Friday is market day in Ljubljana. It’s not huge in winter, it’s apparently stunning in summer. We went to have a look anyway.

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… Novelti, Paarti Triicks (what?).

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And then we were off to Maribor.

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Got there, went looking for free wifi. You know the story.

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The Kavarna Isabella looked good — it’s hard to see at this resolution but the top Vinarji is Marof — more on this later. Pieter contacted his landlord, walked over the bridge to go find the place (walking being easier than finding parking), came back and we went to drop him off.

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(Liquid Cocaine is IPA — beer from Hungary. Pretty good beer too, but King’s Blockhouse is better).

Then we took the car and went off to visit Tanya’s friend Irit in Graz for the weekend, leaving Pieter stranded in Maribeer on a craft beer weekend with nothing to do but hang out with his friend Uroš and partake of the fruits of the country. Shame.





So this is what we actually came for — go to Murska Sobota, sign some papers, do some stuff, sign some more papers, then wait. Maybe if something happens, sign some more papers on Monday, then go home.

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Got to the lawyer’s offices in Murska Sobota and they were nowhere near ready for us. Still had to arrange a translator and all kinds of stuff. Arranged to go back there on Monday, went for some sightseeing towards Ljutomer. It was a rainy day so we didn’t take many photographs.

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Ended up at the Smolkovic* place for lunch. Yes, Pieter knows the people, he’s been there before (fairly obvious that they’re our kind of people, if they put wine in litre bottles with crown caps). Met Primož, Robert was out somewhere.

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Švicarski zrezek is Swiss steak. Pizza is pizza everywhere. There was enough to go around.

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Went sightseeing. Look at that view.

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Of course Tanya found a friendly cat.

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Drove back via Ptuj. Like many towns it has a castle up on a hill. Golden hour, half past three in the afternoon. The days are not long in winter.

Meanwhile we had gone shopping at the Tuš. Bought wine. More than enough wine… I thought. But first we went for a couple of beers. After that, Pieter reheated what was left of the mixed grill, and we started tasting wine.

 

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These are the corpses, photo taken the next morning. OK, the Refošk was not empty, the others… were. Three of us. Tanya complained that Pieter had snored all night long. He probably did, Idunno, I was fast asleep.

 

  • It’s a c caron. “č”. The moment WordPress saves the file, it converts it from “&ccaron” to the single character, which it then saves, and then somehow it becomes “?”. Don’t ask me why. S caron š and z caron ž works just fine.

 





(Pieter picked us up in Venice)

So I stuck the GPS to the window, told it to find Ljubljana, and off we went. We thought we might end up in Trieste, do lunch there, but the GPS had other plans so we got to Ljubljana at around 1500.

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Dragon bridge.

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Butcher’s bridge.

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Went searching for free wifi, found some at a vegan place close to the Butcher’s bridge. They had unfiltered Union, we had a good time.

(We needed the wifi for Pieter to get the address he had AirBNB’ed. I scribbled a map off of Google Earth, but fortunately my GPS had the street in memory, so we found it without having to resort to notes. Right next to the Calimero Caffe Šiška where we got some more free wifi, contacted our hosts. Had beer anyway. Then went to see the place*. Very nice).

By now we were getting hungry. Vegetarian meals only go so far. Google Maps was consulted. It told us the closest real food was at Gostilna Keršic, a Serbian place on Celovška,  so off we went.

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The menu is… interesting. Four languages, being Slovenian (“v”), German (“mit”), English (“with”) and French (“con”). Still trying to figure out what Pleskavica and kajmak are (kidding. Pleskavica is a burger patty and kajmak is a funny type of cheese. Courtesy of Google after the fact).

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Go big or go home. Pieter thought he’d organised a mixed grill to share, we ended up with three of everything. Hamburgers sausages pork steaks sosaties rolls… there was also chips. And salad, I seem to recall… the leftovers lasted us a good long time. The wine was pretty terrible though. They had some white from 2001 “very good”. Ja, erm, no thanks.

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We went back to Calimero Cafe Šiška where we had beer. Lots of beer. Tap ran dry so we switched to bottled. I had fun playing with my 50 prime

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Miloš.

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Pieter.

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Union.

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Kaja.

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Bottles.

(Pics all straight off the camera, resized to 800x, no editing. I love my 50 prime).

 

* Note that the “free parking” is on the street where-ever you can find it.

 

 

 





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What can I say about Venice? It’s different. It’s touristy. One probably has to see it, one definitely can fall in love with it. Although I suspect one can also fall out of love with it quite quickly in the tourist season.

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This is is the Rio Terá San Leonardo just down the street from our room, at nine in the morning. The Rio Terá San Leonardo is the main thoroughfare from the station down to the Strada Nova and probably the easiest way to walk all the way down to San Marco.

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We went the other way. This is the view northwest-ish from the Guglie bridge.

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It was too cold for that.

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I had pre-booked a trip to Murano Burano and Torcello, so that’s what we did.

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I don’t know what the shiny rhino is doing next to the Biblioteca di Studi Adriatici. Google is not much help either.

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We were not much interested in the really old church on Torcello so we rather had lunch at the Taverna Tipica.

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On the way back via the Strada Nova Tanya stopped at the Lush shop.

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Tanya wanted pizza and Ae Oche was on my list, but they were closed, so we googled a bit and went to Gino’s. No complaints. Ended up drinking wine at an Irish pub (!)

