Sunday, May 31, 2015

Day 10 - Cycle Maribor to Romisch, Austria - Loving Austria so far.

Anne-Marie's phone alarm let us down and a planned early start was significantly delayed by a joyous sleep in. We left the not so special city of Maribor for a wet and unpleasant exit from Slovenia.

As we entered Austria, as if it was glad to have us, the sun came out and we saw our first official EuroVelo 9 signpost! Although much to Anne-Marie's annoyance the route was not completely sealed. Austria is remarkably beautiful.

We debated bypassing one rather obnoxious 20%+ climb but Reuben insisted on attempting the monstrosity. We breached the plateau at the top of the hill in town and discovered a regional wine center with over 150 local Austrian wines on tasting and open at 5:20pm on a Sunday!

Despite the language barrier we managed a great tasting and left a little merrier for the last 12 or so kilometers to a little Austrian B&B with a great chef.

Austrian Fields.

Austrian Forests.

Slovenia's wet farewell.

Cruising the forests of Austria.

Our first unsealed road.

Selfie time!

EuroVelo 9 route markers

 Powered by a weird Slovenian nutella substitute

Not that I got off a shot, but moments after this a deer danced across the road in front of us.
(and we chased a squirrel)

Whizzing through the forest trails.

One of our moto's "don't waste time staring at signs you can't read".

Feel the pain

Anne-Marie beast modes the last 50m of the monster climb.

Feeling merry

Reuben Taking Anne-Marie's picture of her taking his picture or something.

Pretty sparkling glasses. 
Also a fundamental tool we forgot to bring on this holiday finaly obtained.

View from our Zimmer of the Austrian countryside.

Dinner at a B&B o.O

Saturday, May 30, 2015

Day 9 - Cycle Celje to Maribor, Slovenia - Castles and Climbing

Checking Google maps at 7:30am the walk to the Celje castle would take 20mins so it was a no brainer to take a gander before cycling to Maribor. 2.5hrs later, swearing at Google, we arrived back at our hotel to interrupt the cleaners trying to do their thing around our mess. 

Deciding to avoid the main roads we headed off on the safer more picturesque minor roads. They have some serious hills but we made it to Maribor (strava link) in good time and in good spirits. 

The steep climb to Celje castle

How does google even find these routes?

The end is in sight.

It's no castle Grayscull but it'll do.

Put your best face on.

Panorama from Castle Celje.
Click n zoom for full effect.
(I had to stand on a 40m castle wall to take it so appreciate it!)

Now here's a castle that could keep out Orcs.

Sweet polenta gnocchi to get us going.



Every Slovenian that lives in the country has their own vineyard. 
Even if they're over 80

The above winemaker's wife hard at work in the fields.

Friday, May 29, 2015

Day 8 - Train from Ljubliana to Celje, Slovenia - Cheating

Change of plans, rather than cycle on to Celje we decided to spend the day in Ljubljana (havin been rather enamoured with the city the night before). After a sleep-in and breakfast at the best cafe in Ljubljana we caught the funicular up to the castle where the view is spectaular and an exhibition of medieval torture devices turned Anne-Marie's stomach, also her hayfever was getting worse by the minute. 

We had a rather special lunch at the Friday food and wine market, then off to the Celje train, it was very hot but we stuck our heads out the window and enjoyed the Slovenian mountains that we were fortunate (or not -Reuben) to avoid cycling. 

With our funky hostel overbooking due to a hens night/rock band we were relegated (upgraded) to the hotel next door. At diner the waiter took pity on Anne-Marie's itchy eyeballs, we were seated next to a fresh flower pot, and  informed us of a 24 hour lekarnar (pharmacist) where claratyne s was available at 11pm, sweet relief was at hand.

Walking the parks of Ljubljana

Flower markets.

Our stupid heads in the way of the view of Ljubljana
From Ljubljana casltle main tower.

Show us your Iron Maiden Baby,
(Rusty but still gruesome)

Shame masks to be worn by criminals
Made to look like animals

Artworks of torrure in their own right.

This one seemed to cover he whole face

and another


Actual executioners axe

A view of our hotel from Castle Ljubljana

Squid ink and squid risotto with a glass of local plonk

Roo found a Roo
And promptly sat in it.

It's not just a roo, it's a fountain too

Anne-Marie peers up through the double helix stairs in Ljubljana castle

More flower markets

One of the dragons of Ljubljana's dragon bridge

Our favorite lifting bikes on trains.
Check out that sexy conductor. Australia's have no style.

Cutest train ever? I think so.

Thursday, May 28, 2015

Day 7 - Cycle Postojna to Ljubljana, Slovenia - Short and Sweet

Reaping the rewards of yesterday's uphill into the wind punishment we were surprised by a lovely 55 km downhill with a gentle tailwind. We arrived in Ljubljana in time for an early lunch. Reuben took the early check in as an opportunity for a nana nap while Anne-Marie got busy booking some entertainment.

A food and wine walking tour of the picturesque city centre with a crash course in Slovenian and Ljubljanan food, wine, history and politics was a delight. We followed this up with an escape room adventure, an hour racing the clock trying to solve challenging puzzles to break out of a series of rooms. Then on to Metelkova, the heart of Ljubliana's night club district, sort of an over the top punk, grunge Cats-the-musical set. It was a late night, and we'd kind of fallen in love with the city a little bit.

 A beautiful ride through some amazing forests

Ride back up there so I can get a photograph of you


Not stolen yet!
Outside our flash digs in Ljubljana

The beautiful city center,
the mayor has recently made it car free.

In front of city hall.

View of Ljubljana castle at dusk from their first
"sky scraper"