Tuesday, 13 October 2009

a train journey

Notes from my journal

Monday 21st September 2009
Vienna (Wien Sud) – Ljubljana
6 hours

Up at 6.08

Don’t know why it’s the place I feel I want to be more than the others on this trip.

6 seat compartment.
Old Austrian man and 3 other blokes.


Dead Souls, Joy Division
Someone take these dreams away
And take me to another day
Doors Closing Slowly, Manic Street Preachers
Pretty Visitors, Arctic Monkeys
Cut Off, Kasabian
Run, Snow Patrol
End of the World, Ash
Never felt so lonely
Painted From Memory, Elvis Costello & Burt Bacharach
Those eyes now smile for someone else

Gorgeous scenery
Tree studded
Sun still low
Since long tunnel, more cloudy
Low mist
Hilltop houses
Shooting loads. Old guy keeps nodding to me, intimating at the scenery that lies ahead – I’m at the window seat but rear facing. He looks so proud. It’s his country. Don’t blame him.

The Long Way Round, Badly Drawn Boy
Falling Down, Oasis
If you Tolerate this, MSP

Green river
Wooded hillsides
Hazy sun
Water so green
How so green?

Hostel is a former prison. In a 2 bed “cell”.
Other inmate’s bag is there.
Obviously male.
And has fortunately bagged the top bunk.
Couldn’t have got up that ladder.
Crime and Punishment is his book of choice....

Short walk to centre. 4pm so sun getting lower and lovely light.
Pink church
Pink roofs
A pink glow
Reflections on the river
3 bridges close together
Narrow river
Feels a bit like a model village
Tourists but not too touristy
St Nicholas Church
Lit a candle. Cried.
Bit of a recurring theme
Time for a beer, so sat here.
Bar Sokol having a Sokol beer. Think it’s the one J mentioned. Bit weird. Right outside the church. Beer is rather lovely. Very smooth. In a grolsch like bottle. Gorgeous. But big…

Just found stray hair on table. Know it’s mine because it’s stripy.

Tuesday 22nd September

Got an early night.
Hostel not too convivial.
More like a bar than a hostel.
Felt bit pissed off.

Room mate still a no show until about 3am. Been on a day trip to Venice. Apologised for disturbing as he came in. Recognised accent immediately as Lancashire, possibly even Blackpool…. Turns out to be from Preston. Chatted a bit. Slept ok. He’s off to Maribor today.

Up earlyish.
Walked to pink church square.
Wandered along streets towards Modern Art Gallery.
Recurring theme of this trip.
Pleasant, quiet, little city.
Not too many tourists.
Loads of building and renovation works.
Recurring theme of this trip…
Headed to quieter side of river – river very narrow, more like a Venice canal.

Stumbled across contemporary photography gallery, through a courtyard and up some stairs. 5 large images. All white subjects, dark surrounds and glimpses of light glowing. Quite surreal but beautiful in a way. Talked with gallery owner for a while. Made me think of how it would be beneficial to immerse myself in something rather than….
Sat for a coffee. breaks up the time. Deciding to walk up to the castle once the sun isn’t too high. So will wait a bit. Bought a pink scarf. I like pink next to my skin. Pink is how I see Ljubljana too.

Quiet wooded walk. No one else around. Met two other people along the way. Climbed to the top of the tower.
Great views.
Did the usual shots.

Descended via a different route.
More urban.
Late lunch. Strange foursome sat at next table. Can’t work out what nationality they are. 50 odd year old bloke in charge. Basil Fawlty. Speaking English to waiter. Asking all sorts of questions about the menu. Keeps reprimanding him. “You don’t write it down. Then you forget!” Basil of course writes everything down. Think he’s noting all the prices. He asked for a beer a bit ago. I feel desperate to remind the nice waiter so he doesn’t get bollocked again. Oh no, Basil’s getting up to seek him out. Back clutching his beer.

Back at hostel.
Met up with cell mate Dave.
Out for drinks at bar by the river. He’s a MA student about to move to Durham to study. Chatted about Durham, Lancashire and life in general. Like the way he seems determined in what he’s set out to do.

Will be up early to catch train to Bled. Final leg….

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