“Is Everything OK? We haven’t read a post from you for 4 months?!?!”
I received this text just a couple of days ago and it has been on my mind and heart to update the blog for weeks. But this text really drove home how long it has been. I will attempt to begin the chronicle of the past few months now, but I know full well that I will not do any of it justice having left it so long.
We last left off in Venice…
Having spent a month in Venice and the North of Italy, we were ready to move on, but as often happens at the end of the cruising season, we tend to become anxious to get on with the chores awaiting us in the off season. More so this year, as we were planning a trip back to the US on October 1.
So, as we were nearing the end of our summer, we began looking forward, more than living in the present. Despite this, I lobbied Alec and Jack to allow us 1 more stop on the itinerary which would cause us a delay of however many days we decided to stay, and a short detour of just a few hours. I don’t remember when a detour was more justified or rewarded than our stop in Slovenia.
Since we were arriving from another EU country, there were no customs formalities on our arrival. We simply proceeded to the Portoroz Marina. While Slovenia garners a scant 47 KM of coastline on the Gulf of Trieste by the Adriatic, there are 3 major waterfront villages, Koper, Piran and Portoroz. Since this was a last-minute detour and, if I’m honest, I think we have all had enough organized touring, we just wanted to take in the new sites and enjoy one final week in a new and unfamiliar place. What a magical country to do just that. We focused on enjoying each other and the sweet final days of summer with no obligations or schedules.
In hindsight and if you are considering a trip to this area, we could have easily filled another few weeks here. There was so much left unexplored in this amazing country of only 2 million residents. It is for this reason; I don’t want to just gloss over it in the 4-month recap. If we had it to do over again, we would have spent 2 of the weeks we had in Italy, here.
The first day we were there, we decided to just have a stroll along the water and see where the road lead – eventually we walked to the next village 4 km north. We discovered Piran, a medieval village with Venetian and Gothic architecture, amazing restaurants, charming shops and sun bathers and swimmers lying about on the rocks near the waters edge. Enjoying this day, eating when hungry, having no idea what we may encounter and just being in the moment were the nicest memories I have of this final stop on our summer cruise.
We took a shared ride to the capital of Slovenia, Ljubljana, 120 km. from Portoroz on day 2. The shared ride was not the best way to travel back and forth so if you are planning a trip, consider a bus or a cab to better improve your options. In fact, if we could do it over again, we would have rented a car and/or gotten a hotel room in Ljubljana for the night. It is the most charming town with a completely different feel from any other Mediterranean city we have visited. There was something Northern European about the feel of the city. Yet the architect, Joze Plecnik, who created so many buildings and bridges here, was said to have created it after Greece. Regardless, the effect was enchanting, and we all loved it.
The culinary scene made all of us wish we had another stomach! There was a food festival happening when we were there, and we could not get enough of the amazing food being prepared in these small tents. Making room for another chance at the food tents, we walked up to the castle on the hill, and meandered along the river. We enjoyed walking and exploring this green city with lots of parks and green spaces from end to end.
We celebrated my birthday in Slovenia this year and it is a birthday I will always cherish for the quiet and peaceful way that we enjoyed those final special lazy days of summer before the pressing responsibilities of school and life begin pushing in.
While we had no formalities arriving at Portoroz, it was necessary for us to officially “check out” of the EU, as our next port of call is Montenegro. We left Portoroz immediately following our PCR tests and motored to Piran, where there is an EU Customs/Immigration office. The 32 hour passage from Slovenia to Montenegro was uneventful and a perfect end to a blissful summer of cruising. Gratitude performed flawlessly, thanks to Alec’s relentless maintenance and care. In total this summer since leaving Sicily, Italy on May 1, we put 206 hours on our main engine as it motored us 1306 NM. We consumed 1013 gallons of diesel including the time spent with our generator operating. The generator usage was higher than it is normally, due to the days spent at anchor. In fact, due to our preference to be at anchor in the summer and not have our generator operating needlessly, we have decided to re-power for our electrical needs with Victron LifePo batteries and adding solar capabilities on our hardtop. As we are in the midst of this project, Ill update the blog later on the particulars. But it is our desire to be able to recharge the batteries efficiently for a couple of hours every couple of days to meet all our electrical needs. We will see how that goes.
For now, Ill leave this post here and follow next week with a post about our trip back to the US. We were there for 6 weeks, and we hardly slowed down.