Monday, September 28, 2015

Hapsburg - Renaissance Trip - Day12 - Another Pin In The Map, Add Slovenia

Graz is only about 40 minutes by highway from the border to Slovenia. We're scheduled to spend a couple of days in the center of Slovenia in a couple of weeks but since we were looking for some driving trips in this area and we didn't want to do another weinstrasse there were a couple of places in the eastern part of Slovenia that looked interesting. Plus we just wanted to get our feet wet in the country.

Thus we found ourselves in the town of:

We chose Ptuj because it was not too far, was small enough for us to see in a couple of hours and leave ourselves some time to drive through the countryside on the way back.

Ptuj's heydays were as a Roman town given citizenship under Trajan and then in the High Middle Ages around the 13th to 15th centuries when it was an important trading center. The coming of the Turkish invasions into this area during the 15th, 16th and 17th centuries left Ptuj on the borderland and pretty much consigned it to the backwaters of history.

Ptuj has a pretty well preserved central area

If you've been following my travel posts over the years on this blog you know that I'm big on all the cool places you find off the beaten path. In Ptuj, the Grad or Castle was one of those places.

I'm pretty sure that if we could read Slovenian that we'd have understood that the direct translation of Grajska Ulica is "big ass climb". But look at the symbol for that guy walking. Does he look like he's going up hill to you? No he looks like he's on level ground. Yes, yes, yes, I know you're going to point out that the arrow is pointing up. So what's your point.

Going up

Still going up

Forced smile upon realization that we're maybe...maybe halfway up

The final push

With a reward of nice views of the town

Once there we decided to spring for the price of admission (4 Euros each with our Senior discount)
This was great value. There was the whole history of the Lords of Ptuj, a museum of carnival costumes and their history, highly decorated rooms that matched the Schloss Eggenberg, a weapons museum and one of the coolest things, a music museum.

I try to limit my pictures of a lot of these places because it can all start looking the same after a while. So these hopefully represent the highlights.

The Carnival Costume Musuem

There was so much art work.
I took this picture because I liked how they displayed the pieces

And there were many, many of the lavish rooms (these dating from the 17th and 18th century) but I thought these few were particularly impressive

Even the tickets to get in were cool

The weapons museum

de-I as Thirty Years War Infantry Man

Finally there was the music museum.
It seems this town has had a centuries old tradition of music. 
They had exhibits going from Roman to Medieval, to Baroque and on to the Modern period. When you went into each room a sensor would start playing music from the appropriate period.
Very cool

No gastronomic post today as our lunch was pretty mediocre

We finished up driving through the countryside. Lots of typically winding narrow hilly European country roads. Lots of scenery but tough for me to find places to pull of so Wife could get her shots and at that I usually had to stay with the car.

You've heard about the Syrian refugee situation. When we were coming back into Austria, they were checking cars before letting them through. Wife had forgotten her passport so they wouldn't let her in.  I had to drive back to Graz, get her passport, drive back into Slovenia, pick her up and drive back.

Actually nothing of the sort happened. They just waved us through.


alexis said...

wow! history and history in the making.

Renee Michelle Goertzen said...

Looks like a beautiful city, and I've never heard of a music museum before.

Renee Michelle Goertzen said...

Looks like a beautiful city, and I've never heard of a music museum before.