The ride to Ljubljana was beautiful, rolling gently back and forth through hilly terrain that put me in mind of Wisconsin. I got some SIT from an ATM, which told me that my balance was 971,604.27 SIT. So, even in Slovenia, I’m not a millionaire. I had become accustomed to calculating old lire prices by dividing by 2,000, so it was difficult to deal with the fact that prices were quoted to me with the decimal point slid once to the right, as SITs are valued about 230 to the dollar. It is also hard to deal with the locals talking about “tolars” which sound like “dollars” so that the price I can most readily grasp is “euros” which is essentially the same as the “dollars” that I am used to, though the Slovenians have to adjust from calling them “marks”.
I spent a lot of time walking around town comparing hotel prices. The best I could find was €42 at the “cheap” Park Hotel. The hostels are only open in the summer: right now they are student dorms. I could have gone 4km over to the “Bit Center” which is a hotel and sports complex. They evidently have dormitory beds as well. I settled for a room in a guest house for two nights at $20 per, courtesy of the Tourist Information Center.
The lady at the guest house had me trade my shoes for slippers, and set me up on the top floor, in a cozy attic room. It was a double that she was letting to me at the “single use” rate of 4,500 SIT. The cozy double made me long for Janet, which made me feel all the more lonely for travelling alone.
That evening I hiked back into the center of town for an unremarkable dinner, after which I retrieved my bag from the train station. The weather was bad, so I stayed in and drowned my loneliness by playing “Civilization 3” on the laptop for a couple of hours. It worked well, and seemed a decent solution given that I had finished _Catch 22_ and was otherwise out of reading material, alone in a single room in a house, without the socializing opportunities of a good youth hostel.
That night I slept beneath a solid roof that was battered by a wonderfully fierce thunderstorm.