Friday, August 12, 2011

A night in jail in Ljubljana

The cell door closes with a squeaking and creaking sound, you can hear the key turning in the lock. There we are, in a prison cell, all three of us... With internet connection, laptops, cellphones and all of our luggage, at least we have that. And of course we have our own key for the cell door. Oh, and we paid more than twenty euro's just to sleep in the prison cell for a night. This was one of the strange experiences in Ljubljana, as there are many more to come.

Earlier this week I already mentioned the free and unlimited atmosphere in Metelkova Mesto on my blog. This squatted place in Ljubljana has no rules, the police will not check the area, so everything is possible here. It once was the property of the Yuguslav Army, with barracks, storage space and a military prison. The whole area was squatted in 1993, after Slovenia freed themselves from Yugoslavia in 1991. There is not much left of the buildings that remind you at that time since everything has been changed over time, but the one thing that kind of stayed the same is Hostel Celica.

This hostel was once proclaimed to be the most hip and funky hostel in the world by the Lonely Planet and they might be right about that. Over eighty artists has been working on the different prison cells to change them in to artistic hotel rooms. Each room is different: with round beds, glass floors, stairs and ladders, paintings and photo's on the wall. If you ever visit Ljubljana, you should definitely book at least one night in one of the prison cells of Hostel Celica. In the hostel there's also a bar and a restaurant, a terrace and a garden with hammocks and beach chairs. It's a perfect place to chill out after a night out in Metelkova Mesto.