Okay, painted trains are not all that unique and are visible from afar, but there is a little hidden something too that nobody ever notices and now you will.
I had intended to search it out and photograph it for a long time, but it was only while searching for the vaccine station last Monday that I found myself at the central train station with all the eight platforms of my life. I spotted a waiter and he looked like a Yugoslav waiter of my youth, all-knowing and willing to share. So I asked.
Alas, his eyes glazed over when I said “James Joyce”. Better ask at the info point, he said. That one was closed and all three foreign tourists had to manage, including me. A ticket seller knew. “Look down when you reach the stairs,” she said, “right there at the top of the staircase. It’s on the ground.”
It certainly is. Looking like a spittoon or a boot scraper or a manhole cover doesn’t help. You must look really closely to see the words and even closer to spot another plate with the following inscription in Slovenian and English: “On October 19, 1904, James Joyce spent the night in Ljubljana.” He and Nora thought that their train had reached Trieste and went off and the train continued without them. Imagine their joy at finding out they still had 100 km to go.
The (bilingual) words on the monument, from Ulysses, I had to find online as they are barely legible: “He swept the mirror a half circle in the air to flash the tidings abroad in sunlight now radiant on the sea.” The author, sculptor Jakov Brdar who created several sculptures around Ljubljana, hopes that you like his extreme style. The monument was unveiled on Bloomsday – James Joyce celebration day – in 2003. I needed only almost twenty years to locate it.
Quite by chance there is a monument from the gardens of the Miramare castle near Trieste in my today’s blogging memories below. Unlike then, nowadays it is quite impossible to reach Trieste by direct train from Ljubljana.
For Photographing Public Art Challenge (PPAC) hosted by Cee at Cee’s Photo Challenges
This day in my blogging history