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Saturday, July 23, 2016

Slovenia - Day 9: Relaxing in Rogaška Slatina and Cacti Galore

In Maribor we had an especially good breakfast at the Best Western Plus Hotel Piramida, which offered a huge buffet with many stuff to choose from. We found no direct connection to our next destination, Rogaška Slatina. Therefore we had to take an early train from Maribor to Celje and then change trains to Stranje, where we had to switch trains again for Rogaška Slatina. The last train was kind of odd, as we were the only passengers. The whole journey took about two hours, but we arrived even before 10 a.m. and while we couldn´t check in yet, we at least could store our luggage at the hotel. 


We had chosen a special hotel, the Grand Hotel Rogaška. It is by far the most impressive hotel from the outside, I´ve been in. Surprisingly (and fortunately) it wasn´t more expensive than many other hotels in Slovenia. We chose the hotel for two nights, as it directly lies in the park, which is the heart of the health complex in Rogaška Slatina and because it is a sight itself. 


The city is near the border to Croatia and is famous for its curative mineral water. But before we started to get healthy, we walked to another attraction, the Pavilion kaktej. We had to walk for about two kilometers in the heat to get there, first on the Partizanska cesta to the north and then continuing on the Cerovec pod Bocem, following the signs. 


When we arrived, sweatily due to the heat, it looked more like a regular market garden. But then we found the greenhouse, that is completely devoted to cacti. A greenhouse didn´t seem like the best idea on such a hot day, but according to the “Friends of Cacti Society of Slovenia”, this collection boasts more than 5,000 cactuses (yes, it's the english plural) and other succulents of different ages. So of course we had to go inside and we were rewarded by so many photo opportunities. 


On our way back, I took some more flower photos. Back in Rogaška Slatina, we walked through the park and went to a supermarket for some drinks, before checking in. 



Our room in the Grand Hotel couldn't really keep up with the outside of the hotel but was fine, except it lacked an aircon. 


But we booked an offer which included access to the spa as well as breakfast and dinner buffet, so we were happy to disappear into the spa with an inside pool with thermal water and several saunas. Followed by dinner with a big buffet and a variety of delicious meals to choose from. Only the drinking water cost extra. Aside from that, we really can't complain.


In the evening, we just walked around in the beautiful area, taking some evening shots of the impressive hotel, and I was positively surprised by an open-air Jazz Festival. My friend decided he doesn't like to watch the show and opted to go back to our room while I stayed back to enjoy the concert.




 

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