Dreams come true when you make them true or when everything goes not as planned...
I was sitting in the uncomfortable Flix bus (actually it was a former PolskiBus according to the ugly red seats) looking outside of the window and slowly realizing what I was going to do - watch biathlon live! - which was one of my biggest dreams!
So, it was my second week back at work (I actually call my voluntary service work!), and I was extremely overwhelmed with the number of tasks I needed to do in next months (most of them I created myself by giving new ideas and showing initiative). Yes, only 2 months left, unbelievable how the time passed. When I booked my ticket back home it became more real. Final countdown:)
But this article is about my trip!
So, I finished my work, wrote a lovely message that I was out of office and, in a hurry to catch the bus, decided to use my bike to get to the station (hoping that the bike would stay there). Since the bus was going to Warsaw I could hear a lot of Polish as well as Russian languages from Ukrainian people. As usual, being ambitious, I took my German book (yes, I’m still trying to learn it), a Polish book, needed to reply to a couple of friends...but I was just sitting there looking out of the window, trying to organise my thoughts and finally relax! In the bus sometimes it is not possible, but I managed to sleep until my arrival to Berlin airport at 4 a.m. in the morning...
As usual, I was worried to oversleep my stop, so I was waking up regularly and checking the time on my phone! When I arrived I understood that I’d never been here before so early and actually my flight at 6.15 a.m. was the first to depart. Actually, I am trying to reduce the amount of flights that I take and made a calculation. Thus, during this 4 years I stepped on the board of an airplane 29 times, so it was going to be my 30-ies time with a new fro me airline campany - easy jet, let's see... Anyway, I forgot to mention that I am going to beautiful Slovenia!
Of course, I was already hungry, and what can you do when you are traveling? - you eat, so I bought a croissant and coffee (with a cow milk a bit disgusting...because now I am drinking only plant-base milk), overpriced, but it was my holiday! The airport was so slow, people at the security control were just greeting and hugging each other (imagine these poor people start working at 4 am...), without even looking at my luggage. The area near the gates looked abandoned and at the first view I thought I was at Tempelhof, not Schonefeld. I even could brush my teeth calmly and get ready for the new adventures! People started to appear near the gate, some were still sleeping, others drinking morning/night coffee, a little girl was running around showing how active kids can be (now I feel old and pretty jealous). I would see this girl againJ
Boarding and taking my seat went pretty fast but than the pilot told about some technical issues with the doors. I was too sleepy to worry, so when we took off I had an amazing view of a night Berlin and woke up when the sun was shining into my window and suddenly I saw dark spots between the white clouds, those spots were actually mountains. Which I didn't really expect. Since my plane was delayed, I missed my connection bus to the city and didn't want to pay more, so the taxi driver even asked whether I was from Scotland (because people from there in his opinion are avaricious).
There was a couple with a kid that I saw in Berlin and now we were waiting 55 minutes for the next bus. The road to the city took around 50 minutes, which was a lot!, and the bus kept stopping at almost every corner. Straight away I went to the hostel (this was the second time in my life that I stayed at a hostel for such a long time), it was easy to find and I was happy to leave my luggage. Then, I went straight to the free walking tour (Nina's style, no need to rest) eating a Borek on my way. But actually I didn't regret going, since I learned a lot about the city, the country, local traditions and food. The guide was absolutely fascinated and proud of her country and that is great that after spending a lot of time abroad she returned to the roots. Among the visitors there were a lot people from the USA, partly from my hostel, partly from my plane. The weather was pretty chilly and cold, so all the time we were trying to catch some sun. The most important thing that I remembered from the tour was Plečnik (architect) and a lot of buildings, which he designed. The public transport is not allowed in the city center from 2007. I learned some slovenian words and even tried their liquor. It is a really small and calm city, I loved the pace that people live here.
Since I decided to write on Couchsurfing to meet locals I made an appointment with one guy that promised to take me on a hike to some hills. His place was around 5 km from the centre and at first I wanted to walk there but then checked the way and it was supposed to be only 1.30 Euros one way. Unfortunately, I didn't take into account that I needed to buy an extra card, the whole system was really complicated, but one man kindly helped me. However, in total I spent 10 euros instead of 1.30, so I will have money for my future trips here, though everything important is in the walking distance. That man (the one that helped me) intended to show me the city or at least I felt like that, but I left for hike, because I am a responsible person and I felt kind of obliged. With an awful mood I went to see theman from Couchsurfing. When his dog was jumping and barking at me I thought: What the hell I was doing there!!! But the view on the mountain was promising. We took the path that he’d never taken before with his dog Bella (she was only 9 months old and wanted to play with the other dogs all the time). It was pretty complicated and long, furthermore we couldn't find the way to go up for a long time. At first he thought I was from Germany and wanted to speak German, no offense but I was on my holidays (still with a German book), but I didn't want to think too much...
