Today was our last day together as a group before heading back to the US of A . Most of us woke up early morning to test the waters before heading back to Ljubljana and after grab something to eat while others made there way to the Italian border. We departed for Ljubljana at approxiametly12pm checking into City Hotel at around 2pm. After arriving and settling down the girls went out to do some last minute souvenir shopping in town. For dinner most of the group went to a mexican restaurant in town and enjoyed some mexican dishes and magaritas while me and Tiffany went to a traditional Slovenian restaurant and afterwards got dessert. Afterwards some of us decided to go out to a local bar to enjoy our last night together, some stood up all night watching episodes and movies and others just went to sleep. While some of us was late for our 5am departure this morning everyone made it on the bus headed to the airport. Last night put a good end to the trip its fair to say we all enjoyed ourselves on this trip we had a pretty good group with little conflict and we all enjoyed each others company
Our last company visit today was at Port of Kopra. At the company we were first given a short but very informative presentation about the company, which was the same presentation they used when meeting with the US ambassador the month before. The company Was built in 1955 and celebrated its 55th anniversary this past month in may. Port of Kopra has 12 different ports for each type of product they handle, as well as different marketing strategies and teams for each specific port as well. In the future the company plans to expand their first two ports in the next 3-5 years and will create their third port in the next 7-8 years depending on when they get the funding for it because it will cost 450 million euros to build. We also learned some interesting facts about the company, such as they have 150 olive trees on the premises and make their own olive oil. They were also in the Guinness Book of World Records for the fastest time of un loading 13000 cars in 36 hours. After the presentation we went on our bus for a tour around the port. We weren’t able to visit a lot of it due to the large capacity of containers and products that are stored on each port, but we were able to see the car, timber, live stock, iron and coal, and dry stock ports. One of the most interesting things I found was how the company on average employs 600 drivers at a time to unload the vehicles from the boats. After our last company tour of the trip, we went into town for a quick bite of lunch and a tour around town. We then made our way to the vineyard for an afternoon of wine tasting. I think everyone enjoyed seeing the cellars and all the barrels of wine, but the most fun part for everyone I can say was the actual tasting. Everyone enjoyed themselves, even those who aren’t the biggest fans of wine and ended up giving their portions to those around them. After we were done indulging in the great wine we all went to the gift shop where the prices were so enticing almost everyone bought at least one bottle, and some bought a lot more. Once we left and got back to the hotel it was straight into bathing suits as we all either broke out our wine we had just bought or went to the bar to get other drinks, and hung out by the sea. It wasn’t all relaxing for too long once the guys decided to start throwing all the girls in the water, and from then on it was war and no one was safe from the water. We all had a blast and spent the better part of the evening in the water and hanging out until we decided to head to dinner, in which some of us went to an Italian restraunt and others opted for a round two of seafood. Once we all got back to the hotel we decided to have a few drinks by the water and then decided to venture to the next town where we heard there were a lot of bars. We ended up at a very nice tiki bar and all got the most popular drink on the menu and opted for a more relaxing night of sitting in one of the seating sections and just enjoying each others company. The night ended when some people couldn’t keep their eyes open and were falling asleep so we decided to hop in the cabs and come back to the hotel. Piran is so beautiful and everyone wished we could stay longer, but I think our last day on the seaside was a success.
Today started out bright an early with our last morning breakfast at City Hotel in Ljubljana. Once everyone was packed up, we drove to the Postojna Cave. The cave is hundreds of thousands years old and, was 20.5 kilometers long, although we only saw about 3.5 kilometers of it. The cave stays a consistent 46 degrees so it was pretty cold compared to the weather outside. Everyone had to grab their jackets for the tour. The tour itself was incredible. The cave pillars were very impressive, seeing that they only grow one centimeter every 100 years. Our next stop was the Postojna Castle. The castle was built into a cave on the side of the mountain and had many hidden passageways throughout the castle as well as a torture chamber. The castle had a very medieval feel compared to the other ones we have seen previously. Our last stop of the day was in Piran where we checked into our last hotel for the trip. The hotel is just feet from the water and there are balconies from everyone’s room facing the water (except for a few unlucky people). Once we checked in we went on a very brief tour of the town. We saw a chapel built in the sixteen hundreds, with an angle on the top that moves according to the wind. Once we got back everyone enjoyed swimming in the water it was so refreshing except for the jellyfish in the water. For dinner we went to a delicious waterfront seafood restaurant. We are now preparing for our last company visit tomorrow and a long day of sunbathing.
