I just love that breakfast is always included with the hotel stays ‘round these parts. The restaurant was up on the top floor of the hotel and it had a pretty nice self-serve spread, and I spread a lot of it directly into my mouth.
Before breakfast I had run over to the nearby bus station and purchased a pair of tickets to Piran, Slovenia for like, no money. I don’t recall what it cost, but it was barely even a pittance.
After we ate we packed everything up and went over to the station and waited for the bus. I pulled a beer out of my carry-on and sipped on it as we sat twiddling on the bench. Drinking in public is just so darned civilized. I’m really surprised that hardly anybody else does it, though it was rather early I suppose.
By the time I finished my second beer the bus was ready to go. Of the forty or so passengers only three of us were men. M’lady and I guessed that there might be a shopping mall across the border and sure enough, shortly after we crossed the invisible line separating Italy and Slovenia the bus pulled into a large, busy shopping centre and three-quarters of the bus emptied.
The views of Slovenia during the next hour-and-a-half ride were stunning. In Piran we got off the bus and walked literally a few hundred metres to our hotel, which sat right on the Adriatic Sea. We decided against upgrading to a sea-view room and when we checked into our room and opened our double-wide window to find a beautiful church bell tower poking above a stunning sea of red-tiled roofs. We were well-pleased with our decision.
We stepped out the back door of the hotel and walked along the concrete waterfront, feasting our eyes on the many restaurant menus and amazing old stone buildings. We rounded a corner past the ancient monastery and strolled until the cliffs stopped us from going any farther.
We decided to save the city walls for another day and headed to Tartini Square, centred with a scaffolded statue of the namesake locally-born composer and violin virtuoso that was undergoing renovations.
We found a place for dinner and I had the best ravioli I’ve ever eaten. M’lady raved about her salad for the next two days. We lingered over wine, dessert and beers and when we could linger no longer we walked perhaps two hundred feet back to our hotel.
The hotel didn’t have a power converter that I could borrow so without the internet to eat up my time I gathered all my dirty clothes together and went to a very efficient self-serve laundromat just a few alley twists away (m’lady had no use for the laundromat – she had somehow brought enough clothes with her to last for the whole trip). There was a grocers just across the way so I bought a couple of beers and enjoyed them as I relaxed on the stoop of the laundry.
It was glorious.
When I took all my fresh, clean clothes back up to the room I found m’lady laying in bed reading a book. I was still vibing on a drink-beers-in-the-streets thing so I grabbed a couple and went out behind the hotel and sat along the sea wall.
I parked myself on the waist-high wall a dozen feet away from a young man who was sitting under a streetlamp. I noticed that he was fiddling with something in his lap and glanced over just as he raised his head. Our eyes me and he gave me a quick, wide smile. He held up a joint that he had just finished rolling. “Would it bother you if I lit this?” he asked me politely. “Does it bother you that I’m drinking this?” I replied with a laugh, holding up my beer with a cheers-like flourish.
Marej invited me to join him and soon three of his buddies came by. They were all young as well, in second and third year of university. The new school year was starting up in a few days and they were killing time before returning to school in Ljubljana after a summer working in the busy tourist industry there in Piran.
I ended up spending the rest of the evening with Marej and his friends and I had a great time. I popped upstairs for more beers and told m’lady what I was up to; she patiently kept at her book. Back downstairs more and more friends gathered until there were more than a dozen of us talking and laughing under the streetlamp. I’m quite surprised that there were no complaints from the hotel. Marej’s dealer came by and half the kids lined up to buy a couple of grams each, the acceptable amount that the cops would let you get away with possessing. By this time I was ready to retire so I bid my new friends goodnight and shook hands all around. Marej offered to show me around town the next day so we exchanged emails.
Then I finally joined m’lady upstairs and after one more droopy-eyed drink I joined her in the big king-sized bed. It looks like Slovenia is going to be a lot of fun!