Facebook reminds me that it’s a year since my favourite solo trip as a traveller with cancer. Luton to Ljubjana, the capital city of Slovenia. I’d heard of Luton. Ljublana was a mystery to me to the point that I’d never known of the existence of the place.
I’ve probably never felt more at home in my own company. Never happier walking into a riverside bar for a beer, or ordering an ice cream on the pedestrianised streets. Ljublana is a place that just seemed to ooze warmth and welcome. And I loved it. Lake Bled too (if you have Virgin Media still images often appear). A wonderful walk in the shadow of the Alps, an hour or so bus ride from the capital. And while I only had a few nights in the country, and saw only small glimpses of it, the memories remain with me. Even the dodgy fruity beers they seem to like!
It’s also a health comparator point for me. Yes, my medication back then made me spotty. But it was keeping me healthy in the active physical way. I walked miles every day, exploring quaint buildings, circling that lake, smelling the spring mountain air and reaching the heights of the castle that sits high above the beautiful capital city.
Today I can achieve few of these things after the cancer damaged my bones further as the medication failed. While that’s sad, knowing I grasped the opportunity to do stuff while my health allowed is a reward I’ll cherish while I live. With a slight frustration that I almost certainly won’t go back.
I made it home from Anglesey. That too is a regular reminder of decline. I struggled more to secure the hot tub. Tidying up after myself was slow and tough too. I could feel a difference to previous visits. Perhaps chemotherapy fall out. At least I achieved the evening drive home without fall out too!
But today I’ll recall Slovenia. It is beautiful. It seemed happy. It was certainly pleasant, I couldn’t recommend a destination more.