but we sucked it up and went out for a nice dinner with four members of our group who were not going on to Slovenia and the next day boarded a bus for the transfer to Ljubljana Slovenia our base for exploring little Slovenia (so small you can't play the accordion in the country without invading a neighboring country- LOL)
it is cold and beautiful as we take our first stroll in lovely Ljubljana. from now on I will simply write LJU for it since it is a tough one to type- reminiscent of Salzburg- there is a fortress/castle that looms over the old town. the old town is now mainly a pedestrian zone and there are numerous cafes along the river that runs through town. when the weather is warm here, this place must be overrun with tourists - it is absolutely a gem of a city.
a warm cream of mushroom soup (below) at a cozy restaurant (above)
in the three full days we had - we went to the Postojna caves and Predjama castle along with a day trip to Lake Bled - a beautiful setting fogged in with seasonal fog -
after our trip to the island in Lake Bled we headed to a nearby town where we had a hearty lunch of sausages and sauerkraut...in a cute restaurant and also got to see a famous old cookie making operation...
these cookies are a perfect fit with the new Slovenia tourism ad campaign- I FEEL sLOVEnia with the LOVE written in large font- I hope it doesn't work too well as this lovely little country is worth returning to - especially before the hordes of tourists discover it!
a last night in LJU
then we were off the next day for our return flight to the US - arriving home at 8PM on the Wednesday night before Thanksgiving... needless to say - we were asleep on Thanksgiving evening by 9PM... LOL - oh well - there's always next year...
but one final photo of the beautiful and mystical Lake Bled-
a fabulous getaway to celebrate my retirement... but more to come- as we plan our 2012 year of travel- I have trips with Jennifer (danger zone- Tunisia- Egypt- SARS travel buddy) to Cuba... alone to Bolivia and Colombia - with Phil to the Greek Islands and with Tom and Phil to New Zealand and Australia--- plus we want to squeeze in a Europe trip in the late spring and of course NYC as well - time flies - who has time to work? So watch this space for more travel news and fun retirement stuff.
as a matter of fact- I read yesterday in the AARP magazine in an article called Spend Now & Retire Later (?) that you cannot plan on retiring and then maybe returning to the work force as retirement is addicting-- tell me about it!