Lets find a Cafe (or tearoom)

Lets find a Cafe (or tearoom)

Locations of reviewed cafes

For more information on the Cafes I have visited and the latest cafe cycle news go to http://www.cake-crusader.co.uk/

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Wednesday, 3 June 2015

Only a theory (Slovenian, Italian cafes)

Slovenian 'High Altitude' training camp
Day 2
Day 2 of my ironman training and European cafe cycling reviewing was going to be a long one. I had assured my cycling guest, Andrew (who is notoriously hard to please), that despite today's ride being over 30 miles further, at 97 miles, this was not a problem as we won't be doing 3 tough climbs like yesterday. I did say it was just theory based on looking at the map but it also turned out to be a lie.

As it was going to be a long one we set off early at 8.00 am and soon made it to the Slovenian/Italian border where we took the latest black and white photo for Andrews potential deserted border crossings and cycling based blog. He felt this was the best to date.
Slovenian Italian deserted boarder crossing in black and whte
It was then a long straight section to Tarvsio in Italy ready for our first climbing of the day back to the Slovenian border and more deserted crossing action (in black and white).
Second deserted boarder crossing of the day this time from Italy back to Slovenia
Up to now it had been very pleasant riding as we were not bothered by annoying motor bikers zooming past us like yesterday. However at the stroke of 10 o'clock out they all came, racing along in their sweaty leathers. It said it all, I thought, us cyclists get up at 7.00 have our muesli breakfast and on the road by 8:00 while our motor biking 'friends' are getting up late and stuffing themselves full of fried things and croissants before unnecessarily spooking the poor cyclists with their pointless overtaking manoeuvres. They don't even stop to take black and white photos of deserted border crossings.
At the bottom again with a long road a head
We crossed the border and headed down hill to Bovec and the after a while decided to stop for elevenses at Pro Mostu pizzeria.
Ready for Elevenses 
We sat down in the undercover terrace outside seating area and ordered. To go with Andrew's cappuccino and my hot chocolate and water I asked if they had any food. Yes they did but not yet I was told. I asked if they had any cake or strudel but apparently they ran out yesterday. This meant the only food I could now rate was the biscuit that came with the drinks, which after much debate we awarded a 3.5 food quality rating.
Biscuit that came with coffee ready to be reviewed
The drinks were very good especially my extra thick hot chocolate and the views and atmosphere were first class. Sadly, due to poor biscuit score the overall rating was at the lower end of my European list. 
Drinks featuring a very good hot chocolate
The nice lady waitress also explain it was peak biker season at the moment and that the combination of this and the nice weather meant they were currently swarming in the region, like a plague of leather clad locus.

Next we had to cross back to Italy under a black and white deserted border crossing archway.
Deserted boarder crossing archway
From here we were soon on our second climb of the day which was on a very narrow and bumpy road which climbed gently for what seemed like forever. The main advantage of the road conditions was that it seemed to put off the bikers so we pretty much had the road to ourselves.
Biker free ride
As it was a very long steady climb up I had left Andrew far behind when I saw a nice looking cafe with a fantastic view. I therefore made the executive decision to stop for lunch at Baita al botton d'Ora cafe.
Arrived at cafe by myself, but who took the photo?
By the time Andrew arrived I was already eating my bolognese and drinking lots of bottled water. 
My Lunch which arrived before Andrew did
When Andrew eventually rode in he sat down and immediately ordered  an espresso and gnocchi. In terms of atmosphere and ambiance (AAA) it was delightful with a fantastic view and proper Italian rustic charm plus no one who spoke any English. Andrew who is notoriously hard to please unless it has anything to do with Italy wanted to give it 11 out of 10 which is clearly mathematical nonsense but to keep happy I said I would, but obviously didn't.
View from cafe terrace outside seating area
Despite the food being good, if not great, and no Hot chocolate available the Baita al botton d'Ora cafe shot straight to the top of my European cafe league. But don't all rush there as it is pretty hard to get to.

After lunch it was a very technical descent with lots of bends on a narrow road. By the end my hands were aching from pulling on the brakes but I eventually caught up Andrew at the bottom.

The earlier pattern of the day was repeated as after some more flat we started to climb gently up again. I assured Andrew it would not be a step climb but this turned out to be far from the truth as the longer we went the steeper it got. It took over an hour to go less than 8 miles which is pretty slow.
Top of final climb, which was very long
After we got to the top (15 mins apart) it was another steep descent until we regrouped at the bottom. I had decided not to wait for Andrew at the top in case he was rather angry about the amount of climbing I had actually made him do. This was a good plan as he told me he had had time to calm down on the descent and had decided not to kill me after all. Although I think he would have been too tired to do it anyway.

We were now in urgent need for refuelling so stopped at the first cafe, cafe espresso,  
we found which was next to a garage on a busy road.
Cafe by garage you get what you expect
By choosing a cafe by a garage on a busy road we got what we deserved. They operated the no hot chocolate in summer policy which I was coming across all too frequently and the only food was a pre packaged croissant and ice cream. As you can guess we rated the Espresso cafe quite poorly but needs must.
Food and drinks at Caffe Espresso
We now just had a final 25 mile haul along a fairly flat stretch back to the start. I told Andrew we had in fact done more climbing metres than yesterday which seemed to make him both pleased and angry at the same time. He has therefore taken more interest into tomorrow's route which I have assured him is both shorter and flatter, but, as I have never actually ridden the route before it's only a theory.

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