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10 Random Observations About Slovenia
1. As this photo shows, guys will always know where to go. Luckily the urinals are much more modern than the sign indicates, and you don't have to be naked to use them.
2. When you buy a return bus ticket, it comes with a little schedule of the return buses for your route. Brilliant! Why don't all countries do that?
3. Maypoles are popular in Slovenia. You see them in most of the smaller towns and villages.
4. Slovenia has the weirdest drug laws I've ever encountered. It's illegal to buy, sell or possess marijuana. Pretty standard, you might say, but get this – it's legal to smoke it. How you can smoke it without possessing it is anyone's guess. Also, it's legal to buy, sell or possess seeds but you can't grow them into plants. Huh? Wait, let me rephrase that – HUH????
5. If you hike to the top of Triglev, Slovenia's highest mountain, you are considered a "true Slovene," but not before you are spanked by birch twigs to celebrate the occasion. It's not clear if this is a real tradition or something invented by Slovenia's S&M community.
7. Slovenia's national anthem was adapted from a poem about drinking wine. It's perhaps unique among national anthems in that there's no nationalistic chest thumping. Instead it calls for world harmony.
8. Don't call it Slovakia, and don't call the region the Baltics. I managed to avoid these common errors, but once when I was in Estonia I flubbed it and called the Baltics the Balkans. This slip of the tongue will get you razzed by the locals in either region.
9. If you're going to have a food festival, why do something boring like celebrate wine or cheese? The Slovenians get creative with Bean Day, Chestnut Sunday and a Cabbage Festival.
10. As you can see below, if you're entering the loading dock of a Slovenian supermarket, make sure you have some stuff.
Check out the rest of my series, "Slovenia: Hikes, History and Horseburgers."