A trip to Venice and Ljubljana (part one)

Hello! It feels like I’ve been gone for a really long time, but in actual fact I just went on holiday for a few days and the world kept on ticking. I feel I’ve been a little greedy on the holiday front this year, but I suspect this may be the last post in my Escape series for a while, what with the whole house-buying malarkey taking over the purse strings. I hope you like the sound of it; it ended up being the most wonderful of escape routes and one I highly recommend.

By the way – if you’re interested in practical travel tips for Venice to Ljubljana, have a scroll on down. They’re at the end of this post.

Venice from A Life Less Physical

Venice, Italy 

Last week the man-friend and I flew to Venice. Neither of us had been before and we ended up going by accident, of sorts. The original plan was to go to Ljubljana in Slovenia for a week but the flights were pretty expensive so we decided to go via Venice and extend the holiday a bit. We gave ourselves two days to enjoy the City of Water before catching a train to Slovenia, and then we returned for one final day before going home.

Now I don’t think any of you need to be told how magnificent Venice is. It’s mere existence is fascinating, without needing to even consider the architecture, the food and the shops. In spite of this, it doesn’t appeal to everyone. The tourists are EVERYWHERE and everything is expensive, but in spite of this it still holds its magic – or at least, it does to me.

I should say at this point that it in no way is a fibromyalgia-friendly break. There is nothing relaxing about it, and you have to walk everywhere. Although it’s relatively flat, there are bridges every second heartbeat and there are very few places to go for a rest. There are few public benches or seating areas which make it difficult when your walking is limited.

Still, I powered on through. I mean, it’s Venice for crying out loud!

Venice from A Life Less Physical

We stayed in a central apartment that I found via Airbnb and it was exactly what we needed. An attic flat meant yet more steps, but I had come to expect that. It was clean and comfortable and in a relatively quiet area, all things considered. There was the buzz without the bees, and we were just a ten minute walk from the Rialto Bridge.

The thing is, no matter how much pain or discomfort you’re in, this city is so incredibly beautiful that everything else goes out the window. Pain, fatigue, and the 30+ mosquito bites I got on the first night were surpassed by sunshine and views like these…

Venice from A Life Less Physical

Venice from A Life Less Physical

Venice from A Life Less Physical

Venice from A Life Less Physical

I suspect I’m being slightly frivolous about the pain going out the window… it was hard, and I think I may have uttered something about wanting to saw off my arms and legs, but I can’t remember if that was pain related or mosquito bite related. (Me, dramatic? Never.)

I did see one woman in a wheelchair and wondered how on earth she was coping. The steps, the boats… nothing seemed easy. But every cloud has a silver lining and, for me, this came in the form of pizza lining. Loads and loads of pizza.

Pizza in Venice from A Life Less Physical

This is me deliriously happy. Like, so happy I went into a bit of a pizza trance before demolishing my half of the beast.

Pizza in Venice from A Life Less Physical

I did the obligatory visit to St Mark’s Square, but couldn’t cope with the huge number of tourists to get a proper look at the Bridge of Sighs. The walking stick made an appearance and I hurried to a nearby cafe for a rest and, more importantly, gelato. However, 14 Euros for one scoop of ice cream seemed beyond ridiculous (please, just let that sink in… FOURTEEN EUROS FOR ONE SCOOP OF ICE CREAM) so me, the man and the stick continued to a cheaper area. I may be in pain, but I still have my principles.

Venice from A Life Less Physical

Venice from A Life Less Physical

Venice from A Life Less Physical

Travel tips from Venice to Ljubljana 

We struggled to find practical (and accurate) travel tips to get from Venice to Ljubljana, and as the Slovenian capital is becoming more and more popular, I thought it may be useful to publish our route.

We got the train from Venice Saint Lucia to Trieste. It’s a direct train that takes approx 2 hours and costs 12.50 Euros per person (single). Ticket costs aren’t cheaper in advance so you can arrive at the station and use the many self-serve ticket machines to purchase your tickets.

From Trieste, the easiest route was to get a taxi across the boarder to Sežana. We were advised by numerous websites to get a the old tram or a taxi to Villa Opicina where we could get a train to Ljubljana, which is what we did. As it turns out, the old tram has been out of use for many months and the train line is undergoing major repairs. When our taxi dropped us off at the deserted Villa Opicina station, we ended up having to get the train replacement bus service to Sežana, then to Ljubljana via a number of train stations along the way.

So, to avoid all that, get a taxi to Sežana then a direct bus to Ljubljana. The bus takes approx 1 hour and costs 7 Euros per person (single). The taxi is 26 Euros from Trieste to Sežana and a bus is available for cheaper, but we went with the easiest option! It’s a shame the train line isn’t in operation because the journey is supposed to be beautiful. Still, the motorway was fine too.

Ljubljana, Slovenia 

I don’t want to overwhelm you, so pop back in a couple of days for part two of this post – the Ljubljana bit!

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