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Six Days in Magical Slovenia via Two Days in Venice

Six Days in Magical Slovenia via Two Days in Venice

Jun 21st, 2019, 05:07 AM
Join Date: Apr 2006
Posts: 10,141
What a difference the sun can make! Glad you finally found some sun. We found people under 50ish all spoke very good English and older people some. Like you we had very good meals in Slovenia. We had the same deal made in a restaurant in Ljubliana - in by 7 out by 9.
yestravel is offline  
Jun 21st, 2019, 05:23 AM
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Have they stopped doing boat rides to the island in Lake Bled, or were you not interested?

There are smiley cultures (the US) and not smiley cultures (lots of others, notably Russia).

Surprised by all the graffiti in Ljubljana, don't remember that, but it has been five years.
thursdaysd is offline  
Jun 21st, 2019, 05:36 AM
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Originally Posted by thursdaysd View Post
Have they stopped doing boat rides to the island in Lake Bled, or were you not interested?
We were in Lake Bled mid-May and the Pletna boats were running if that's the boats you mean.

yestravel is offline  
Jun 21st, 2019, 06:45 AM
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Originally Posted by yestravel View Post
What a difference the sun can make! Glad you finally found some sun. We found people under 50ish all spoke very good English and older people some. Like you we had very good meals in Slovenia. We had the same deal made in a restaurant in Ljubliana - in by 7 out by 9.
The sun made all the difference! Yes, most spoke English since that is the language they communicated in with all of the other Europeans who did not speak Slovenian.

The boats were running, we just didn't want to take one. We enjoyed the view from where we were. I should add that when we left Lake Bled, the traffic heading into the town was backed up for MILES! It was insane. If we had gotten into that going in, we would have skipped it but I am glad I saw it.
odie1 is offline  
Jun 22nd, 2019, 08:42 AM
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May 24

Lovely Ljubljana

This morning we woke to pure blue skies-not a single cloud to be seem-yes! Billy hurried and readied for his second day of fishing in Slovenia, while Jenny enjoyed a leisurely morning. We had no plan except to go to the old town and walk around and to get lunch at the local food festival that takes place Friday in the main square.

By the time we got into Ljubljana historic district, it was close to 12:00 and it was pretty packed with people. We strolled along the river, stopping for a cappuccino and to locate a few shop we wanted to stop in. Continuing on, we were amazed to see how many people were out sitting in the restaurants that line the river.

We made a few stops in some of the stores, buying a cute pair of sandals made in Italy and a piece of pottery from a co-op that benefits people with disabilities. Of course, it wasn’t long before we were hungry so we decided to try the food festival that is quite popular here.

This little lady was so cute, she reminded me of Oma, my dad’s mother.

There were probably 30 or so vendors selling everything from traditional Slovenian foods to a myriad of foreign ethnic foods. Our first stop was for a serving of roast pork (literally it was like suckling pig but on a bbq instead of a spit) with cole slaw and roasted potatoes-all delicious until Jenny saw “piggy whiskers” attached to the skin. I laughed telling Jenny that yesterday she said she had seen every farm animal in Slovenia but a pig-well today she saw her pig, it just wasn’t in the exact form she was planning on.

Next food stop was for Egyptian shawarma- a delicious concoction of sautéed spiced chicken and onions, arugula, shredded carrots topped with a yogurt sauce wrapped in a warm grilled pice of flatbread-delicious and so filling, we had to stop eating there!

We walked around a bit more, enjoying the sights of the lovely compact old district and then headed back to the apartment to drop our bag off and take a few minutes to get out of the sun and cool down-it had actually gotten warm enough where that was necessary. Just as we were leaving, Billy came in so we got the news on another day of epic fishing. He caught more fish then he could count, many of them on a technique that is considered all the rage now-Czech nymphing and then a bunch on a dry fly-his favorite technique. They ended back up by Lake Bled, in stunning water, with loads of fish-a pretty perfect day.