Today was our last day in the city of Ljubljiana. It started with a wake up call at 7:30, which some of us may or may not have gotten as the bus had to wait for two unnamed individuals. Our first visit was at a Renault production plant (cars). We received a short presentation and video about the company and then got a walking tour of their production line. At this plant, they produced the Twingo (a small 2 door hatchback), the Clio II (a larger 4 door hatchback), and the Wind (a coupe roadster). The next visit we had was with Danfoss (a heat transfer company). Here, we were given a presentation of what the company does and their history. After that, we were given a short tour of their small production line. Tonight was also our big group dinner at Gaspers friend’s restaurant. We had the entire place to ourselves because they kept it open specifically for us. There, we received a 5-course meal on the house (of Clarkson). It was very delicious and I’m sure everyone ate at much as they possibly could. We all stayed there for a while after the meal and had a great time together as this may have been one of the last chances the entire group had to be together. After dinner, we went back to the hotel and packed for our trip to Piran. Some of us decided to call it an early night and others decided to stay up and hang out some more.
Today, we were lucky to have free time in Slovenia. Many of us decided to go on a late morning hike to Smarna Gora. Smarna Gora is a hill at the most Northern part of Ljubliana. It’s a butte and from far away looks like two humps of a camel. There are many ways to reach the top of Smarna Gora. Professor Gasper chose to take our group on a path that was a bit steep but only took 20 minutes. We were given the chance to spend a Sunday the way locals do; the paths were full of climbers. On our way up I observed many couples power walking with metal poles and even young children making their way up to the top. At Smarna Gora’s peak stands a white Baroque Church. Built in 1729, the church was a looking point against Turkish invaders many moons ago. Now, these old stone buildings are used to entertain visitors like ourselves! I noticed one housed a gallery; there was a restaurant that had a menu that appeared to serve a hearty fare of foods (brandy made from honey & homemade donuts!). After our hike up, we all decided to take a seat with other hikers that were stretched out along the overlook. I would love to come back, there are such wonderful views and great food at the top to reward all hikers for their efforts. Another attraction sited on top of the hill was a famous wishing bell. Believed to fulfill the wishes of those who ring it and each of us rung the bell! After such a lovely hike, some of us were so happy with our adventure that we decided to have a nice long walk back to the hotel. The rest of the day everyone was given the opportunity to explore the country in whatever way we pleased. Some visited BTC City to see a movie while other’s relaxed around Old Town.
With no company visits and a late night behind us, everyone woke up later than usual. After a quick bite to eat people made their way back to BTC City to do some shopping and check out the casino where some people did pretty well. While some people stayed and continued shopping, many people met at 4 to go to the Ljubljana Zoo where Vitt tried (unsuccessfully) to feed the some of the monkeys. Some people rented bicycles from the hotel and biked around town site seeing and ending up at the local horse burger stand. Later in the evening we all went out toa few of the local clubs and bars.
Despite the fact that a few of us went out the night before everyone was up for our hour bus ride at 7:30am. Our first visit was to the Elan where we were giving a brief presentation followed with a tour around the production line of skis and boatsas well. After finishing our tour of Elan we headed to our next company visit Seaway, a design and construction company of boats. At Seaway we had the opportunity to be given a presentation by the co-founder of the company Mr. Jakopinfollowed by a tour of the facility. After raping up the business segment of our day we got back on the bus headed to Bled for a quick lunch at a pizzeria recommend by Gasper then we went up to see the castle, the view from up top was just beautiful. After the castle we took a hike up the Alps to see the SavicaWaterfalls and an amazing view of the mountains. Whilewalking down Vitt, Andy, Eric, and Nick decided to be brave enough to go in the water at 8 degrees celsius and Gasper got it on video. We all after got on the bus headed back to the hotel.All together we had a pretty busy day followed by a night out on the town.