something i was glad to see again after not much in the arab world(props to Athens and Bosnia as well for their graf)
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After the capital, we ventured forth into the Julian Alps region, to visit one of the most beautiful landscapes on earth: Bohinj (bo-heen).
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Nestled in a spectacular valley, spotted with farmhouses and characteristic slovenian hayracks, and boasting a sparkling alpine lake, this place is takes your breath away.
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We rowed out onto the lake, CIMG6146 j rows looks back.jpgCIMG6164 a rows with splash.jpgand took a walk to the Cheesemaking Museum in a neighboring town. Then we bought home-made cheese from a farmer. GOOD STUFF!!
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I would have loved to stay in Bohinj all week, but time was a-wastin.
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We had plane tix from Rome to London in a few days, so we must get moving on. I recommend BOHINJ and the other small towns in that valley to anyone looking for small-town, farmy, relaxing spot to soak up gorgeous nature (and cheese!).
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We also did a good bit of hitchhiking around in the Bohinj area, and learned something about the law in Slovenia–its totally legal to hitchhike, but you must be holding a sign saying where you are going!(we found out the easy way, no po-po involved)
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Happy new year to everyone out there. As we slowly try to complete this travel journal(for those that are confused, we were actually in Slovenia in October, but are just now digging through the pics and memories for your enjoyment).
As we speak now, we are settling in to our new life in Oakland, California. We rented a new place to live and will be moving in later this month. The bay area is pretty freeaash…

Believe it or not, we had to take ANOTHER cross-country drive to get here from Florida. Pics coming soon…

And as for the question–what do you do when you finish a year and a half long trip?? –you got to make some money!!!! Ive been trying to do that…here are some of the results:

Click here for a story about people in New Orleans fighting to keep thousands of public housing from being demolished.
Click here to read a story I wrote about our friends Qindeel and Maklouf, political cartoonists in Cairo.
And click here for a story I wrote about the Colaition of Immokalee Workers, and how Burger King may be trying to use anti-immigrant sentiment to keep them from getting a pay raise. Im excited, because its my first cover story in Creative Loafing.
I was also interviewed about the story on the Scott Farrell show, a talk radio show on a Tampa bay area radio station. You can listen to that by clicking here.**the interview starts about 9 minutes through teh first segment and continues through the 2nd segment. Just dont get mad that he gets my name wrong, i correct him eventually.

Now were off to enjoy some California sunshine…
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