Lublana je bulana

This nicely rhyming title of an anthem from the punk era in the local dialect translates as “Ljubljana is sick.” Not at all and not all of it, some would say, and they are right, and yet my stroll threw me in a black hole.

A few days ago I did a round of Old Ljubljana as part of my return visit from Tuscany where I now live, and ended up in the “Trubarjev antikvariat”, an old favourite used-book shop, commiserating with the seller who told me that every time he exited for a smoke, he felt like he had landed in a black hole.

Yes, that’s what it is, Ljubljana, now: black hole. A huge black hole on display, promising and possibly delivering everything to everybody for money.

I won’t go into details, you have all seen them, Generic Capitals that could be anywhere: hamburger joints with the vegan burger option, soulless souvenir shops, brand outlets, organic ice-cream vendors. Vulgar availability of what sells.

I wouldn’t take it as hard if I hadn’t grown up on these streets. There was the shop where they recorded “Ten” on tape for me in 1991. And a gostilna (osteria, Italians would say) where I often had some wine with my poet friend. There were poetry readings in the street. You could pass with the bicycle. You could still hear Slovenian spoken and sellers would not treat you like a special guest star just for being able to speak in their native tongue with you for a change.

All this is what I meant to say to my sister, but I wrote only “sick” in a message to her during my stroll and so she thought I had fallen ill.  I might have caught it, the illness of the soul. And the next day I could barely stand on my right foot. Heat, asphalt, wrong shoes and a fast walk to meet my family for čevapčići in time – Achilles tendon killers.

Nothing a bunch of crazy Bosnians couldn’t fix at their concert in Koper the next day, ending with a familiar song in the familiar language. 🙂

Back to Ljubljana. Truth be told, as a local friend said on my first day: “You can work around the tourists. They don’t explore.” They have been assigned a few streets in the dead centre, but there are still many areas with continuous peace, quiet and beauty. Photo evidence of this in an upcoming post, but today some views from this walk to illustrate my state of mind. I was trying hard to establish where I was.

Not that I wouldn’t find my way to the centre without him, but I wish to blame it on Tom Plevnik Photography and his beautiful door which I was searching for in vain in Stari trg (but now I know where it is for the next time). 😉

Click on any photo for a better view. Explanations and translations in the captions. 

Photo: © signature mmm

10 Comments Add yours

  1. dennyho says:

    Saddened by your saddness, going home does not always delight…rely on what remains in your heart.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you, Denny. There is always a ton of positives as well, no worries. That hour or so was just highly to the contrary.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. JT Twissel says:

    A fish falling in love with horse? Hum, I’d have to pick up that book. Tourist are both a curse and a blessing…

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you, Jan. I don’t know it, but it seems to be a YA fiction by a Slovenian author. Tourists are not a problem, it’s what a city thinks it must lure it with. I love it that more people are discovering Slovenia, it’s worth it.


  3. scooj says:

    Some nice graffiti art in amongst those pictures.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I always love reading the walls as I pass, looking at them too but reading even more. Strolling in a country where I don’t speak the language would leave me frustrated. But if you think the last one is street art, it’s not. Rather it’s from 1907 and was designed by Maks Fabiani. I never noticed the faces high up until now.

      Liked by 1 person

  4. scooj says:

    Those faces are amazing. I am mystified sometimes by the amount of decoration on buildings that goes unnoticed by most people. I try to look around as much as I can, but miss things all the time.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. awtytravels says:

    Hey, that’s the price of being a beautiful and well-kept city I suppose? But as your wise friend said, “You can work around the tourists. They don’t explore.” I’ve absolutely adored going around Prague, for instance, away from the medieval core of the city. The remainder of the town was absolutely devoid of fellow tourists because they all were on that bridge doing selfies!
    BTW I cannot believe that a former Yugoslav nation would be falling for this “vegan” stuff. This is a stab in the back. 😀

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Right, Fabrizio, this is what bothers me the most: what is on offer. Such airport stuff. Not only, of course. There are lovely čevapčići at “Das Ist Walter”. And beer. Cheap too. And you can look at red stars throughout. I’m glad you did the other Prague too. I was there for three days and a Pearl Jam gig and didn’t have time to start bothering.

      Liked by 1 person

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