The 93rd nation I’ve lived, worked, studied, volunteered in or simply backpacked around!!
Biggest thanks goes out to this local legend – Besnik Bojan Gashi for catching up again since we last met in India at Sula Festival one year ago and spending the whole week showing me some weird and wonderful parts of your home nation! You were an incredible host brother!! I hope we meet again soon!
I’ve had an absolutely awesome 7 days in the small but action packed nation of Slovenia (the last nation that was part of the former Yugoslavia I hadn’t explored until now) basing myself out of Ljubljana at Zeppelin hostel with the great crew comprised of Polona Plesnar Domen Bancic and Lucija Lusy Cerar!
Crazy coincidence running into Erika Sallen and Ally Root!! Erika and I had been chatting about travel online for years and coincidentally bumped into each other in the same hostel in Ljubljana then headed off for an amazing day of exploring Slovenia! Wonderful to finally meet you!
Many thanks to everyone I met and spent an awesome time with on the trip! It was a pleasure meeting you all and I hope see you again around the world!
The week went a little something like this:
1.) Exploring Venice on foot then the best bla bla car ride I’ve ever had in Europe from Italy to Slovenia hosted by Klemen Domjan and Lara Vihar! Thanks for introducing me to your home nation and sharing hours of wonderful stories from around the globe!
2.) Walking the streets of Ljubljana with a free walking tour then solo around the Ljubljana castle, the artists squat of ROG factory, the triple bridge, dragon bridge, open kitchen food markets and tiny shops selling relics from Yugoslavia and less visited parts of the city and exploring with Eloy Noesmañana Carla Fernández Melissa Vaughan Ryan Fehr Daniel Collinsthen concluding the evening with drinks at MetalKova meeting some wonderful people like Zala Rupnik and Urmaš Miha among others!
3.) A relaxed day of getting my bearings on Slovenia and planning adventures for the days ahead!
4.) Heading to a truly non-touristic sunday flea market with people from all around the former Yugoslavian nations, ate Chivap Che che again for the first time in years and picked up awesome souvenirs such as a newspaper from the day that Tito passed away and the hilarious 1 Billion dinar Yugoslavian bank note which was worth little more a a loaf of bread! Headed out along the canals of Ljubljana and learned quite a lot about the history of the beautiful but tiny city! Headed out for dinner with a great crew of Maximiliano Oportus Geert Sluys and others!
5.) Made a very early start to check out the magnificent Lake Bled, explored the base of the castle and hiked around the lake then the surrounding hills!! Snapped a cheeky nude from the best viewpoint in Lake Bled and met Marjan Ostroško Angela Willoughby and Brontë Young in the process! Made a bee line for Triglav National park and Lake Bohin for a short hike then went swimming in the ice cold waters and after lunch with some local mates comprised of local produce from three region headed up to the Slap Savica waterfall with thundering waters from the melting snow above that feed Lake Bohin! Had a cracking day and headed off to bed early!
6.) Made a (relatively) early start with Ally Root Erika Sallen Hannah Louise Thompson and headed to the beautiful underground cave complex and park of Rakov Skotsyan for an amazing natural bridge (Škocjan caves). Hit the road again and went 4kms underground on a train deep into one of the largest cave complexes on earth at the Postojna Cave System. Visited Predjama castle close by with its magnificent location hewn into the face of a whopping cliff!
Ended the day driving out to the coast of the Adriatic sea just a few km shy of the Italian border (and Venice), driving along the Adriatic and heading to a beautiful viewpoint at half moon bay with views out over Italy and the Slovenian and Croatian coastline!
Finished up at the beachside town of Piran – beautiful harbour city with Venetian influences, watched the pink glowing sunset and demolished a significant amount of fish cooked with a distinctively Italian style. Said goodbye to the wonderful host Besnik Bojan Gashi after a massive week together and prepared for the journey back to the UK.
7.) Headed back to Venice early morning and jumped on a connecting flight back to Bristol!
From my experience of visiting close to 100 nations worldwide is that what truly makes travel is definitely the people.
Today I say goodbye to (Slovenia 93rd nation of my travel) and in particularly someone who has been one of the best hosts I’ve had! Thank you Besnik Bojan Gashi for all of the wonderful experiences and for showing me your country – driving everywhere and explaining everything for days and days! Introducing me to your friends, showing me different sides to this beautiful nation.
I will miss you mate and you’re welcome to stay with me wherever I am in the world!