My affair with Slovenia has started when my colleague gave me a bottle of Slovenian wine in turn for taking care of his plant. Until then, the little country had not attracted my attention at all. Perhaps just because it is in the shadows of its neighbors: Italy, Austria, Hungary, and Croatia.
You may have certainly passed through the country while traveling between its neighbors, and probably it never occurred to you to spend your valuable time here? If so, you missed quite a lot! Besides the delicious wines, there is so much to do and see in this lovely country… Do you like city life? Nature? Beaches? History? Slovenia has something to offer for everyone.
Although it was a cold October day, the scenery was so beautiful, the water was so clear and inviting that I had to fight against the will to jump into the water.
The 1.6 km long hiking trail here is easy and suitable for every age and fitness level. At the beginning and end of the trail, you will find a small kiosk, where you can buy some snacks and coffee. Also just before the entrance, there is a restaurant, which serves fish caught right there from the river. However, it was not appealing to us at all, due to being packed with package tourists.
Lake Bled is located in the town of Bled, only 4 km away from Vintgar. Bled itself is a typical tourist town with dozens of hotels and restaurants side by side. Given the diversity of the restaurants, it was time for us to have late lunch here, before checking the famous lake.
Anyway, a short drive later we were finally at the Azra’s place, and of course, we stuck to our plan with pub crawling.
Like in most European towns, Ljubljana is divided through a river that is adorned with nice pubs and cafés alongside. I am not going to recommend any specific pubs or restaurants; just stroll around and pick the one, which appeals to you.
We concluded the first night with a last drink at Metelkova, which I think no one should leave the city without seeing. It is an autonomous culture center with clubs, bars, art installations, graffiti, and even a hostel, and it is unique. It was great to hang out outside of Jalla Jalla, to mingle with people, and to have some cheap local beer. Old military barracks, new ideas: we love it!
|Details – Metelkova|
|Hanging shoes – Metelkova|
The next day started quite late for us, and surprisingly we had mostly sunny weather. We spent the day strolling around and making many stops along the way to continue bar crawling where we left off. At this time, the city became our favorite in Europe by far. In every corner you can find something nice: let it be graffiti, nice flowers, an artistic door, a food fair, friendly people, cheap and real margaritas and so on…
We had to say goodbye to Ljubljana soon after falling in love, for the sake of our last stop in this awesome country: Škocjan Caves.
There are two famous caves in Slovenia (the other being Postojna), and this one seems to get lesser visitors. I am not quite sure why, perhaps due to being a bit farther away or not being so commercialized. In any case, Škocjan Jame is certainly worth the longer distance and the hiking effort. On top, it is on the UNESCO world heritage list, whereas Postojna is not. There are several guided walking tours a day, which take approximately 2 hours, and in my opinion, require a reasonable level of fitness due to the stairs and slopes that you need to master.
I was so impressed by the underground river in the Škocjan Caves system and by the enormous stalactite and stalagmite formations that once again I realized how small a human being is. Unfortunately, photography is prohibited here, hence the following photos are from the web.
|photo from unesco|
|photo from travel-slovenia|
Our time in Slovenia was over hereby, as I decided to get the last sea breeze of the year in Rovinj, Croatia (by the way, we met the only non-English speaking Slovenian guy near the Croatian border). All in all, I would have to say that we love Slovenia, we love Ljubljana, we love the friendly people, we love the delicious wines, and and and…looking forward to the next escape!