17 – Ljubljana Disaster

Tour of Eastern Europe – 25th Octtobre – “Disaster Strikes”

Well I boarded my first train, the metro at 11:15 PM and easily made it to Prague Central Station. From there I easily made my train to Breclav; the border station of the Czech Repulic and Austria. Here I was supposed to get a train to Wien (Vienna) and there Venezia (Venice) arriving around 1:05 PM. Breclav went terrible. I arrived around 4:10 AM to head to Wien at 4:57 AM. My train came 45 minutes late. I had a 35 minute layover in Wien – I missed my train to Venezia………arghhhhhhh……Thinking no problem – Vienna is a big city with a big station there must be other train to Venezia other than the 6:45 AM train I was supposed to take – apparently that was very wrong. The next train was to leave at 1:59 PM and would not arrive in Venezia until almost 9:00 PM.  This is too late – as I had to be at the Marathon kiosk by 8:00 PM to get my timer and bib for the race. I’m very frustrated. The people at the Austrian station assured me there was no other way; but one gentleman made a suggestion to me; head for Ljubljana in Slovenia, then go to Trieste, Italy and on to Venice. It sounded good – the train for Ljubljana left at 7:57 AM. All seemed well – it was a 6 hour train ride but was in the direction I needed to go. We arrived in Ljubljana an hour early – hurray! I found the train for Sirvenca (Trieste in Slovenian) – but wait……… it says not on Saturdays..ggrrrrr! I’m screwed. So I end up meeting this kid who said he went out dancing the night before and lost his wallet and needs money for home. He seems convincing and since I can’t read the signs and the information desk is closed I give him the 3 Euro he needs in exchange for help. He suggests I go to a border station in Austria named Marbelor and hope to find a connection; claiming Slovenia has bad connections. He is right when he said that. So I went to this border station and of course as my day is going there is nothing; they say go back to Ljubljana and my only choice is to catch the 2:22 AM train to Venezia. Well I guess I have no options – so I go back to Ljubljana. I’m so incredibly frustrated; this misery just won’t end. Making it back to the capital of Slovenia around 8:30 PM I figure I might as well store my stuff in a locker and see the city a bit. I try – but I still have such a headache. I did find a great Gyro fro 3.50 Euro; one of the best yet in Europe – good size as well. After walking for an hour I finally find the old town center of Ljubljana on the riverfront – which is actually quite beautiful with the river and buildings highlighted with dark purple and green night lights setting a unique ambiance. I end up really like this town – whereas the train station area looks quite the dump. Later I stumble on a park – with a huge kiosk and sign stating; “Ljubljana Marathon 26th October!” Haha – you’ve got to be kidding me. Tomorrow – if I didn’t go to Marbelor and stayed in town I probably would have found this one in time to sign-up and run. But now at 11 PM it’s too late – but about par for my current luck.

Spending a night in the outdoor train station in Ljubljana, Slovenia – I wouldn’t suggest it. Not the nicest area. Although I did end up finding company around 12 PM when a South Korean girl came to sit near me looking for some protection. There are sketchy punk grunge dressed and drunk children everyone doing who knows what. I’m really wishing I was home in my house (wherever this will be when I return). I can’t sleep – its too cold and my but is freezing on this marble tile. I sit on my towel and knock out a chapter in my finance class and chapter in my international strategy class. The trains finally arrives. I pass out for almost the whole ride but the last two of six. The last two are absolute agony. With every stop we get closer to Venice we pick up locals with their orange Venice marathon travel/race prep bags. This just adds to my empty feeling. We arrive to the train station in Venezia. More Orange bag cladded civilians…….I want to scream. All the buses are taken up by the race to bring the competitors to the start; which means now that Steve still can’t make it his hotel. Stressed I start to walk…..and walk……and walk……I’m going nowhere fast. About to explode I break down and get a taxi. Another bust; 20 more Euro down the drain. It’s really hard dropping cash like this when you save so hard elsewhere. Most days I don’t even spend 20 Euro; but not this last few 30 + hours. I finally make it to my hostel – but on the way the irony just had to been increased; why not. On the way we pass the hotel I stayed at on my amazing trip to Venice last year with Marissa (more salt to the wound) and then we pass the race bib and timer pick-up depot which is only minutes walking from my hostel; ouch, ouch, and a bit more. I’m to the room. What’s done is done. There is nothing more I can do. It’s all over.

I head downstairs and eat my face out with their buffet; one positive so far – a great breakfast with all you can drink espresso! I get back to the room around 9 AM just in time to see the race on television start. This is really painful. I feel terrible especially because the one girl from Auburn who did not bail had to go to the race herself. Watching the course; it’s so incredibly flat – the perfect chance to try and make a Boston Qualifying time; oi vay! Deciding that I’m just going to sit in my room and sleep my miseries away and head to bed. I can’t sleep – mind is running. I pick myself up and head for the Islands of Venezia. I should at least try and take a photo of Jessica in her race. I’m actually quite glad I went; its made me feel better. Still really frustrating and agonizing – but helped my mind stop running with ideas. Last night was terrible; so much reflection on what I’m doing in life – which I’m not really sure – I wish I could figure it out. There are too many decisions but seems to be no options; the economy is not helping my situation; and I wish I had no debt. I’m glad I went to watch the race; I made it in time to see the hot winners and Venice is so beautiful you can’t be there and be upset! Things are looking up – there’s no point I guess in being continually depressed – but it was hard when you had nothing to do but sit on a train.

I don’t meet up with the rest of the Auburn crew; we have a week here in Venice starting Tuesday and ending Friday. They aloud me not to return to Castiglion Fiorentino because I had this race; woops. I think they will understand. I had been planning to go to Verona and Vincenza which are only about a half hour and hour ride respectively to see some famous architectural buildings I learned about in school; but I think I will just stay in Venezia; do some schoolwork and try and save some cash. I also thought of going to Croatia or Trieste with Bryan after this week in Venice; but again I think I’ll just head back to Cast. F. I’ve still got around 50 days left in Europe; and with skiing, a trip to Londra and Barcelona I think I need to start being a better spender. Can’t afford these downfalls. Well I’m finally out; it’s 3 PM here. I plan to take a nap then write a paper and find some internet and apply for more jobs. I did get a response from the Diving Team in Torino here; and it was pretty positive. I hope to call them this week although I don’t think it will turn out into anything substantial. I would need some serious pay and a great job hook up to make it worth my while. But at least something to be excited about. The last two days was rough; it’s made me really homesick. I hope you are well back in the States. Miss you much and talk soon.    -Stevo da Venezia

Journeys

Journeys

Ljubljana River

Ljubljana Riverfront; Very Pretty

Ljubljana Station; Where I slept!

Ljubljana Station; Where I slept!

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Responses

  1. hey stevo !! looks like the luxury accommodations there bud LOL glad things worked out……….the trip continues to unfold in amazingly diverse and interesting directions…………stay in touch bud……..


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