We left Billy to shower and relax while we headed up to an area called Metelkova. This was a former army barracks that has been turned into an artist colony. As I said, Ljubljana has a lot of graffiti-everywhere but according to the locals it is considered street art, even if some of it is not so nice. Well this place, was full of that and other artistic expressions. Jenny was a bit nervous to walk all the way in and around as there were some interesting looking characters so we stayed on the outskirts. There is no doubt that with all of our travels-Jenny has learned an unbelievable amount of street smarts-which is great! The thing is, Ljubljana is one of the safest cities in the world with an almost negligible crime rate. We have seen no beggars, no gypsies, no scam artists and only one person who appeared as though they were in a fairly derelict condition, so all the graffiti which usually points to crime ridden areas back home, really is just street art! I’ll take graffiti over gypsies and scam artists, any day!

We had fun posing in front of all the other street art as we walked along the streets.

We stopped in a cafe just down the road from our apartment to sit outside, under the awning and enjoy the breeze that had picked up. I told Billy to meet us there when he was ready so we could head to dinner from there.The famous Dragon Bridge
Dinner tonight was at the restaurant the local had suggested but it was not as good as we had hoped-nothing bad, just nothing rave worthy.

We all enjoyed strolling back along the river, in the pedestrian only part of town. Billy is looking forward to seeing more of it in the day tomorrow since for his birthday, he will be hanging out with us!

odie1 is offline  
Jun 22nd, 2019, 09:03 AM
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Love the guy with the beard and the books! Don't know about Ljubljana, but in Buenos Aires, for instance, street art is legal, and you can take tours to see it.
thursdaysd is offline  
Jun 24th, 2019, 03:07 AM
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May 25
Birthday Number Two

It was another beautiful morning here and of course, it was Billy’s birthday, so we decided we’d go out for our first breakfast of the trip. Every other morning we had breakfast at home or grabbed something from the grocery store but today we decided on a true breakfast at Ek, just down the street. Billy and Jenny ordered eggs benedict and I had a yogurt bowl with fruit and granola-all very good. The color of the egg yolks here are that beautiful orange color-the kind I only find when I buy them from a local house that has chickens of their own!


We decided to skip option #1 after we read the translation.

After breakfast, we decided we would go to the castle that has loomed over Ljubljana for the last 900 or so years. It was an easy ride up the funicular, giving us our first views out over the beautiful red roofs of Ljubljana. It was too bad that the mountains off in the distance were covered in clouds, but really…no complaining here!

We climbed up to the top of the lookout tower, with me holding the map over the corner of my eye, acting like a blinder so I did not see just how high up and how steep the stairwell was. The view from the top was spectacular-a 360° view of all of Ljubljana and the gorgeous countryside-all the way out to the mountains (just not the peaks today). Really spectacular and worth the price of entry alone for the view. We have decided that the castles in Slovenia, are pretty lame. There is really very little to see in them, unlike the castles of some of the other European countries we have been to-oh well-I guess you can’t have everything.

We enjoyed the stroll back down the hill and walked along the streets of the old town, through the Saturday market, across the Butcher’s Bridge, aka the Bridge of Love, with all the locks hanging that the lover’s put on to demonstrate their eternal love and then throw the key over into the river. Jenny was funny, pointing out one and saying that that guy must not have been too sure about his relationship as he used a padlock with a dial combination.

By this time we were ready for lunch so I chose a restaurant that looked like it had a full menu-a total carp shoot. Turned out it was a delicious lunch with extremely friendly service and free entertainment in the form of Hare Krishnas dancing through the streets.

We could have lingered over lunch a little longer, but the skies were darkening and a quick look at our radar suggested we were in for some storms. Even though they have developed an ingenious system of umbrella gutters so the outside tables can still be used in the pouring rain, we opted to head back to the apartment for a nap for the birthday boy. It wasn’t even seconds after walking in the door that the clouds unloaded.See the waiters attaching the gutters!

