It was in Ljubljana, Slovenia, where I had my first ever experience consuming time. Ljubljana produces so much time that I could enjoy consuming it like I do with any other goods and services.
Our daily routine for 2 days + 3nights
In summary, my wife and I spent a mere six and a half hours outside of our apartment for all the days we were in Ljubljana, and everyday ends as early as 4.30pm.
The following is the general itinerary of the short days and it puts things into perspective to describe the day starting from 4.30pm, at the hour when circumstances persuades us to go back whether we like it or not:
By 4.30pm: my wife and I, like everyone else, have begun walking home as shops are about to close. This is in stark contrast to the night life in Budapest and Vienna.
By 6.00pm: The sun has set and it is pitch black with few lamps outside. My wife and I have bathed and have soaked ourselves in hot water in the bathtub.
By 7.30pm: we have had dinner cooked with groceries bought from the supermarket, and are tucked into our bed watching movies because there was no night life where we were.
The next day
8.30am: rise and shine after 13 hours in bed, then breakfast
10.00am: out of house to walk the streets
12.00pm: lunch at a restaurant
1.30pm: chill at an ice cream restaurant for typically more than an hour
3.00pm: head to supermarket to buy groceries for dinner
By 4.30pm: begin walking home again
It would be a normal affair on a Sunday back in Singapore, to have a day last six and a half hours (10.00am to 4.30pm), but my wife and I were on holiday in Slovenia, and it does nag at us that it is a pity to squander days in such manner in Europe. Furthermore, we spent one Sunday in Ljubljana and this meant that everything save shops visited solely by tourists were open.
I personally like this economic arrangement as for every one less shop opened, it meant a few less workers having to work on a Sunday, and of course after 5pm as described above. After all, whether a society is bustling with activities till 4.00am in the morning or it ends as early as in Ljubljana, there will always be the poor. Extending operating hours benefits only those who owns the workers’ labour time, and tourists like myself.
This post is not one of disappointment, however. It is quite the contrary. My wife and I found ourselves well rested in Slovenia as when we were in Vienna, Prague and Salzburg, we felt the constant need to plow through the sightseeing, the museums, the shopping, the night life etc.
At an ice cream place enjoying ice cream and hot chocolate, with almost no one around. I even napped, rather considerably, enjoying the slow pace of the day.
Alfresco lunch in the autumn weather with a mug of beer, surrounded by imperial buildings, all while people watching.
Apart from Time, I love the Slovenian honey brandy. Bought a bottle home after sampling it at a honey specialty shop.
If one recalls drinking honey lemon drinks, and I refer to the regular honey diluted in water and then with slices of lemon dropped into it, the lemon taste is jarring.
But lemon masks a certain unpleasant aftertaste of honey water (without lemons in it). It is an aftertaste that isn’t present when one swallows a spoonful of honey, but that appears once honey is consumed in the form of a drink. Hence, with or without lemon, we cannot quite appreciate the honey sweetness without other distracting flavours.
Brandy is the best medium through which we can appreciate just the concentrated honey sweetness. It takes a backseat to the honey, in fact, enhancing the honey flavour.
Arriving in Ljubljana from Lake Bled
A thunderstorm had flooded segments of the railway tracks and that complicated our journey from Salzburg to Lake Bled.