Week 35: Statenberg and Ljubljana
We started the week still at the Statenberg manor in the Slovenian countryside, had some adventures and created plans. Then we headed to a city that took us by surprise and had us musing about settling down. Ljubljana feels just right.
Welcome to our weekly recap! This one's for August 29th - September 4th, which is week 35, 2014.
Memorable moment: On Friday we decided to take a walk together, to try out the newly signposted nature trail from Statenberg to nearby village. We had good discussions on the way, while fighting mosquitoes and admiring the incredibly beautiful rural scenery. We ended up on a river and had a few swimming breaks, last one in a spot that looked straight from a movie. So idyllic!
The most memorable part came when we were walking back through fields and got a bit lost. Our options were to go back quite a bit or... cross a river. Can you guess which one we chose? The river was only few meters wide and up to our thighs, but still, an adventure! Probably the best kind of impromptu team building, forming a long line, helping each other cross the water without falling down or loosing any electronic devices. We emerged on the other side half wet and big smiles on our faces.
Workwise: I emerged from the Learning Village with many new ideas and couldn't wait to get working on them. Results to be seen soon! Hint: think about facilitation, workshops and graphic recording. As for Antti, he has still been head deep in webcoding for clients.
Tip of the week: In Europe it's often a good idea to eat out for lunch, since many places offer inexpensive lunch menus. Even in the strict center of the city, like the Three Bridges area of Ljubljana (in pic). Sure, the selection is smaller for lunch time, but the prices can be half of what you pay in the evening.
Surprise of the week: How perfect Ljubljana is. This is the first city on our travels that I remember thinking I could really live here (although Munich and Berlin have come pretty close). It's small enough to get around with a bike, big enough to have plenty of things to do, while still feeling like a village; the locals are easy-going and most speak English (which just makes living much easier); the price level is ok, the food is good (and there is a good selection of cuisines); nature is all around, even the alps are only about 30km away.
Food love: Ajvar, a roasted pepper sauce, used often with cevabcici (minced meat sticks), but in my opinion it goes with anything. You can find it in any country in the Balkans, so since we are in the area for next month or two, I have many more treats ahead of me!
What I've learned: There has been people living in this area for thousands of years, and the first Roman village was established here 2000 years ago. Since that Slovenians have been part of Roman empires, Habsburg's reign and many others, and only got their independence in 1991. This colorful history, with influence from Central Europe, Mediterranean and Balkans has created a nation that is a delightful mixture of all.
Random thought: Back in Finland, there is no custom of tipping. Waiters etc. get a decent salary and are not dependent on tips. When we travel to other countries, we are still struggling with the concept. Should we tip? How much? How do we do it, especially if paying with credit card? Sometimes we still forget about it, even in countries where tipping is strictly expected. Also, in some countries tipping is not a custom, except in tourist areas where people are getting used to being tipped. Should we tip in those situations?
And that's it for our week. How was yours?
This week's photos can also be found in our photo albums in Flickr.
We are Mirje and Antti, a 30+ digital nomad couple, entrepreneurs with restless feet and passion for experiencing the world. more »