Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Don't Ride the White Horse


Motorcycle Adventure Travel | Elvis with Lipizzaner StallionsWe woke up in Slovenia at the Hotel Jama right at the famous Postonja Caves. Having no cash we took full advantage of the included breakfast. It was absolutely gorgeous out. The sun was shining, the birds were singing, and the beer looked really cold. I just wish my motorcycle was parked outside. Not that it would matter, I still don't have any money for a beer!

Fortunately I could buy tickets for the tour on my credit card otherwise it would have been a complete waste of a trip. Lining up for the tour you had to walk by all the kiosks flogging food, drink, and ice cream, but they were all cash only.
Motorcycle Adventure Travel | Elvis in Postonja Caves
Now I normally don't take to the tourist traps but I gotta tell you the caves were impressive. I believe there were 50 kilometers underground and the tour covered about 10 of them.The open train takes you down to a huge amphitheater and there you begin the tour.

After the tour we got right in the car and started driving. We were thinking about going to Italy until we saw a sign that said:

"Lipeza Stud Farm"

There was no conversation needed. I followed the signs and I was in Lipeza in about 45 minutes. When we pulled up the first thing I noticed was a big VISA sign. We're in luck.
Motorcycle Adventure Travel | Lipeza Stud Farm
The place was a resort! The weather was fantastic and we enjoyed a great lunch on the patio. Slovenian beer isn't the best but when it's your only choice you deal with it. Looking around you would think that "Union" beer owned the entire country the way the signs and awnings litter the country.

The tour of the place was great! If you're a horse lover (which I am) this is another must see. There were only four of us on the tour and the other couple had to leave early for health reasons. So when the other couple left the tour guide took us for a more complete tour and they let us get in with the horses.
Motorcycle Adventure Travel | Elvis in Lipeza Stud Farm
After the tour we got in the car and left right away. On our way out we saw more stallions near the fence so we stopped and spent some time hand grooming a couple that we coaxed over with an open hand.

We decided to go to Trieste and see a bit of Italy. When we approached the toll booth the lady asked us where our ticket to travel in Slovenia was. This time I wasn't playing stupid. I had no idea what she was talking about and I was wishing that her english wasn't so damn good so I could play the 'no comprendi' card. Fortunately I'm so good looking that she felt mercy upon me and instead of fining me 350 Euros she told us where to buy the ticket and sent us on our way. It costs about 50 Euros to drive in Slovenia, it's there way of getting money out of tourists as they pass through. I'm glad I didn't go through Slovenia on my motorcycle tour.

So I headed towards the place she told us to buy the ticket. Fortunately that was the same directions as the Italian border. Like I was going to stop anyway. I'll take any ticket these European cops want to throw at me.

We crossed the border and Trieste greeted us immediately. I was looking for ATM's the minute I crossed the border and I actually ended up resorting to using the GPS. We zigzagged through the city for almost an hour before we could find a parking spot near a bank. I actually parked illegally, left Izabel in the car, and walked to my destination with the GPS in my hand. The device was more useful walking than it was driving.

I put my card into the machine and hoped for the best. Beep, beep, beep, clickety, clickety, wrrrrrrrrr...

Eureka! Money came out. I'm so relieved. I thought I was going to be broke for the rest of my trip because my cards were canceled. That's another thing I didn't think about when planning my motorcycle adventure. Next year I will make sure to call the banks and tell them where I will be. I mean how was I to know my bank card would work everywhere except Slovenia?

We ran the gauntlet a little more in Trieste circling endlessly through the downtown area looking for parking. Izabel had really no interest in sight seeing, which is fine by me; she also didn't have any interest in drinking beer on some steps in a square somewhere, which isn't fine by me. Unfortunately I returned to the car with far to much money in my hands and she could only think about one thing... Shopping.

Kill me now.

We past by so many little drinking establishments as we went from one shop to another. The city was littered with clothing stores and scooters. There was an occasional motorcycle here and there but I have never seen such swarm of scooters everywhere. Keep in mind that I have been almost everywhere in Italy. Every red light looked like the start of some crazy scooter Cannonball Run. It was enjoyable to watch.
Motorcycle Adventure Travel | Elvis with Scooters in Trieste Italy
There is a saying, "When in Rome, do as the Romans do"

I don't think Izabel knows that one. Here we are in Italy buying French designed, Peruvian made handbags in a town with such a rich history. Oh well. It's my fault for having so much money on me. So after parting with a big chunk of it at the LaCoste store we stopped and bought some souvenirs for people back home and some toys for Olivia because she is very under privileged and doesn't own many toys (editor's note: that was sarcasm).

I never did get a beer in Italy and I was a little more than peeved at that. Of course the only country that makes worse beer than Slovenia is Italy. The thought of choking down a Peroni isn't all that tantalizing.

We kept to the coast and took the back roads to Croatia. The Croatian border gaurds were unbelievably friendly and sent us through quickly. I put the 'hammer' down and flew through the Croatian countryside at unsafe speeds and was rewarded for it by being pulled over by a cop waving a little stop sign. I would have kept going but I noticed a police car pointed the right way to lay chase. Plus, I knew that whatever fine they threw at me I wouldn't pay it anyways.

I made a point of taking my time stopping. It took the poor girl a long time to walk over to us in the blistering heat.

"Paper's please", she spoke after trying her own language. There was no way I was going to let her know that Izabel spoke fluent Croatian. I handed them to her and she looked at us a sighed. She's been here before. I saw the defeated look on her face and had a hard time not giggling. She walked back to her car and when she came back she gave us a stern warning and sent us on our way.

That took about 20 minutes so I wasn't going to worry about making up time. All the cars I passed to get pulled over were probably having a good laugh. I'm not going to give them that pleasure twice. We pulled over and I grabbed a couple beers at the gas station. We bypassed Rjeka and got on the freeway and we were back in Jadrtovac quickly. I was actually excited to see my motorcycle waiting for me outside when I pulled into town.

I think my motorcycle was excited to see me too.


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