There was another free-for-all in the breakfast room and with a karate club on one side and builders carrying out alterations on the other we didn’t linger over our continental breakfast but set off straight away once again making for the bus station. Today we had decided to take the shorter journey to what we had read was the most perfectly preserved medieval town in Slovenia, Škofja Loka.
There was a lovely blue sky and once again the bus arrived exactly on time and we enjoyed the forty-minute journey through the picturesque countryside and arrived at an untidy little terminus at our destination. The bus station may not have been very exciting but the little town was quite spectacular. It is a European cultural heritage site and although there is evidence of fifty years or so of neglect there was a lot of restoration work taking place and when all of this is finished it will once again be a seriously attractive town.
The first place to visit was the castle. It was quite a walk up to the fortress and the museum but it was well worth the effort because once at the top the views were spectacular across the mountains and valleys that surround the town. It was really quite hot so we were quite glad of the cool interior of the small but impressive town museum that had an interesting and varied collection of exhibits ranging from farm equipment to stuffed animals and birds to the ubiquitous collection of war time mementos of persecution.
Our visit completed we descended the path back to the town and stopped off at a little bar that was built into the old town walls before we continued our trip by walking into the main town square. Here there was an impressive collection of medieval buildings all in various stages of renovation and after establishing that the tourist shops were a little too expensive for our budget we gave them a wide berth and instead found a convenient bar at one end of the square and choose a seat in the sun and ordered a Lašco each and sat and enjoyed the unhurried pace of life. Kim bought a sandwich from a nearby bakery, which we ate discreetly in case it offended the bar owner and then feeling guilty about this we ordered a second beer to compensate.
Lunch over all that remained to do was to take a look at the rest of the historic buildings before catching the bus back to Ljubljana. We walked around the twisting medieval streets and narrow back alleys and eventually found ourselves at the Parish Church that had an interesting but not particularly impressive interior but was made memorable by a group of young children who, under the supervision of a convent nun, were experiencing their first ever confession.
There was a row of priest boxes and one by one the children were taking their turn to confess their guilty secrets. Some didn’t seem to be taking this momentous event especially seriously especially the young boy who was break dancing and moonwalking as he impatiently waited his turn. There was a lot of sniggering and giggling and the nun did well in her efforts to maintain an aura of solemnity about the occasion and I began to wonder just what a ten-year-old boy might confess to anyway?
On the way out we crossed a six hundred year old stone bridge across the Selška Sora and in the middle passed a statue of St John Nepomuk who is supposed to bring good luck. Well the sort of luck that old St John brings I can happily do without. The man, who built the bridge, a certain bishop Leopold, fell off of it shortly after completion and he drowned in the river below. Where was St John on that particular day I wonder? I certainly wouldn’t rely upon him to help me pick my numbers for the National Lottery that’s for sure.
Back at the bus station we waited for our bus and listened to some Merchant-Ivory English ladies having an amusing minor disagreement about their holiday itinerary and we watched as the sky darkened and the afternoon rain clouds started to gather.