I’ve had a horrendous morning, for which I am blaming the Slovenian public transport network, taxis and, above all, myself. Rather than target individuals back home with crisis texts, I am throwing that emotion into a blog post for friends and family (and strangers) to read and reply to without obligation. This post comes with a warning; I’m in an awful mood, be prepared.
As with most disaster days, mine began at 7am after two hours’ sleep. Only four or so hours the night before as well, so it’s safe to say that this day was a write off before it even began. Oh, and add a hangover to that. Get me some cold water and an emergency croissant.
I’m with Corinne from France, a couchsurfer. We head to the bus station, me with the niggling feeling that I’ve forgotten something, left something at Paul’s perhaps. The brainwave hits me like a vision, it’s like a movie, me putting my passport into our couchsurf friend’s Clio for safe keeping while at Bled. Disaster.
I get off the bus minutes before it leaves, fully aware of the fact that it’s the only Slovenia to Italy coach today. I take a ridiculously expensive taxi from the rank to the Clio owner’s hostel, find out his room from reception and go wake him up.
Passport retrieved, I return to the train station only to be laughed at at both train and bus stations when I ask about Italy connections. I head for an Internet cafe and get straight on Prevoz (Slovenia’s Carpooling) and after making a couple of phone calls, I find a man driving from Ljubljana to Venice, winner.
He’s dodgy from the start, asking me to meet him at a motorway service station just out of town (the taxi costing €20 for a 10 minute journey). He isn’t wearing a top or shoes, and won’t tell me why he’s travelling to Venice. He drives 160km/h, one foot up on the dashboard, one hand on the phone at his ear. We stop at a service station and he buys me a coffee I didn’t ask for, suspicious. He drops me at an airport in Venice, I give him a tenner for the ride.
But I’m in one piece, safely on a train from Venice to Verona, desperately trying to keep my eyes open, with my pocket €100 lighter and my hungover stomach empty.
That Slovenia/Italy connection was so much more difficult than it need to have been. The lack of public transport between the two is ridiculous, and perhaps goes some way to explaining why Slovenia is often overlooked by travellers and interrailers in particular.
Ultimately, though, this situation was entirely my fault – to think I could have left the country without my passport terrifies me and I am shocked that I could have been so careless.