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cafes along Ljubljana River
Ljubljana, Slovenia; Aug 10, 2005

5-star soap in a 0-star bathroom[alternative title: from fluffy robe ease to black eyed peas

We celebrated our 1-year wedding anniversary in Zagreb, Croatia (don't worry; Croatia will be covered in our next update). We had a gorgeous suite at the Regent Esplanade overlooking the plaza. Compared to the places we’d been staying over the past 10 months I felt like we had died and gone to a pimped-out version of heaven.

our pristine room at the Regent Esplanade in Zagreb, Croatia

It’s amazing; donning a fluffy white robe has a dramatic psychological affect on a long-term budget traveler’s psyche. We giggled with delight at having a clean (gorgeous) bathroom, lounged in front of the television, and reveled in eating the little chocolates left with turn-down service. It was the life… just not really ours (not for long anyway). A few blissful days later we packed up and jumped on the train to Ljubljana, the capital of Slovenia. On a last-minute whim I grabbed the remaining bar of spa-quality, nicely packaged bath soap and stashed it in our toiletry case.

Maybe we’d gotten soft from our stay at the hotel or maybe our brains were boiled from the overstuffed, no-window, no-circulation, 4-hour train ride, or what turned out to be an much longer "just a short walk" lugging our bags from the train station to the hostel (which was pretty difficult to find), but when we finally checked in, we were... hmm... "underwhelmed" would be a polite way to say it.

our not-quite-pristine room at the hostel in Ljubljana

The local college dormitory is converted to a hostel in the summertime. In general we are not picky, but we went from a king size bed to bunk beds, and original local Croatian art to posters of Avril Lavigne, the Black Eyed Peas and Nelly (not that we have anything against at least the last two of those three). I visited the shared bathroom in the hall and waited for a young man that had been in there way too long for my taste and discovered that he didn’t leave me any toilet paper. Oh bother. Grumpy, I returned to our room, grabbed our toiletry bag, and headed for the shower. Last night's comfy hotel room with heated floors and a Jacuzzi tub seemed a world away now, but I smiled, remembering that little piece of heaven I’d swiped just hours before. In the tiny bathroom stall, I looked at the gleaming bar of soap sitting perilously on the edge of the tiny unclean shelf and laughed to myself. Welcome back to budget traveling!

© 2004-2012 susan & grace, all rights reserved

-- comments from readers --


Shame you didn't stay at the converted jail in Slovenia - has been resdesigned as a hostel and is really good value. Oh well - keep it in mind for next time: Hostel Celica! (Great blog by the way!)

--Suze M. (Manchester, United Kingdom); Apr 28, 2007


I can't stop laughing with you while reading your funny experience. You must laugh hard yourself at that time.

--Vivian H. (San Jose, California, USA); Mar 16, 2006