The daily diary of a wandering restaurateur
June 3 - The Road to Salzburg goes through Ljubljana

Well, actually it doesn't . . . but we had to solve the issue of the lost digital camera and Ljubljana seemed like the best place to start. With the roads fully open, it is a little over an hour from our digs in Bohinj, so we said goodbye (or was it Ciao? Auf Wiedersehen?) to Maria, our hostess in Ribev Las, pulled up roots and head for Slovenia's capital city to go camera shopping. From there, we hadn't really decided where we would go.

We found a shop with a modest selection of cameras, but there was a problem. I did not bring the CD drive that fits into my laptop computer (I thought about it, but what could I possibly need it for? So I slipped in the floppy drive instead.) A new digital camera was going to require a few new software programs . . . which, of course, come on a CD included with the camera. If I couldn't get the necessary programs loaded on the computer, I couldn't use the camera. The only sure way to do would be to copy the necessary files from the CD to a floppy disk. (If you are getting a headache about now, you understand the problem better than you think!) The folks in Ljubljana had only a basic understanding of English and virtually no understanding of the technical issues involved. Without some assurance that we could get the camera functioning before we got back to the US, we decided to pass and try our luck elsewhere.

The only "elsewhere" that seemed workable was Salzburg, our eventual destination anyway, so decided to end the Slovenian portion of the trip and headed north to Austria. I swear we spent half the trip underground -- there are tunnels everywhere along the autobahn to Salzburg -- but the roads were in great shape and the scenery through the Alps was breathtaking. But how do you find a digital camera in Salzburg? The answer, as always, is serendipity!

We pulled off the autobahn in Salzburg when we saw a big shopping complex. Shopping centers in central Europe don't look anything like what we are used to in the US. They are multi-level affairs with garages underneath and a maze of ramps and parking pads. We pulled into the first parking spot we found which happened to be in front of a computer store. Figuring there would be someone in there who spoke some English, I asked where we might find a camera shop. Chris, the young techno-wizard, said, "No problem. If you need a digital camera, we have several really good ones!" He then proceeded to give us the pros and cons of what he had to offer, transferred the necessary files onto floppy disks and made sure everything was working properly before closing the sale. I ended up with more of a camera than I originally intended, but felt really good about the decision. He even helped us with directions to St. Gilgan, our final destination! Great personal service is a wonderful thing!

We are in the little town of St. Gilgan, on the shores of the Wolfgangsee (Lake Wolfgang) in Austria, about 30km southeast of Salzburg. We thought the location would be a good central location for day trips to Salzburg and perhaps the Hallstadt area and so far it is charming. Well, we have the church bell thing going again and there is some sort of periodic parade through the streets, we suspect in connection with an upcoming wedding but the town is quaint and we are tucked into a large room on the top floor with cable TV and a telephone! What a civilized idea!

Chris and St. Gilgan

San Giorgio Ristorante

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