The blog of a travelling psychiatrist and football lover. Who happens to be a halfway decent photographer. Takes a cynical view of the world

Archive for the tag “croatia”

Slovenia Is A Country To Visit Soon

Slovenia is less than 2.5 hours away whether you fly to Ljubljana or Zagreb. Zagreb has more flights and Ljubljana airport is nearer of course, however it means an unfortunate visitation to Stansted. 00003250

The drive from Zagreb is around 90 minutes and is painless, but one needs to remember to stop at a services and purchase the Vignette, a kind of road tax that can be bought weekly up to annually.

A weekly Vignette is 15 euros. The country is essentially unspoiled and will not remain so for much longer, indeed only the lack of direct flights to Ljubljana exerts some control over this.  Visiting in May, the hotels are all full in the centre and some advance booking is essential. 00003124

For anyone who has travelled Europe , Ljubljana can be described as a cross between Prague and Amsterdam, without the crowds. There is a river through the city alongside most of the eating and drinking goes on. Food and drink is cheap and there is a certain Italian flavour to many of the restaurants, which are surprisingly cheap. A few curious things emerge like giving customers apples, we found them on the table in cafes and bars and also in our hotel. There are some building works going on in central Ljubljana but this does not really impact anyone visiting.  Anyone from UK will be surprised at the cheapness of franks in the bars and also the great service from the bar staff. 0000312700003128

Hiring a car is also cheap and means that in around an hour one can reach any of the borders with  Italy, Hungary, Austria and Croatia. Slovenia also has a very small stretch of beach. Drive down any motorway, which are dual carriageways as we know them, and there are plentiful signs to castles and other amazing places. The Lippizaner horses can be seen, Predjama castle is a must and Lakes Bled ( a little touristy) and Bohinj need to be seen. A 30 minute boat ride on Lake Bohinj in an electric boat that is 62 years old is worth doing.

There are many different walks one can do, around lakes or just through countryside. 00003245

This is a country to visit for a long weekend or even a week. Walking through the city is easy and anyone wanting 10,000 steps a day will find it surprisingly easy.0000327100003272000032700000326700003266 And I have not even mentioned  the amazing street art in  Metalkova in Ljubljana.


Did I mention the street art?





Day 3 of EURO 2016. Meet Sic Kic and Nic Ric. And ITV have been robbed. The Violence continues

  1. Sadly the football violence continues to make the headlines with the behaviour of some Russian fans being little more than psychopathic thugs together with the ridiculously named Marseilles Ultras. The independent evidence from football supporters there ( videos, photos and observations) supports organised groups of black balaclava clothed groups descending on defenceless England football fans. I have zero doubt that there are some troublesome England fans too who are no angels, but evidence supports they are not the root cause. Two fans remain critically ill. The players may also not be as protected as they might wish with Turkish fans throwing bottles at Croatian substitutes warming up. UEFA have said that ” security will be stepped up”. That might not be difficult if fans can bring firecrackers into a stadium. IMG_4390IMG_4396
  2. Turkish football is not a style that appeals to me. Far too much unnecessary fouling and elbows all over the place. Within 5 minutes of the start of the game I had become an avid Croatia fan, although they were no angels either. In fact the physicality has surprised me in all the games to date. Some very strange outfits in the crowdIMG_4391
  3. To be in the Croatian team your name has to end in either IC or A (Badelj being the exception, so he must be good). You can be Sic, Nic,  Kic, Ric, Vic or Tic. FullSizeRender
  4. Why is Glenn Hoddle there? Apparently the mumblings and mutterings of Hoddle on Day 1 would have cost around 25,000£. The unanimous views on Twitter were that Hoddle was great at stating the obvious but little more. ITV have been robbed.
  5. The football so far has been good with the games being competitive to the end and few games are likely to find teams separated by more than a single goal, with some superb goals.
  6. A thought for the photographers there. At the start of the second half of Turkey v Croatia a firecracker was thrown at some photographers. The loud explosion sound was captured loudly on ITV.
  7. What might not be reported? England fans who were attacked in an unproked manner in a bar returned there today to help the owner clear up the mess. That is class. IMG_4389
  8. Best team so far? Germany. My early prediction is that they are the team to beat.

Slovenia and Food

Many aspects of Slovenian food are not unlike good quality British or American food.In 2006, the leading Slovenian ethnologists have divided the country into 23 gastronomic regions. Breakfasts tend to be a mixture of fresh fruit, cold meats and cooked eggs. The quality is exceptionally high. The first Slovene-language cookbook was published by Valentin Vodnik in 1799 and I am not planning the second. A few more curious ingredients it seems also, such as Dandelion being popular in salads, and soups it seems are quite a new invention in Slovenia although they now have around 150, enough for most.

There are however a few more unique aspects to their food. For example a very thin crispy pizza served as a starter, with toppings in different lines of pizza being different. Works well as a starter but a temptation to eat rather more than one might want to. Many countries seem to bring their own cultures and influences. The provision of an extra course of cold meats and cheese after a starter with ample bread also suggests not a UK tradition!photo 1-9

There are however some strange traditions here, like giving cups of coffee seemingly only half full even when one asks for a traditional large Americano!photo 4-5 photo 4-8photo 4-3photo 5As Slovenia borders Italy and is not actually a million miles from Venice, there are some Italian influences in addition to pizza and ice cream. Roasted potatoes are simple and ample portions. Pork cordon bleu is almost German in its origin.

Desserts can also be interesting with Tarte Tatin hot with ice cream. Prices are maybe 30-50% below what current UK prices are. photo 5-8 photo 5-9 photo 5-10 photo 5 photo 2-1

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