Finally when we started to go up, I felt okay, I was already there so just strated to ask about the life this person. I would not say that it was the best experience and talk in my life, but in the end, he said that I was nice, and that it was a pity that I was not staying at his place. He even wanted to go with me to Biathlon, but it is complicated when you live with the dog. I was pretty happy to return to my hostel after buying some local food at the supermarket. At the hostel I was relaxed and after normal food, I talked with my neighbours (there were 8 of us), girls from Chile and Alaska, actually people from the USA tell their state (not country they are coming from) when they introduce themselves. I talked a lot with a woman from Alaska, and I probably explained her all my life and worries about the future, hard life in Ukraine and my feelings of guilt for not being there during this hard time. When I told that I came specially for the event (biathlon), people thought that I practised it myself, so maybe I should at least learn how to ski. A lot can be told about those conversations, but I realized I like to talk about myself (is it bad?). So, constant practice of Active Listening! With such an intention I went to sleep in the extremely comfortable bed (after the night in the bus).
My second day started at night when my phone fell down from the bed. The sound was as if it crashed completely, so while searching for it in the darkness, I was praying for it to be still working. I barely found it, and was surprised how my poor phone survived falling down. In the morning, after the slow breakfast, I had an intention to go earlier to Bled as it is an totally beautiful place, but when I went out under the rain, there was no bus earlier, so I took the one I was supposed to take, sharing it with the tourists to the lake, again a couple that I had met in Berlin and some other biathlon fans from Norway. Already excited!
Together we were trying to find the shuttle bus, but than we saw a crowd of people, half of them were already celebrating having typical attributes. I felt so inexperienced...the way to Pokljuka was about half an hour up the mountains with the stunning views that I could not even imagine and funny Austrian people behind me. When we arrived, first, I had a look around realizing that I was actually there! The atmosphere was so friendly, I found the place (near German fans) and was waiting for an hour more, but we had some entertainment, a cheerleaders team, some music and then the race began. Honestly, it's an amazing feeling to look at the sportsmen live, covered with the flag of your country, especially when you team is coming on the 5 position.
During the break one man started to talk to me in German (I was trying to escape from it this language, but couldn't even on my holidays). He was a really lovely man that came with other 40 people for this event. During the next race we were supporting each other. For that I actually like biathlon, for the support regardless of the team you are presenting (frankly speaking I admire Norwegian team and their result), but still I am a true fan of only one team (Ukrainian). At the end, my team was discqualified but that didn't upset me a lot...I watched the ceremony and was thinking how the sportsmen felt in that moment. A lot of times I was trying to imagine myself in their place, their celebration and so on. We (spectators) celebrated in the tent with some local stars but when it started to remind me of an October fest, I decided to leave. After waiting for a while in the queue for the shuttle bus I returned to Bled. There I walked next to the famous lake with lights and music from the other side, a castle and a Christmas tree up there. I will definitely need to come back here again. With such an resolution finishing my day.
After accomplishing my dream I needed some time to relax, thus I started my day without an alarm and slow early breakfast with some conversation about politics since the guy from the USA started to talk about Donald Trump and the situation with Ukraine. I was simply listening but then the girl asked me where I was from… Actually there were a lot of people from the USA and I understood that I hate the American accent, oppsJ
The weather outside was rainy and I decided to study German with the view on the castle. Then, since I had a card I didn't find anything better than go to the cemetery designed by Plecnic, as well as his grave. Probably it is the „best“ place where you can take a rest from the people and at some point I was wondering what the hell I was doing there!!! So I escaped from there and returned to the hostel to take a nap. Next place to visit was Tivoli park during the evening with the pictures of the buildings made by local „hero“ Plecnic. Since that was my day off from the internet I didn't speak to anyone. Thus, I was an observer and an active listener, and with such a rainy and foggy weather the city looked misterios. I realized that actually I am a nature person and probably I should spend my life somewhere in the mountains or a forest.
The last day in Ljubljana started without any conversations. People were just in their phones, it is so sad actually...so I was also stuck in my phone listening to some audio messages. The weather was foggy again, but still I decided to climb the hill with the castle to see the view of the city (not the best idea).
And of course, there were no people at all, only a lonely man, the view looked like from some movies, only fog...the hike wasn't that long and the process of taking pictures either, so I returned back to the hostel for check out and still had 2 hours before leaving to the airport, thus I decided to go to Plecnikova church in the middle of nowhere. It was literally like that, with one bus coming once in an hour, so in 5 minutes I took a photo, had a look on a closed church and started to walk back next to the busy street, doubting what the hell I was doing there (again). Instead of being in a city I was walking on the outskirts, experiencing the real country! On the way to the airport I was realizing that I didn't speak to anyone for almost the whole day but it didn't bother me at all.
On the plane of course there were the same people, the same couple with the kid. For the first time I was flying in the conditions of the super foggy weather, and all the passengers needed to switch their phones off. But the rest of the trip went well and we safely landed in Berlin. I was going to see my friend to celebrate my “Angel Day” with a cake and maybe to plan a bigger trip together! Since I am crazy enough to do so!!! Nevertheless, ahead of me there was a 10-11 hours journey to Bonn, to normal life with a lot of tasks and worries, because it is me, who decided to be stressed and worried! With a thought about myself and my needs I am starting a new week!