Ljubljana, Yugoslovenska

Friday, October 19, 1928

A surprise in every package. Left Maribor at 6:50 and followed a mountain for 12 miles. Just as I started to cross a range of hills, a strong wind began. The hills led to mountains and the wind increased in velocity till I could hardly ride. Had almost despaired of getting farther than Celje or Cilli, when I came to an unexpected downgrade of 6 miles and so got to Celje at 11. It was a question of whether I could ride 50 miles more in 6 hours, but I took the chance. Didn’t stop for lunch but bought a loaf of brot and some cheese which I ate outside of the town. The weather was cloudy and quite cool. The wind came ripping over the mountains like a hurricane and stronger every minute, blowing great clouds of dust down the road. It was finally so bad I couldn’t go fast enough to stay on the bike and even had to walk on level ground.

The road led through a flat country with mountains close by on all sides. They were high and tree-covered with high peaks. They soon closed in on me and I started over them, the Karawenkans. 8 miles of winding up the narrow valleys and I reached the top, but still I was far below the summits. The leaves are turning and colored the slopes all different colors. On every side were high peaks and mountains and I could see far down the valley to where it turned. The next ten miles was almost all down-slope but against the wind. A small mountain stream raced alongside the road. The wind died when I reached the bottom and I arrived at this nice, fairly large city at 4:30. If it hadn’t been for the mountains, I wouldn’t be here yet. The hotel costs a fortune, 50 dinara, 88¢ but the warm room is great. I’ll stay up late and get my money’s worth. Had 8 apples today and they are plenty good.

You sure see lots of queer humans in these mountains. The women are by the stream scrubbing their clothes on a board or working in the fields with the men. It is surprising how much to a type the women and girls are here. Laibach [present-day Ljubljana] is near 25 miles from the border and completely surrounded by imposing mountains. Tomorrow I cross the Julian Alps, some 60 miles to Trieste. The roads were pretty good today and well marked—honest. Rode 88 miles and spent $1.34. Have to wash my hair now and get cleaned up for Sunday.

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