EuroTribe

your guide to Europe off the beaten path

Photo Essay: Sightseeing in Ljubljana, Slovenia

These photos were taken during my trip to Ljubljana, which coincided with Easter. Because of this and the bad weather, the city was empty and the streets were mostly filled…

These photos were taken during my trip to Ljubljana, which coincided with Easter. Because of this and the bad weather, the city was empty and the streets were mostly filled with tourists. It was even incredibly difficult to find a hostel which is open.

Anyway since Ljubljana is a small city you can see all the attractions in one day, without having to rush from one place to another.

Photos from a day of sightseeing in Ljubljana

Sightseeing in Ljubljana - Laško beer and a broken TV

Laško beer and a broken TV

Sightseeing in Ljubljana - Side street in Ljubljana

Sightseeing in Ljubljana - Slovenian cuisine

Sightseeing in Ljubljana - Restaurant Vodnikov hram

Sightseeing in Ljubljana - Ljubljana streets

On the way to Ljubljana castle

On the way to the castle

 Inside the Ljubljana castle

Inside the Ljubljana castle

View from the Ljubljana castle

The view from the Ljubljana castle

 Exhibition inside the castle, Ljubljana

Exhibition inside the castle

Franciscan Church Ljubljana

Franciscan Church of the Annunciation

 Ljubljana streets

 Ljubljana street art

The hanging shoes, Ljubljana

The hanging shoes

The hanging shoes Ljubljana

For more info on Ljubljana visit Slovenia Tourist Board’s official website.

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Underground Culture in Rog Factory Ljubljana

Soon after World War Two, Rog Factory Ljubljana was a place for manufacturing bicycles and typewriting machines until the early 90’s when the production was closed. Since then the abandoned…

Soon after World War Two, Rog Factory Ljubljana was a place for manufacturing bicycles and typewriting machines until the early 90’s when the production was closed. Since then the abandoned factory represents an alternative open space for users who developed cultural and artistic scene on site.

Rog Factory Ljubljana

The first thing you see when entering the territory of ROG is a panel labeled “Staying at your own risk on the ROG factory area“. After 15 years of falling apart in the center of Ljubljana this abandoned factory was occupied by alternative artists.

The city of Ljubljana plans to renovate this area on the basis of public-private partnership which would transform it into Contemporary Arts Centre with exhibition spaces, studios, artist in residence programmes, educational facilities but also with commercial spaces such as apartments, shops, restaurants, hotel and more. Of course, the main problem is that idea tends to be in favour of private commercial space which would make 80% of the total area.

ROG is a place where different people gather and where friendships are formed, mainly among people who work on joint projects. All that lead to creation of a new community which is known as “Rogovci“.

Besides these joint projects, they even formed their own media. Through its newsletter ROG notifies the local community with the activities that happen there and through their radio they allow young voices to be heard.

The main motto of the community is based on “temporarity”. “We do not plan things that can not be realized in less than three days” they say.

And while the future of ROG is now uncertain, this will still be a place where people of different professions gather and create in a space free of racism, hierarchy and discrimination.

Rog Factory in Ljubljana

Rog Factory in Ljubljana 2

Rog factory in Ljubljana 3

Rog Factory in Ljubljana 4

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Rog Factory in Ljubljana 9

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Zagreb’s Museum of Broken Relationships

“The Museum of Broken Relationships encourages discussion and reflection not only on the fragility of human relationships but also on the political, social, and cultural circumstances surrounding the stories being…

The Museum of Broken Relationships encourages discussion and reflection not only on the fragility of human relationships but also on the political, social, and cultural circumstances surrounding the stories being told. The museum respects the audience’s capacity for understanding wider historical, social issues inherent to different cultures and identities and provides a catharsis for donors on a more personal level” the EMF’s (European Museum Forum) judging panel noted this when awarding it as Europe’s most innovative museum in 2011.

It all started as a traveling exhibition based on the idea of failed love relationships. Anyone can donate an object which represents their broken relationship along with a story and objects could be anything from a fluffy toy and music CD to something more extreme as an axe. You can also become a donor and send your exhibit. Donors come from all over the world, from neighboring Serbia to far Japan.

Stories are usually packed with humor, hatred and hurt. The exhibition was shown in cities like Amsterdam, Paris, Istanbul, Singapore, Belgrade, Berlin and Ljubljana.

Winter coat and love notes - Museum of Broken Relationships Zagreb

I was determined to marry her. After two months I called her. She told me that she was in love with another guy who lived near her home. No words came from my mouth, tears ran like a new river from my eyes, and I hung up. I never called her again. My heart was broken very badly, I cried a lot. I spent many sleepless nights. Still her memories are chasing me, still I am crying. She left me alone. Months passed. I moved to my national capital of Delhi. Still it hurts” says an Indian guy Prasanth who donated love notes and winter coat.

“Love is a violent recreational sport. Proceed at your own risk. Helmets, armor, and steel-toe boots are required by law.”

H.C. Paye

Tarantula Bob Dylan - Museum of Broken Relationships

You move on and the next exhibit says “Given to me by an American “boyfriend” when I was 17 and inscribed “for _____ who charmed the savage wolf”. I didn’t know that he would hound my parents for years and would eventually have a sex change and steal their name for his new persona.”