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The next morning we went for a walk through the (original) Ghetto. Had breakfast at Trattoria Bar Pontini on the canal, same place we had wine the night before — Venice is not big.

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Collected our bags, walked past the station to the bus stop, waited for Pieter. Waited a long time. It was cold. There might have been spritzes involved.





I expected to wake up to the typical noise of a city but Federico’s place is wonderfully quiet. We were up early anyway, that’s how we roll. Rescued our car from the parking garage and made our way out of Genoa (I keep wanting to type “Genua“), heading south — autostrada to Piana and from there the back road to Cinque Terre. It wasn’t the best time to visit but we knew that — think of it as a fishing expedition*.

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Monterosso al Mare, where we had lunch (well, Tanya had a sandwich which ended up being enough for both of us). Looks like the kind of place I’d enjoy spending more time in.

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I discovered that my cellphone has a panorama mode.

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La Spezia. One of Italy’s biggest Naval Bases.

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Still playing with the panorama mode.

It was getting late so I started pushing for Venice. Autostrada, no more sightseeing. Reached Venice Airport at a quarter to five. Handed the car in, boated to Guglie (but we’re not talking about that).

The room we AirBNB’ed is in the perfect location. Top end of Calle Colonna, next to Alla Corte Ostinati. You have to turn into Calle del Magazen, something Google Earth didn’t tell me, so we had to hunt the place down. No problem, Venice is tiny. The bed was the most uncomfortable one I’ve slept in maybe ever. But the location is great.

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View from our window. Alla Corte Ostinati below, dogleg to Rio Terá San Leonardo straight ahead.

 

  • Next time, maybe fly into Genoa, take the train down to La Spezia, stop over at some of the little towns on the way. Then… Idunno yet.

 





2
Dec
'17

(Backdated as always)

So an opportunity presented itself for me to join my brother for a quick trip to Slovenia via Italy. Of course Tanya was not going to stay behind, not with Slovenia being close to Austria and Graz being where she has a scrapbooking friend.

Pieter had other commitments so he would fly out on the 5th but we decided to use the weekend and fly out on Saturday the 2nd. Ethiopian Air, Cape Town, Addis Ababa, Milan. We figured we could take in some Italy before going on to Ljubljana, Maribor and Graz.

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Rietfontein se pan from the air.

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That shiny dot north of the Orange river is Khi Solar One.

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La Spezia from the air.

Got a little Citroen C1 from the airport, headed off to Turin because there’s a museum there.

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Didn’t get to see it. Couldn’t get close because of all these crazy people in Santa Claus costumes. These are only a few, there were thousands of them. We still have no idea what it was all about.

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So we went to the aquarium in Genoa, which is either the largest or the second largest in Europe. It’s bloody expensive for sure.

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They have some impressively large tanks, one with a whole bunch of dolphins, the other with two Manatees. Hoooon.

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We AirBNB’ed with Federico, really a nice place in old Genoa with rather steep steps.

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Federico directed us to Trattoria delle Grazie which is really good.We were not nearly hungry enough. Had the pesto and the ravioli al tocco, both recommended by our host. I will definitely try to make it out there again to catch up with the rest of the menu.





29
Nov
'17

Via Neatorama





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I don’t think this part even has a VW part number – ETKA claims that it’s part of  251201166, the breather line. Anyway, it plugs into a grommet on the tank and if it’s in two pieces like this one, you get fuel leaking out when the tank is more than about 3/4 full.

Oh, and superglue is not an answer.

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This hose repair kit, however, is.

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Close enough for me. I used smaller pipe clamps than the ones in the kit. And for the record I’m getting pretty good at R&R-ing the tank.





11
Oct
'17

iexplore.vbs is a nasty little virus (actually, not so little, the executable is over 5 megabytes) that infects USB devices.

How do I know this? The kid’s memstick was acting funny and while checking it out the virus jumped onto my home machine, from there onto my memstick, and I spotted it before it could jump to my work machine.

It moves all your files into a hidden directory, then makes a link to itself in the root of your memstick, with the same name as the memstick volume name.

So basically, if you see a link to your memstick inside your memstick, stop, don’t click on it.

If you’re not using Windows Commander, you’re on your own. Otherwise, navigate to your memstick and in the DOS prompt line at the bottom, type cd “ALT255” (hold down ALT, type 255 on the keypad, release ALT). This should put you in the hidden directory (unless your flavour of the virus called it something else, in which case, open CMD, dir/ah > file.txt, open file.txt in a hex editor, check what the directory is called).

Once Windows Commander is displaying the hidden directory, open CMD, dir/ah, attrib -h -s *.*, and erase those three files. Then use Windows Commander to copy your files back down. And don’t forget to delete the link and the hidden directory as well.

As far as I can tell, BICBW, if you remove all USB devices and reboot your PC, the virus does not stay resident on your PC — it’s USB only. But that could also just be the settings on my machine.





On our recent Kgalagadi trip the water bottle burst because the water level ran low. And the little red light that’s supposed to tell me that the water level was low never came on.

So I took the instrument cluster apart to find the problem

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Here’s the gauge on the bench. Apparently if the light stays on it’s the capacitor and you can replace that without taking things apart. In my case however…

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I had to drill out the two rivits holding the face plate on.

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Lots of electronics to multiplex the analogue temperature and the low water signal from the relay on one wire. The PCB hangs off the two pins, gauge on the right (also goes to the heating element that moves the needle) and earth at the top. The blue wire from the left carries power (regulated 10V).

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Hmmm. I think I see the problem.





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