Slovenia is simply wonderful. The Julian Alps are lovely and as the sun had finally come out I managed to ride without my rain gear on. I spent Friday riding the 1600m highest pass in the country. OK, it's not going to break any records but it with 45+ hairpin turns it was a great ride. I'd found a leaflet in the tourists office which highlighted four different motorcycling routes through the Julian Alps and I had a great day riding around 200 miles over 9 hours.
I finished the day in Ptuj, Slovenia's oldest town (?). Red roofed houses, a castle on the hill and an arts festival. Plus one of the nicest family run hotels I've staying in for a long time. Friday reminded me why I do this sort of holiday and it really reminded me what my GAP year trip had been like. There's no point trying to put it into words, so I won't!
Saturday I moved on to Hungary. Although, with European borders, it can be easy to miss crossing from one country to another. I set the GPS to shortest route, avoiding tolls and motorways and rode across country on minor roads. I passed into Hungary at a v small border crossing which looked like it had been deserted several years ago ( as Slovenia and Hungary belong to the Schengen Agreement they have open borders now) but somehow it felt a little weird. The History teacher in me was moving from 'Yugosloavia to Hungary' and it was all too easy.
Hungary is certainly poorer. The roads aren't as good, lots of our cars around, rusty telegraph poles, people throwing litter out of cars and slightly worse driving. Nothing amazingly different but I felt like I was now moving across Europe and heading east. Everything is also slightly cheaper, with petrol at £1:10 a litre and signs for Rooms from €17. Oh, and rather bizarrely, copies of BBC History magazine for sale in the petrol stations, and I've passed at least three TESCO's.
I'm now at Budapest airport hotel waiting for Tracy to arrive. She lands later tonight. We're leaving Budapest for the end of the trip ( I've booked a hotel in the middle of the capital for Tracy's last three nights which coincides with her significant birthday) so tomorrow we're heading towards Romania, getting there on Monday.