Dear Beer Drinker Welcome to Wine Country

The Region of White Wines:  AKA the refined and calm portion of Eurotrip 2013

Living in Buenos Aires, Argentina I have 24/7 readily available access to some of the best red wines in the world, which is some days necessary for survival here.  I know there are connoisseurs of fine wines out there that will argue with me but in reality the only requirement here is for me to like and enjoy the wines I am drinking.  However, while known for great wine the same is not true of beer in Argentina and to say I am a little too fond of great beers is a very true statement.  So, whenever I am out of Argentina I find myself indulging (perhaps over indulging) in great brews. This trip to Europe was no exception I gladly traded wine at any meal for a great beer. I feel certain though through the previous posts you have already surmised that.   Today is the exception to that statement:

Let me point out first here that you will notice since arriving in Slovenia there has been no we took a wrong turn and sort of got lost stories.  No this is not due to some miracle acquisition of “sense of direction” it is 100% due to the fact that we specifically booked tours and left the directions in the hands of the experts (Roundabout Travel).  This has its advantages (less discussions about how to actually get somewhere) and its disadvantages (I find being lost leads always to some discovery and a great story).  So needless to say this part of Eurotrip 2013 was the calmest and it makes me a bit sad not to have some great “hey I got lost and look what I found stories”.

The Wine Region of Slovenia we visited is located in the Drava Valley in the town of Jeruzalem and is known for producing fabulous white wine.

On the way we stopped in Maribor, toured the town, paid homage to the oldest grapevine, and enjoyed coffee with a friend of our tour guide whom he just ran into in the city center (the country is so small it is like living in a small town).

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I must admit this stop was a bit too long for me…”hey come on there is all this wine just waiting for me to try”.  Perhaps two years is still not long enough living in a Latin American country to fully let go of the inherently impatient part of my personality.  Vamos!!!

The drive up to the vineyards was beautiful and the view from the top was spectacular.  This day was a bit dreary and gloomy and even dare I say “cold” I can only imagine how fantastic it would look on a beautiful sunny afternoon.

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Lunch was at another Gostilna or Tavern look at the view from the balcony and how cute the inside is.  Each dish was a regional specialty and was made with locally grown fresh ingredients and paired with a complimentary wine produced in the valley.  I tried buckwheat here and you know what it wasn’t too bad as in I would eat it again.  Amazing how when you are actually open to trying new things you are pleasantly surprised.

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Journey Home…..saving the best for last.  We stopped at Trojane for Krofi. What is this you may ask sounds strange……..Huge jelly filled donuts covered in powdered sugar….are you kidding me.  I love donuts, like cannot survive without them, I dream of them and now at the end of the day I am experiencing nirvana.  I will take 4 to go in addition to the one I am devouring on the way back to the car.   Can you imagine how great they will be for a late night snack enjoyed with a pot of hot tea?

Oh wait I just have to ask room service to bring me some hot water, tea and organic sugar…come on hotel just put the necessary tea making facilities in room and I will not need to delay my gratification.

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I will admit by this part of the vacation I am feeling extremely worn out and more tired than you should on any vacation it has been 20 days of how much can I squeeze into one day.  So we opted to take the day to just stay in Ljubijana and enjoy the capital city.  This day I really was experiencing small town living…having flashbacks to the place I grew up in…in the middle of this crazy ordinary restful day without any advance planning who did we see no other than Jan and Zuzi from Taste of Prague.  That was such a pleasant surprise and the fact that they even remembered us (they are super wonderful…take the tour):  though to be quite honest while I would like to think it is my bubbly personality and charming wit that makes us quite memorable I fully understand that perhaps it may actually be incredibly tall Dutch pirate who is the most unforgettable of the two of us…cause hey how many times do you actually meet someone that tall in your lifetime.

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Sadly, vacation is coming to an end….it is the last day before I return to Buenos Aires and Tall Dutch Pirate returns to life on the boat (don’t feel sorry for him if you only knew where the ship was traveling to:  Alaska, Seattle, Hawaii, Fiji, French Polynesia, and Australia….such a hard life on Holland America Cruise Line).

Last tour of the trip was to Plitvice Lakes, Croatia I was probably most excited for this day and had been looking forward to it for months.  Lets just say as for all things you anticipate too much the day didn’t go as planned and the reality of the excursion didn’t quite match the expectations.

First things first:  speed traps exist in all countries be careful.  Good news is wasn’t me who got the driving award here aka driver appreciation certificates.  I may have a small to medium sized collection of them from other countries but Croatia isn’t included in that collection.

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Our tour guide seemed much more interested in just getting to the destination, complaining and literally running through the park.  I wouldn’t advise going here with a tour but on your own so you can take your time and explore the park at your own pace without the impatient tour guide telling you it isn’t necessary to see everything.  We went on an incredibly busy day (actually the busiest of the year to be accurate) the park was incredibly crowded just me and 25000 of my closest friends and while it was extremely hard to move along the small wooden paths the park itself was magnificent someplace everyone who has an opportunity should see and enjoy.   For my next visit,  I will return with my own transportation so that I am able to truly appreciate its splendor and take the time I wish to spend there.

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The world never ceases to take my breath away with its incredible divine beauty.

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