Goalkeeper gloves - Museum of Broken Relationships

Museum of Broken Relationships Zagreb

A pharmaceutical bowl - Museum of Broken Relationships

Axe in the Museum of Broken Relationships in Zagreb

And here’s an “Ex-Axe” story or to be more detailed a story of two lesbians and an axe being promoted to a therapy instrument. After being left for another woman by her partner, this woman from Berlin decided to chop her ex’s furniture. “Two weeks after she left, she came back for the furniture. It was neatly arranged into small heaps and fragments of wood. She took the trash and left my apartment for good.

“Love is an invited deal for losing peace.”
― Seema Gupta

An mp3 and a key ring - Museum of Broken Relationships

A postcard - Museum of Broken Relationships Zagreb

Olive seeds - Museum of Broken Relationships

A Linksys router - Museum of Broken Relationships

A Linksys router with a message “We tried. Not compatible.”

Not every museum will give you an emotional, thoughtful and funny experience like this one and that’s the reason I totally recommend it if you are in Zagreb.

And there’s something we shouldn’t forget;

“There is always love, hope and life after a broken heart.”
― Jelord Klinn Cabresos

The best example for this are Olinka Vištica and Dražen Grubišić who founded this museum after their own relationship broke up!

Which object from your past relationship would you leave in the museum?

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Zagreb in 24 Hours

Although Zagreb is not the most popular destination in Croatia, it certainly is a place you should visit.  There are several features that define the city- great architecture, blue trams…

Although Zagreb is not the most popular destination in Croatia, it certainly is a place you should visit.  There are several features that define the city- great architecture, blue trams crossing the streets, young stylish Zagrebians and people riding bicycles almost everywhere.

If you only have a day in Zagreb it can be difficult to decide how to spend your time so here are the things I recommend you should see/do;

Ban Jelačić Square

Ban Jelačić Square, Zagreb

You will most probably start sightseeing from this place. The square is the main meeting point of Zagrebians and it’s also the main hub for the city’s blue trams.

Ban Jelačić square in Zagreb

Kaptol

Zagreb Cathedral

From the square you can easily move to Kaptol where Zagreb Cathedral can be found. It’s the tallest building in Croatia and one of the most important symbols of the city.

Dolac

Dolac Market Zagreb

Another feature of the city are its open-air food markets and Dolac is the most famous one. Here you can get fresh fruits and vegetables, meat and fish and also other seasonal products from various parts of Croatia. This photo was taken on Easter day and that’s the reason why the market was empty.

Tkalčićeva street

Tkalčićeva street Zagreb

A street filled with boutiques, restaurants and cafés where you can sit with a cup of coffee and relax.

Stone Gate

Stone Gate Zagreb Kamenita Ulica

Stone Gate keeps the memory to the painting of Holy Mother Mary that remained untouched after a catastrophic fire in 1731. Here you will find uncounted number of plaques which thank the Virgin for helping or healing.

Stone Gate Zagreb

St. Mark’s Square

St. Mark's Church Zagreb

St. Mark’s square is home to Croatian Parliament, Constitutional Court and St. Mark’s Church, which is on the photo above.

Strossmayer Promenade

Panoramic View of Zagreb

Promenade is a great place for walking but besides that, it also offers panoramic views of Zagreb. It can be reached by a funicular which is the shortest one in the world. Try to grab a spot at one of the benches and enjoy the view around you.

Croatian National Theatre

Croatian National Theatre

In front of the theatre there is also a fountain named “The Source of Life” which is designed by a famous Croatian artist and sculptor Ivan Meštrović.

The Source of Life Fountain, Ivan Mestrovic

Museum of Broken Relationships

Museum of Broken Relationships Zagreb

I recommend you make some space to visit the Museum of Broken Relationships. It got an award for the most innovative European museum in 2011, as it’s dedicated to failed love relationships.

Pivnica Medvedgrad

And at night I recommend going to Pivnica Medvedgrad in Ilica street, where you can try their own beer which they produce for almost two decades. It’s also a great dining option and here you can taste delicious Croatian food. There is an indoor and outdoor seating area, and it’s definitely a great place to hang out, especially if you are traveling with friends or going out as a group.

So this was Zagreb in 24 hours. Do you have any recommendations for spending a day in Croatian capital? Feel free to leave the comment below.

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Interview with Francis Tapon

I am happy to welcome Francis Tapon again, this time to the latest interview session of EuroTribe. He’s an author of Hike Your Own Hike and The Hidden Europe: What…

I am happy to welcome Francis Tapon again, this time to the latest interview session of EuroTribe. He’s an author of Hike Your Own Hike and The Hidden Europe: What Eastern Europeans Can Teach Us. Enjoy!

1) Hello again Francis! Could you introduce yourself for those who may not know you?

I’m an author of two travel books. My travel style is that I like to immerse myself in one region for a few years instead of globe-trotting all over the world randomly. For example, I spent 3 years in Eastern Europe to research my book about the region.

