Nothing SLO about Slovenia

My friend and I were pleasantly surprised by the beauty and quaint-ness of Ljubliana, the capital, in contrast to the unsurprised difficulty of pronouncing it’s name.

Lee-oo-be-on-a…. about…

We arrived by flixbus from Zagreb, a 2 hour and 15 minute ride with the border crossing. It was a pretty ride. Everything is back to being green again and we passed several small adorable villages. Welcome to Spring!

We checked into our hostel and ate lunch. We decided to rent those city bikes where you get the first hour of use free at a time. So you just need to return the bike to a bike stand before the hour is up and you won’t be charge. Wait 3 minutes and you get another free hour.

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You can pay for a subscription for a week or for a year. Since we only spent 3 days there we picked the week. The cost is 1 euro. We ended up riding the bikes twice making it 50 cents per ride. Not bad!

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The city is amazing! It’s a mix of several European cities- Copenhagen, Belgium, Venice, Prague. It was so cool. It was also neat biking around and doing the stereotypical European bike the city thing with front baskets.

We then walked up to the castle for a great view of the city with the Julian mountains in the back. And on the way back to the hostel we stopped at the National Library. The entrance is very symbolic as its all black marble and the higher you go to enter the library the lighter it gets- the more knowledge you acquire the more enlightened you are.

“I wish I could study here.” My friend whispered as we stared at the beauty.

“Yeah, but you know what makes me happier?”

“That you don’t have to study anymore?”

I nodded and we gave each other a smile.

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We met a nice man from Australia, T, in Zagreb and planned to meet him and his friend, L, for drinks that night to plan the next day.

The 4 of us decided to do a day trip together:

Lake Bohinj

This lake is further and less known than Lake Bled, but it’s just as beautiful and bigger. We took an early bus (7am!) To get the most out of the day. They leave every hour and to Bohinj it was about 8 euros and it’s about a 2 hour bus ride. Our bus driver must have been running late because he was clearly speeding….nothing SLO….but we had a good laugh about it.

We walked to the left of the lake first to the start of the path to the waterfall. We broke up as the boys wanted to go up the cable car to the top of the mountain where people were skiing and we wanted to keep walking the lake. The other side was much better.

HINT: Walk the right side of the lake first and then do the hike to the waterfall (4 km from the parking lot). Once you are done you can walk back or take the bus back from there. They leave 20 minutes before the hour.

HINT 2: Also, bring food. There isn’t much open especially during down season and if you have dietary restrictions it will be hard to find food to accommodate those needs. T and L didn’t bring food and pretty much didn’t eat all day. And if things were open L is vegan and probably couldn’t eat it.

Buses from here go back to Ljubljana/Bled 10 minutes before the hour.

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Lake Bled

We took one bus back to Lake Bled (all 4 of us) and walked around the lake. It’s smaller than Bohinj and doesn’t really matter what side you walk first. The best views are on the other side of the lake from the town anyways.

We were recommended to get this cream cake from the area (since 1953) and at the end of the day we stopped at a restaurant that sells the original recipe. It was great, but it was almost 4 euros, which, to me, for a piece of cake, is a bit much.

There’s a castle here as well. But we just walked around and didn’t go inside due to entrance fee. We timed it for the sunset and the view of the lake around this time was beautiful.

Ljubljana again

We booked our bus to Venice for 15.40 giving us the whole day in the city. We biked around town again and went to the artsy part. It was an abandoned building that artists have turned into a local hangout. The artwork was so interesting and definitely worth the few minutes on the bike.

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Dragon- symbol of Ljubljana and maybe all of Slovenia

We also heard a lot about a place that sells Horse burgers, yes horse meat. It’s called Hot Horse and it’s this little hut near an amusement park of some sort on the edge of Park Tivoli and across the street from a brewery.

It’s pretty good, but I wouldn’t get it again. My friend couldn’t even take a bite due to what type of meat it was, which is fair. It was really big though.

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Horse burger in the foreground, veggie burger in the back

We walked around the park and came across many lavender flowers in bloom. It was beautiful!

 

I definitely want to go back to Slovenia and Ljubljana- it was extremely beautiful and a pleasant surprise. I recommend it! A great jumping off point from EU/”Western Europe” into the Balkans or vice versa.

More pictures here

Daily Instagram here

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