About Piran Café

There is no real Piran Café, nor is this one located in Piran, the millennium-old Adriatic seaside city that rests at the tip of a peninsula at the easternmost edge of Slovenia. This one sits in Ljubljana, Slovenia’s capital, some 130 kms from Piran. I once seriously considered opening a café in a relatively quiet seaside setting, where I would graciously host weary travelers, underemployed artists and musicians, poets, priests, prisoners and politicians, and other voices of desperate illumination. That real Piran Café is now the destination.

– — –

Update: 13-Sept-2013 – I just wrapped up a seven-month overland trip from Tierra del Fuego to San Jose, Costa Rica, where I was halted by a bout of Hepatitis A. Now I’m writing a book about it.

– — –

Based in Ljubljana, I travel quite a bit as a reporter, primarily around Europe. But you won’t find anything remotely related to my professional life here. Cafés are necessary escapes and roadside rest stops. My passions include travel, art, design, photography, justice, museums, wine and sushi. Politics usually lurk nearby. In the past year I’ve taken a liking to making short videos. When they and I cross paths, those are some of the things you’ll find here. And plenty of personal bookmarks on wide-ranging topics that happen to fall within the wide parameters of my obsessions at any given time.

I’ve been to about 45 51 countries and want to increase that to 145 151 before all is said and done. Before hitting the road (and if the trip is on my dime), I like to check how to get to where I’m going as cheaply as possible, and to check out where I am once I’m there –whenever time allows. I’ll share some of that here too. That, and bits and pieces about Ljubljana and Slovenia and the rest of the immediate region.

This isn’t a personal ‘day in the life’ kind of thing. Those blogs aren’t my cup of green tea, and I won’t bore others with such an indulgence. More about me? I was born in Slovenia, but spent virtually all of my life in the US, mainly in Ohio. Choosing to watch George W. Bush’s re-election from afar, I returned to Slovenia permanently in May 2004.

This café went live on 19-December-2006 at 1.34 am. Everything prior to 19-Dec-06 is/will be backdated, when time allows — mainly photographs, travel tidbits, mini-travelogues, some posts from my (3) now-defunct blogs and (4) unfinished manuscripts, and other notes from the road. None of the backdated entries have been/will be changed with the benefit of hindsight. The backdating is simply a chronological reference to some of the places I’ve been, presenting information that I hope will be useful and/or entertaining.

Enjoy, and bring a friend.



visited 51 states (22.6%)
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visited 38 states (76%)
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  1. Cool, love what you are doing here on this site and that it is not just chit-chat. I am also trying to do something similar with my site and am from Columbus OH though unfortunately without hereditary roots to this region, though my heart is very much a part of this land and what I aim to do with my site and share this with the world.
    May I link to this site? I will come back and read more of your posts when I have time.

  2. hola.
    yesterday friend of mine sent your blog’s link and i love it. loads of interesting information and lovely pictures.
    regards from ljubljana

  3. Sandra Lanzetta

    My mother was born in Rome, however my maternal grandparents are from Pirano, (Piranesi). I also have family living in Trieste and the Veneto region of Italy. I love Pirano. It is breathtaking with it’s spectacular rich Architecture and great Venetian roots.
    I’ve been there already three times and plan to return again. My grandparents and other relatives are buried there. I’m so proud of my roots! Here’s to amazing Pirano!
    Sandra Lanzetta

  4. Paul

    Hello, I found your site though Google as it is related to my own travel site. I wanted to ask if you would be interested in a link exchange as I have some high ranking travel blogs many with a PageRank of 3 or more.

    I have a list of my sites here: http://www.migranchile.com/mysites.html

    I have been swapping links for while now and have found it very beneficial to search engine rankings for everyone. If you are interested just mail me back and I can show you my sites and hopefully give you some links asap.

    Thanks for your time.

  5. Hi there,

    I found your details on your blog, I hope you might be able to help me with my strange request!