2) The last time you got covered on EuroTribe was back in 2012, when I wrote about your book “The Hidden Europe: What Eastern Europeans can teach us”. Now you’re in Africa, on a 4-year trip to visit all 54 countries. How is it so far?

It’s been as I expected: lots of unexpected things happening! Although sometimes misadventures are disagreeable when they happen, they often end up being the best travel stories and memories. Part of being a happy traveler is learning to enjoy moments when things don’t go according to plan. This is especially true in Africa, where almost nothing goes as you plan!

3) You must have a lot of crazy and interesting stories from your African adventure. Would you share something with us?

When I was climbing the tallest mountain in Liberia, my guide abandoned me. We were hacking our way up with a machete. He was getting tired and wanted to go home because the sun was starting to go down. I encouraged him to persevere.

While he was resting behind me, I kept hacking my way up the mountain, blazing the path. While I was doing that, he sneaked away without saying goodbye. After summitting, I got lost on the way down because it was night and I had no flashlight. I had no sleeping bag or shelter. I spent 2 rough nights on the mountains, getting ripped apart by ants and thorns.

The Unseen Africa Francis Tapon

4) You will also write a book on African countries. Do you think it will be easier or more challenging than writing a book on Eastern Europe?

It’s a bit more challenging because Africa is 10 times bigger and there are more ethnic and linguistic groups than in Eastern Europe. On the other hand, Africans don’t obsess about history as much as Eastern Europeans, so that makes it easier since Africans tend to focus on the present, not the past.

The Unseen Africa Francis Tapon

5) Besides the book, are you working on any other project?

Yes, I’m creating a TV show called The Unseen Africa. To make the show happen, I’m running a Kickstarter campaign to raise money to make the pilot episode. If you want to see a travel show that shows sides of Africa that we’re not used to seeing, then please support the project. Even if you can’t give financial support, telling your friends about it will help too.

6) Anything else you wish to add?

If you ever have place that you’re scared to go to, or if you have negative stereotypes of its people: go there. You’ll almost always find it that the reality is better than you imagined.

The Unseen Africa Sahara

Thanks a lot for giving your time to take part in this interview Francis!

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15 Essential Tips Every Beginner Hitchhiker Should Know

Hitchhiking is not only the cheapest way of traveling but also the most exciting one as it allows you to have so many experiences in short period of time. You…

Hitchhiking is not only the cheapest way of traveling but also the most exciting one as it allows you to have so many experiences in short period of time. You will;

  • meet a lot of people and maybe even befriend someone

  • get frustrated or mad after hours of waiting, but the feeling of getting a ride after waiting for such a long time is good

  • you will be exposed to very interesting music (see below)

  • you’ll get better at sign language

  • your faith in humanity will be restored

  • you will hear insider stories from your drivers

  • and more

Hitchhiking is not fun and games only as it involves a risk of being picked by a potentially unsafe driver, so if in doubt turn down the ride.

Hitchhiking from Belgrade to Zagreb

Here I’ve compiled a list of 15 essential tips every beginner hitchhiker should know;

1) Think twice before you decide to hitchhike. Why? Hitchhiking is not about getting a free ride only, it’s also a WALKING ADVENTURE, so be ready to walk. And sometimes to walk all day!

2) Buy a good road map. It’s gonna be useful when deciding whether you should accept that ride or not.

3) Try to learn the language at least a bit as it will help you have a conversation with drivers. Sometimes they decide to pick up hitchhikers for one simple reason – they are bored and they appreciate company. You will also have a higher chance of getting that ride if you speak your driver’s language.

4) Have a supply of food and drinks with you.

5) You will of course first use the public transport and then go to the outskirts of the town to hitchhike.

6) NEVER accept a ride into the center of the city if you are traveling long distance and between big cities. Not only you will lose a lot of time, it will also be hard to come back to the highway.

7) When at the border, it’s better to cross it on foot and then hitchhike from the other side. Why? Drivers are more alert and they don’t feel comfortable transporting other people through an international border, so you might have more success from the other side.

8) Gas stations are a good place to hitchhike. You can always ask people around for a ride and the chance of success is usually pretty high.

9) Getting a ride at night is really difficult and not recommended.

10) Some people will react mean or try to make a joke on you. Don’t let that discourage you! You are awesome! 😉

11) Usually people who stop don’t go all the way to your destination but you can ask them to leave you at a better spot or at the next gas station.

12) Hitchhike with a friend. Not only it’s more interesting, it’s also more safe. A girl and a guy is the best combination for hitchhiking.

13) Walking along some roads like highways can get you warned or even arrested. Although you may have the right to walk along most roads, it doesn’t bother to check which one you can and cannot.

14) If you are entering a truck, take off your shoes. This is especially true for the part in the back. Truck drivers spend most of their time in a truck and they treat it like it’s their home.

15) In EU there is a law that forbids more than two people in the front of a truck. That also means if there’s two of you traveling you won’t be able to pass an international border with a truck and will have to cross it on foot instead.

What do you think about hitchhiking? Would you do it or not? If you already did, do you have any other tips to share? Feel free to comment below.

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