A few hours later, and just in time to head out for dinner, the skies cleared. Jenny navigated us to dinner and at one point we were sure that perhaps there was some mistake as to where we were headed, we had the feeling we were walking the streets of Beirut in the 1980s, not in the 21st century EU, but Jenny was spot on. We spied the sign for the restaurant Luda and had a good laugh that they had laid out the welcome mat for Billy on his birthday, as we entered into their building on two wooden planks spanning a ditch. However, just like two nights previous, what waited on the other side of the door was far different than the facade, except this time the inside was modern and sleek.

Our waitress was a cute young girl, with a bright blue bob. She was very friendly and chatted with us concerning the restaurant’s concept, which apparently keeps reinventing itself. It was a small place, with only 7 tables allowing for them to serve everything fresh from the markets. They had a very limited menu with the choices consisting of fish dishes only. Our dinner was delicious-we all had tuna crudo for starters and shared a bowl of charred tomatoes in some fish something or another foam. For dinner it was octopus for Billy, trout for me and shrimp pasta for Jenny-all outstanding! We split two deserts-a cheese platter and a spice cake, topped with fresh strawberries and a yogurt foam with hazelnuts-again outstanding! Including a bottle of wine, our total dinner tab was Euro 101!

Our time in Slovenia had come to an end. Tomorrow we catch a flight to Amsterdam. We have loved everything about Slovenia-it is definitely a country I would love to return to and do some hiking in-especially on the hut to hut routes in the Julian Alps. Ljubljana itself has a lot to offer-it is charming and safe with excellent restaurants and friendly people. It is less than an hour to world class fly fishing and incredible skiing. We loved how dog friendly it was-we have never seen so many different breeds of dogs in one place-you name it, we saw it-including shar-peis and basset hounds as well as some really big ones we had never seen.

We learned more about the history of Yugolsalvia and saw the impacts that the years as a communist/socialist country had. We actually overheard an interesting conversation with a local who was speaking of how awful it was under that rule but that under the EU, they feel like their culture is being wiped out. I can understand and see where he is coming from. It’s sad to think that that is true. Culture is intrinsic to travel, at least the kind of traveling that we do. I can’t imagine a world without it. It would be like the only flavor of ice cream to be had is vanilla or if everything in the world was only shades of grey. Cesar Chavez once said, “Preservation of own’s own culture does not require contempt or disrespect for other cultures.” We have worked hard to teach this to Jenny, through our words, our actions, and most importantly our travels. What a far more peaceful world we would live in, if only this thought process was the norm.

While our travels have been beyond educational, for all three of us, they have turned into so much more. As a family, we have so much fun together. With all of the time that Billy is away from home, for us to spend time together, away from the things that can distract us or we have come to depend on, brings us that much closer. Our travels are bonding. We are grateful for the opportunities we have to spend this time together because as I think we all know, life is short, and we never know what’s in store for us just around the corner. We would trade anything we have in this world for guaranteed time but that’s not an option so instead, we will take advantage of our time now, as much as we can.
odie1 is offline  
Jun 24th, 2019, 10:59 AM
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Great TR -- thanks for sharing.
We heard such varying opinions of what it was like under Tito and what it's like now. I have come away with no opinion believe it or not. Slovenia prides itself on the safety ofits towns. We heard it often. But good your daughter has street smarts and trusts her instincts.
I wish you were there before us -- some great places we may have missed.
We've seen street art around the world, but in general. were not impressed with it in Slovenia.

Last edited by yestravel; Jun 24th, 2019 at 11:07 AM.
yestravel is offline  
Jun 24th, 2019, 01:59 PM
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What a fantastic report. Your account reminds me of how much I missed Venice, although the crowds didn't see to be a problem when I visited 9 years ago. The mountains of Slovenia looks great too, and your description of Ljubljana has me thinking of Bratislava - a compact but interesting corner of Europe that isn't on every tourist's radar.
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