    I am a Producer working on a television show called House Hunters International in New York which follows English speaking expats in their quest to purchase a house abroad. I am hoping to find an English speaking expat to profile who has moved to and bought property in Slovenia within the last few years. I wonder if you or anyone you might know might be interested in getting involved?! Please find a little blurb about the show below:

    House Hunters International is a half-hour program currently airing on the Home and Garden Television Network (HGTV). The program is a spin-off of the popular House Hunters and has spent the last several seasons exploring the idiosyncrasies of buying real estate in other countries. HHI is about a personal journey of discovery and the making of life-long dreams.

    The series is designed to de-mystify the international home-buying process by going behind the scenes of a house hunt where buyers and their real estate agents tour 3 homes. At its core, House Hunters International is a travel show concentrating on the idiosyncrasies of the locales and what makes them special and different. A great deal of effort will be made to capture rich visuals and to provide sequences where viewers will be exposed to local vistas, traditions, lifestyles and architecture.

    Please get in touch if you have any more questions about the show. I look forward to hearing from you!

    Best wishes and many thanks,


    Michelle James
    1-3 St Peter’s Street, London N1 8JD – +44 20 7288 2184

  6. Hello,

    I just came across this today when poking around on the “Newly Posted” links on WordPress. I noticed the name and knew it had to be related to Slovenia somehow. My boyfriend’s father is Slovenian and very very proud of it, and he works hard to make more people aware of how wonderful a place he’s from. (If you want to check out one of his projects, you can check out Slovenian Premium Wines. No soliciting, I promise – just an fyi :). He also works with the salt producers in Piran. That’s some amazing stuff.

    When I saw that this was mostly a photo blog, I also became interested, as photography is my second love (after languages and linguistics). I had the absolute pleasure and honor of meeting Joco Znidarsic (sorry, no accent marks on my keyboard!) and I have a book of his work on the Lippizan horses – so gorgeous. I’ve only been to Slovenia once – so far! – and can’t wait to go again. I’ve never felt as good as I have after a week swimming in the Adriatic in Piran! (Sorry – I can’t say the same for Ohio – especially since my boyfriend’s mother went to Michigan ;)

    Just wanted to say hello and say that I find your work very interesting. I look forward to seeing more.

  7. 45 countries and counting, ahh, I missed the boat. Admire your writing, very entertaining. Oh, Ljubljana is amazing city, I was there in 2009 (from Venice) . Stay in touch

  8. Thomas

    On the search for the Anonymous message to Slovenia, I found it at Piran Café. Bless you!
    My father’s parents emigrated from Bela Krajina to the US in the 1890s. I completed the circle by immigrating to Slovenia in 1996. Will never leave. BTW, I lived in Piran for four years. So many happy memories.
    Into my bookmarks with you!

  9. Hi Thomas – thanks for the note. Always glad to come across others who have gone full circle as well. :)

  10. I love your project! Noticed that you have a link up on your site to my blog at http://www.drowningislands.com, and so I wanted to check your site out. Beautiful pictures and a lovely premise. Keep up all the great traveling and photo-journalism!

    • Thanks, Brook, MUCH appreciated, it’s all still very much evolving. :) I enjoy checking out your blog, excellent job.

  11. Thanks for the follow! So glad you stopped by my blog! You have a nice one here. I’ll make sure to stay tuned for upcoming posts!

  12. My pleasure, and you’re most welcome to follow/subscribe here as well. Big changes on the horizon! :)

  13. Love the photos and the fascinating commentary. So interesting! I’m glad you stumbled across my blog, so I could have opportunity to stumble across yours. Thank you.

  14. Víctor Fenés

    You have another follower Bob! Hugs!

    • Hola! Thanks for stopping by. :) Let’s keep in touch, and be well!

  15. howdy….thanks for the like………..interesting blog…im in south africa…………..id like to extend your pic sharing idea with the same conditions………..what the point of cool pics if people cant see them…………

    • Exactly. Creative Commons has been nothing but a good experience for me.
      Thanks for dropping by!

  16. A great blog with very beautiful pictures!! I Like!
    Thanks for stopping by on my “Photos On The Go” – I´m glad if you like my pictures!

