I’m 21 today! YES!!!
Got up very early in Padua to catch our train to the Venice train station. (Wish we could have gone INTO Venice. But we figured that since we have already been there, done that, we would go on to see unseen places).
Took a 3 hour bus ride from Venice to Austria. (And, we had first class seats!) I’ve never heard of first class in a bus. It was super nice. Great start to my birthday already! Haha. The bus ride was beautiful. Driving into Austria was amazing. (The hills WERE alive! :))
When we got off the bus in Austria, we only had 2 minutes to catch our train to Bled, in Slovenia. Luckily, the train was late, so we made it. Just with about 1 minute to spare, though! Phew! But, of course, it can’t ALL work out smoothly like that. We missed our stop in Bled! Another train was blocking the view of the sign that said “Bled” when our train stopped. Just as we saw the sign for Bled, our train started moving. Oops. Got off in the next town and chilled there for an hour. (Where one of the wheels on my luggage started to shred and break. SHIT! It still functions, but I will have to be a LOT more careful on these cobblestone sidewalks for the next couple of weeks).
Took another train back to Bled. We have been really impressed with how well people can speak English here. It has really helped us out so far. We are staying in a nice little chalet-looking place. I have my own little room (it even has CARPET!) and we have a little porch that looks at the mountains.
I hadn’t known anything about Slovenia before coming here today (except that, at one time, it was part of Yugoslovia, when all that crazy stuff was going on). It is such a beautiful country. The people are very pleasant. It reminds me of Minnesota, except here, there are mountains. Lots of lakes and trees. Bled is a very sporty kind of town. Reminds me a bit of New Zealand. Lots of opportunities to go parasailing, white water rafting, skydiving, kayaking, biking, etc…Very neat.
Went out for dinner tonight at a fairly nice restaurant with a great view of a lake, the mountains, and some cathedrals. I had a nice turkey steak with gravy, potatoes, and cooked VEGETABLES! YUM! It felt so good to have broccoli again! Struck up a conversation with a waiter there for about 20 minutes, who is originally from Morocco. We had a good time talking about travels, Slovenia, etc….He said that he has an old ferrari, and offered to take my parents and I out for a drive around Bled, to show us around. So we might take him up on that! How cool.
Overall, AWESOME 21st birthday. My trip to Barcelona with my friend Kelsey about 2 months ago was my big birthday present from my parents, but today (besides embarrassing me by singing to me in every country we were in today…haha) they also gave me an iTunes card, and a bunch of nutella. Good day! Ended the evening taking a sip of grappa, the Italian version of vodka or aquavit. (I bought a little bottle in Cinque Terre). Strong, but good.