Dober dan everybody! I hope all those on the other side of the Atlantic Ocean are happy and healthy. From what I've heard, the weather back in Vancouver has been miserable. Well, to be fair, the weather in Ljubljana has been bitter and gray, but then that's my favourite kind of weather! To hell with the sun! The sun's only purpose is to wipe out our species with radiation and fire!
Anyway, we wake up to very foggy mornings and end our days in the fog. If you wander in the Old Town, surrounded by murky mist as you walk over the cobblestones and through the narrow medieval streets, you swear you see eldritch, shapeless forms gliding through the haze, mumbling an alien language that could drive any hardy soul insane, their slippery tentacles slowly coiling around your ankles if you stop too long to get your bearings.
Of course, I love that sort of thing. And that is why I love this town.
I suppose one challenge we've faced is the food. We are both vegetarians, and Slovenia seems like the type of place where the very idea of vegetarianism seems as strange as the ghostly shapes in the fog. However, since we've been here, the feast hasn't really ended.
First, there's burek, a filo pastry filled with cheese or apple or spinach, and costs only 2 Euros at many of the stands in the city. The perfect late-night food after downing a few pints. Oh, and the drinks! There are two major brands here: Union and Lasko, and there's been a rivalry between the two for quite some time. There's a better explanation here, although you have to scroll down the page. I found Union to have a too bitter of an aftertaste, but Lasko has a much smoother body and cleaner finish, so I generally order the green-labelled Lasko. Lisa has been enjoying a fruit brandy, but she has a much better description of it than I do (I just steal sips from her glass when she leaves the table).
In the large markets we have found beans, bottled(?) tofu that costs something like 5 Euros (which is like $10 CDN) and sandwiches made from fake meat, which are actually really good - they don't have that rubbery texture like the stuff back home. The fruits and vegetables in this country are outstanding, and I should briefly mention that we found the local outdoor market. For those of you living in Vancouver, imagine the size of Trout Lake Farmer's Market and then multiply it by at least three times. Honey, homemade sauerkraut, flowers, farm-pressed apple cider and the freshest produce were all available. Then throw in booths selling purses, slippers, jackets and children's clothes and a hundred shoppers and their dogs and you have a typical Saturday morning in Ljubljana.
When we got our student meal vouchers, we had to choose the restaurants, and we found a few vegetarian restaurants in town. On Friday we checked out one of our selections, a little place called Ajdovo Zrno, which serves soups, salads, tortillas (I know, not exactly a local dish) and samosas in a cafeteria-style setting. We had jota, a bean and sauerkraut soup that was like hot and sour soup, but without the chicken. The rest of the food was fresh and in decent portions, although Lisa thought her tortilla had too much cheese, which I think is impossible.
We are definitely going to explore all the culinary possibilities in this fine country . . . well, the possibilities that are not made with meat. Expect more foodie reports soon!
Later on we're going to watch the Arsenal and Manchester match. Yes, I did hear about the Chelsea and Liverpool match. Crap.