    Sunelly Sims

    • Thanks so much for stopping by. Don’t be a stranger. :)

  17. Great page you have here my friend , I update my about page too LOL,
    More power to your blog :)

  18. Inspiring potos! Thanks for stopping by our blog and liking the post “Photos about Nothing”. It’s much appreciated and a great encouragement for us. Cheers, BollyChees in Paris.

  19. Hello Bob, I’ve nominated you for the Very Inspiring Blogger award! You can go tohttp://recoverythrumylens.wordpress.com/2012/08/03/awards/ to pick it up.

  20. Just discovered your blog, I love it. And your travelling plans! I also just started with my own blog and I hope to improve on my writing skills. As my blog will mainly be about glimpses of my life in Ljubljana, I would dare to ask you for the permission to from time to time use one of your photos. I will of course link back to you.

    • Hi Marusa – Thanks for visiting and for the note. Good luck with the blog, and of course, feel free to use photos. I’ve got lots on CC images my flickr stream as well. :)


    • Yes, but that doesn’t mean I won’t be returning again. :)

  21. I never feel more alive that when I’m travelling.
    … or more educated.

  22. Thanks for following me. although I’m not as prolific as you seem to be. Best regards … Frank

    • BobR

      And not nearly as prolific as I wish I was. :)

  23. Hi Bob! Nice meeting you and your interesting blog! many thanx for the follow :) (PS: Ljubljana – divan grad…. some drops of my own blood came from there around…. :) )

  24. Bob, it’s been a long time in coming, but I wanted to take this opportunity to thank you for following my blog! I also wanted to say “huzzah” on your upcoming RTW in 2013! I’m about to finish my year-long RTW, and it’s been one heckuva journey. I could’ve always done more, but I have absolutely zero regrets about what I did and all the friends with whom I stayed along the way. Take care!

  25. Thanks for your Follow, be certain to look for some sand between the toes on your coming round the world, good luck. ~Ron

    • Thanks Ron, much appreciated. And yes, there will definitely at least a bit of sand involved. :)

    • Thanks, much appreciated. I haven’t had much time to delve into them beyond this somewhat superficial level – hopefully in the future. There will be more. :)

    • Thanks so much for the kind words and nomination, much too kind!

  26. Thanks for becoming a “Follower.” I really like your work and am enjoying your way of seeing the world.

    • Thank you as well, much appreciated. And Happy New Year to you! :)

  27. “We must believe in free will. We have no choice.” – Isaac B. Singer
    Have a great NEW YEAR !

    • Thanks, and to you as well! I’m fairly certain it’s going to be the best one ever. :)

  28. Hi Bob, I am a friend of Lisa Brunetti and live in Buenos Aires. Not hesitate to contact me here in my city.
    Cruz del Sur

    • Hola Carlos,
      Many thanks for the note. I’d love to meet – I can’t find contact info on your blog. can you send me an email via the email link on the main page? I’m in BA until the morning of Jan 30, staying very close to the Plaza/Park Almagro, not far from Medrano subte station.

    • Thanks so much, Jim, very much appreciated. But I can’t participate at the moment – I’m on fairly slow connections these days and only going online a couple times a day.

  29. By the way, Bob, I’d love to treat you to a coffee if you find yourself in Amman, Jordan!

    • Many thanks, Jim, when that day comes I will certainly look forward to taking you up on that!

  30. Hi! I could have sworn I’ve been to this site before but after browsing through a few of the articles I realized it’s new
    to me. Anyways, I’m definitely pleased I came across it and I’ll be book-marking it and checking back regularly!

  31. I do not even know how I finished up right here, but I believed this post
    used to be good. I don’t know who you might be however definitely you are going to a famous blogger if you happen to are not already. Cheers!

  32. I’ve been wanting to go on a trip around the world for ages now. (Sigh. Maybe someday.) Enjoy your trip! If you happen to notice that you’re coming upon a small town in indiana called “Jeffersonville”- don’t stop- lest you be sucked into its vortex and never returned to the real world. Besides, there’s nothing here but cows and corn. ;0)