The road looks inviting coming off the back of my weekend busk success. It’s not going to make me a millionaire by any stretch of the imagination, but it’ll certainly take the edge off hostel beds, food and nights out. The sun is shining and it’s a hop, skip and a jump to Slovenia’s capital. High spirits indeed.
I’m waiting for about 45 minutes with the usual handful of folk giving the hilarious ‘grin n’ wave’ as they speed past, when in swings a shiny Mercedes. Now I’m not normally picked up in swanky motors such as this, as most businessmen would rather be seen dead than have a what they perceive to be a smelly hitcher cadging a lift on their white leather. What makes this even more remarkable however, was that the driver was a women.
Over the moon doesn’t cut it. My first ever pick up by a woman! Equality! She’s a teacher, married with kids and driving to work in the capital. Clearly I don’t look like Rutger Hauer in his 1986 road horror movie. The tag line for The Hitcher is; “never pick up a stranger.” It’s lucky for me not many Europeans appear to have seen it.
After a pleasant sunny drive complete with local history and geography lesson, we pull into the relaxed streets of Ljubljana around midday. I’m deposited within yards of the city centre, and seconds later a middle aged woman has asked where I’m from and if I need directions. She’s pointed me off towards the decent hostels, keen to practice her English and seeing the snail house on my back. I’ve got the rest of a beautiful day to explore one of Europe’s most charming capital cities, and Slovenia is already leaving me with a very good impression indeed.