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Dear Diary:

20th August 2007  -  Welcome to sLOVEnia!

With the help of my mate Wernie, I gave my car a good thrashing on the out skirts of Munich and all appeared well, so it was time to hit the road once again. As would turn out, the old girl would not skip a beat for the remainder of the time I had herÖ

From Munich I headed South-East to Slovakia and its capital Bratislava to collect another National flag. Itís a lovely place to wander the streets on a summers evening and I look forward to exploring this lovely country at length at some future point in time as I have met some wonderful people from this part of the world thatís for sure!

From here I made a very quick stop back in Budapest to collect the flag and then I headed the 500km South-West to the lovely country of Slovenia where my old mate Bogdan who I met in Central America lives.

So what can I say about Slovenia? It rocks! With in hours of my arrival at Bogdanís place, I was at a bachelor party with 30 locals having a blast! (No, Iím not posting any of the photos on this site!)

There is so much to see in this wonderful part of the world. Best of all its all most or less doable as a day trip. Bogdan lives just about in the centre of the country, so from there itís nice and easy access to the capital Ljubljana, the enchanting Lake Bled and the Postojna Caves.

I was fortunate to exploring much of the local area around in and around Celje (near Bogdanís place). I got taken up to Celje Castle on its special open day and got to see all the locals out in historic garb. It was a fantastic day. The view from here looking back over the valley is tops!

I was also lucky enough to be taken up to a hill top church. If you ever drive though Slovenia, you will spot some amazing churches on top of some seemingly inaccessible hills. I donít think its something most tourists would ever get to as the labyrinth of hilly dirt roads would defeat you very quickly. Thanks for taking me there guys!

Ljubljana is nice and small and easy to get around in. Ok it helped having Bogdan doing all the driving. Iíd suggest doing what we did and head into the centre of town and hit the main castle above the city to get the birdís eye view Ė Click here for a video of the view.

Not far from Ljubljana are the Postojna Caves. Again I had my very own local guides and off we went exploring the seemingly endless caves. If you do go there, do take heed of the signs that tell you to take a jumper with you as it gets bloody cold inside even if it 30 degrees plus outside!

One of the coolest things to check out in the caves is the Salamanders that live here. Iíve herd about them many times and it was fascinating to finally see one close up. Not to far up the way is the massive concert hall. It would be amazing to hear a gig here, but sadly it does not happen to often as the humidity in the caves can play havoc with fine instruments. Our guide did turn off the lights while we were in the hall and believe me you canít see much when youíre a few kilometres in side a cave and the lights go out!

About the same distance from Ljubljana but to the north is the amazing Lake Bled. If youíre ever heading to Europe and are looking to see that ďsomethingĒ thatís of the standard Eiffel Tower tour, this is the place! From what ever angle youíre at itís just fantastic. Its picture perfect church in the middle of the lake with the back drop of a Castle and the Alps will blow you away. Click here to check out the video view of the Lake form the Castle.

As fantastic as the sights of Slovenia are, the best part of my visit will always be the wonderful people that I met while staying with Bogdan and his family. Thanks so much for making my visit so wonderful. I would recommend you head there in a heart beat if ever you get the chance!

To all my new friends, thanks so much for showing me your wonderful country and I look forward to visiting you again some time soon. Failing that, come on down to Australia so I can show you around here!

P.S. I have to give a special mention to Gregor the Family Donkey! You rock dude!

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