Slovenia Postcard

Back to rental shop. Doesn’t quite fit, nothing on it is what I would have chosen, too small wheels, wrong tire tread, brakes grab, seatpin quick release slips. But pedal away these pointless stupid flickers, lost against a brighter shine.

Collision of working farm tools, cows, towering hay drying racks, houses oriented around and somehow beholden to that life, then the movement of people who were once recently but aren’t anymore, machinery on lawns as respectful art, barns converted to mere garages, post and barbed wire fencing but no stock to keep in. Enormous farm tractor with humming head high wheels gets overtaken by a BMW, I resist the temptation to treat it as metaphor, after all, we ride by, too. This part of Slovenia seems quietly prosperous and satisfied with its synthesis between foothills, Alpine peak backdrop, sunstripe haze against nearer by green cliffs.

Stop in a bakery for snacks, two grinning boys on BMX bikes are eager to translate for us, even if the baker is happy all on her own with our apologies and talking with our hands. Refill bottles in a town square fountain. Drizzle, later clear skies. Angled brown tiled roofs, pass a small beer garden, a few trios women and men smoking laughing untense through lunch (tonight us Americans will be taken aback by smoking in the bar). Castle on a hilltop in the background in that way that isn’t remarkable in Europe, tended churches, companionable narrow buildings, functional water wheel. Visit a landmark of an iron smelter from 1571, visit another—just a roofless stone house amid yellow flowers—giving tribute to a family killed by Nazis for not yielding.

We ascend a dirt track alongside a shock cold blue river into a canyon.