Wednesday, September 20, 2006

Down on the Tourist Farm

I saw another Corsa today and it is an Opel. No Opal sign on ours though. Strange. Very nice little car with a good air conditioners which we didn't think would be important in the downpour we rented it in but is very nice here on the Adriatic Coast where it is warm and humid.

Some of details I omitted last time since I did not have my book. The ski town we had lunch in was Kranjska Gora, hard to believe I would have forgotten that. The Slovenes like to sprinkle j's in their words. They sound much nicer when they say the words than when we do. That was at the north entrance to the Triglav National Park. We went over the 1611m Vrsic pass, with accents on the s and c, that is Vršič, it is easy with a Slovenian keyboard! The drive had 50 180-degree curves, each of which is numbered and signed so the guidebook can tell you where things are by curve number. The Russian Chapel, for example, is after curve eight, of the 24 on the way up.

Internet access seems harder to manage on this trip than my previous ones where I had no trouble keeping up my diary. Salzburg had your traditional internet "cafe" which sold no coffee but had 10-20 stations for access and it was always easy to get on. But it was down the street and they always arranged for someone to always be smoking at the station next to mine. And, of course, the keyboards with the y and the z reversed. You might have noticed that in this blog once or twice. In Slovenia they are usually in real cafes but only one station. This hotel in Piran has only one but no one else ever seems to be using it. The farm had a free one but it was always busy.

We had heard about agricultural tourism in Italy but it pretty much requires a car. Also, it sounds good but really, who wants to be on vacation on a farm? I can milk goats at home. But we succumbed to the romance of it when Rick Steves described this place. The location is perfect, right around the two big caves and Stanjel.

The trip over the mountains and down to the Karst took a little longer than we had expected it would. There are only two classes of roads in Slovenia, two-lanes-each-way divided roads which are very modern and nice and on which there isapparentlya no speed limit that I could see, and the numerous Mercedes who whisked past me, the cautious tourist, apparently didn't see any either, of course, our whole engine could have fit inside one of their cylinders. But, stereotyping aside, it IS always the Mercedes drivers who do this. I ended up going a cautious 120 km/hr. The other roads are all two-lane blacktop with numerous curves, blind corners, and a little town every mile or two with building that come within a foot of the side of the road. Again, I was passed numerous times. The limit is apparently 70 on these roads but the Slovenes do not adhere to that. We read on one book that Slovenes were the most reckless drivers in the world, but how many times have you heard that about places? It is kind of like being theazaleaa capitol of the world or having the best hamburgers in the world. Anyway, our map distinguished 4 or 5 levels of roads but they all seemed the same to me. The countryside is mountainous and so putting in the dividedroadss must be expensive.Theyy are mostly raised on huge concrete columns, some quite high over a valley.

The countryside and little towns are so nice that you don't really mind going slowly and we enjoyed it but it was getting close to 7 pm and getting dark and we were hungry but we finally pulled into the farm just before dark. It is, they say, a working farm. They had three large buildings and rented nine rooms. It wasn't clear where to go so we went in one building which had the eating tables and said we had reserved a room. The busy woman said "yes, yes sit down" and shooed us to a table and asked whether we wanted wine. More on that later.Aa few minutes later we had some very good soup and then a plate of meat, potatoes and gravy and some vegetables. It was kind of nice not to have to make any decisions but just sit down and eat what they had. Three other groups were also eating.

The place seems to be run by a large family, during dinner a young woman came in and returned passports to another couple eating there. We flagged her down and explained that we had just been sat down for dinner and she made some kind of "oh well"gesture and took our passports. Later she came back with them and the key. No number but with a flower on it, each room has a different flower. After dinner someone showed us to our room. The room was pretty much like the hotel rooms we have had except for the views outside. Just then it was dark but the next morning we found we had a views for a long way of a field and low mountains. It was a nice rural location except for the fact that it was about half a mile from the freeway that went through the area.Andd when I say "freeway" I am just showing my CA roots, it was really a toll road. They say that is the origin of the term toll-house cookies but we went through it the next day and that tradition (which was in New England anyway) seems to be lost in Slovenia.

So the tourist farm was quite charming really. We walked around the next evening on the farm roads leading around. They led into the forests and up the hills and were very nice for strolling although it was still dark and kept threatening rain. We did get rain the first night though and the next morning.


Anonymous Kris said...

Hi, Charlie and Wynette

So do they expect/allow you to actually work on the farm while you're staying there? Is it kind of like a dude ranch? Although somehow farm work seems less "fun" than riding out to gather cattle...

9/20/2006 10:04 AM  
Blogger WynChar said...

They certainly did not expect you to work. We did pick some delicious plums (for ourselves) off the tree just behind the house where we stayed. I told Charlie we should swing back by that place just to get some more of those amazing plums. (But, it would be a little out of the way since we are headed for Croatia tomorrow.) Wynette

9/20/2006 10:12 AM  

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