Goodbye to Slovenia

September 18, 2010: Well, it was still raining this morning and expected to rain for the next two days. We didn’t want to wait for it to stop, so we decided to head for Zurich a couple of days early. We packed our bags and went over to the bus stop. In a couple of hours we were back in Ljubljana, where it was also raining heavily. We bought our tickets for the next train to Zurich, which was scheduled to leave at 8:48 pm, about eight hours away.

Since it was pouring with rain we didn’t feel like going out to look around the town or find a museum to see, so we just settled down to wait in the station. There was a waiting room out by the platforms, and we sat there for a while, but it was cold and badly lit. So finally we gave up on that and went inside the terminal to sit on the floor.

Ljubljana station
Our “office” in the Ljubljana station

From time to time we popped out (in the pouring rain) to get snacks, but mostly we just passed the time. When we were in Ljubljana before (two weeks ago!) we were surprised not to see many beggars. But now we found that the train station was their headquarters. We watched as they accosted the people going through to catch their trains, and as they looked for spare change in the vending machines we knew nobody was using.

Eventually the train arrived, half an hour late, and we got on board. It was fairly full, but we managed to get a block of four seats to ourselves. Now we just had to survive the night. There aren’t any comfortable ways to sleep sitting up in a train seat, and the lights stayed on all night, and the woman across from us was yakking away in Serbo-Croatian until long after midnight (the man she was talking to said “Da, da, da” from time to time). So we got a terrible night’s sleep.

When we woke up it was 7:30 am and we were in Feldkirch, Austria. The train puttered around for a while doing its border-crossing business into Switzerland, and then it got going along the lake and pulled into Zurich right on time at 9:20 am. It was a sunny Sunday morning. Sun! Yes! We were free! We put on our packs and stumbled down the road to the youth hostel.

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