Ljubljana

Every city has something to see, but we really hit it out of the park with our whirlwind tour of Ljubljana and Celje today.  The drive in to Ljubljana was lovely, all steep, green mountains, little chalets, neatly tended farms, it looked very prosperous and Swiss (actually, the view from our Air B and B in Celje reminds me a great deal of a campsite we once stayed at in Liechtenstein, a view from the valley straight up a mountain).
Now, I wasn’t expecting much from Ljubljana.  Another European city, capital of a small country, and I’ve seen plenty of those.  It was, indeed, absolutely chock-a-block with tourists, and had the requisite pedestrian zone and shlock souvenir shops, but it had a couple of things most other cities don’t, and every city should.
Water fountains.  When I was growing up, they were everywhere,  but the bottled water industry has destroyed that.   Well, Ljubljana is fighting back.  There was one I  saw that even had a plaque, proclaiming the environmental value of not drinking bottled water.  There was another one that was dog friendly, the water dropped straight down to the ground without any catch basin.  There was another one that was a statue of a great  stag, and the water was coming out of his mouth.
Public toilets.  All over the place, well marked, and free.  At least the one I went to was free.  And that is not something you can take for granted in Europe.
Artificial rain.  This blew me away.  There was one intersection, not far from the river, where it was raining, a nice, soft, gentle rain, and I couldn’t figure out how they were doing it.  Very simple, actually.  There were some wires overhead, with sprinklers attached, understated but not invisible.  It was a brilliant idea.
Then we came back to Celje, ate lunch (after walking quite a bit, there were lots of bars and snack stands but no restaurants open), then went to Smartonoske Lake, I believe both of those esses are pronounced sh, and then drove up to the castle, from which the view was spectacular, and it was about 9:00 by the time we got back to our home away from home, had sandwiches and grapes for dinner, and that brings us up to current.
Tomorrow we drive back to Prague.

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