It was time to move on again, but no early start required. We were heading for Ljubljana, the capital city of Slovenia. On our last trip we had briefly detoured into Slovenia enroute to Austria, and been really taken with this tiny country. We had decided it was worth a little more of a look this time around. Most European cities are well connected by trains, but not the Venice to Ljubljana route. Even though they are only 240km apart, there are no direct trains and connections were really messy. The bus was slow so I had looked for other options. We were booked with Go-Opti, a ride sharing scheme a bit like a shared long distance Uber. It was great value and had good reviews, so seemed like a good plan.
Our 24 hour Vaporetti tickets were valid long enough to get us to the pick up point, so there was no excuse for another water taxi ride. Instead we chugged down the Grand Canal for 40 minutes to Piazzale Roma. We were due to be picked up at 11:25 and all went as planned. We had one more passenger to pick up at Mestre and two at the airport before carrying on to Ljubljana. We were a bit delayed at Mestre as our fellow passenger was waiting in the wrong place. After waiting 10 minutes extra and being unable to contact him, the call was made to leave him behind. Lucky for him the driver spotted him as we were driving away and he quickly jumped in. I’m not sure why anyone would travel in Europe without a mobile phone when it’s so cheap and easy to buy a European SIM card. We would be absolutely lost without ours.
Once we had all the passengers and were on our way it was a really quick way to get to Ljubljana. It was strange to pass through heavy rain, we have become used to great weather on this trip. We made up our lost time as the driver took no notice of the speed limits. Go Opti is a door to door service but we had to be dropped 100m from our apartment as it’s on a pedestrian only street.
Our apartment is beautiful and the bargain of the trip. We have lots of space and it’s well equipped with everything including a much-needed washing machine. There was a bit of daylight left for a quick explore around Ljubljana. It had been snowing when we arrived but soon cleared. We walked along the river through the old town, then headed to the Castle. It’s high in a hill above the city, but we saved our legs and took the funicular. The kids walked down through the woods, we took the funicular and went in search of food at the local supermarket.
Dinner tonight was at a bar called “Pop’s Place”, famous in Ljubljana for its BBQ ribs. The ribs lived up the the hype and we had fun sitting at a big communal table with Slovenian locals.