(Or how I spent 5 days trying to say it the right way..)
Hello there! It’s Friday, we’re this close to the week end and it’s time for a new tale! I know some of you don’t really care about the last part, but this is my blog, and I can say whatever I want! (Please don’t go away, I’m kidding! Hello? Still here? Then keep reading 😉 )
Today you have to listen closely, because I’m about to share a secret with you, but you have to promise not to tell too many other people, (just share it with your Facebook friends 😉 ), this secret is about a place, and this place is called Ljubljana (to be pronounced “Loubyana”, I know not easy to pronounce as I spent 5 days saying it the wrong way without anyone telling me!). It’s the capital and the biggest city in Slovenia. I know you guys are going to ask me THE question: why and how did I choose this destination.
Truth is, it was a random choice, literally… Last June, I was looking for a nice place to discover for a short time (no more than 5 days), and I was using Youtube for that, I know that it’s not the first place to check when you are looking for a travel destination but I’m a kind of visual person, so I came across this nice video about Lake Bled few miles away from Ljubljana, located in the middle of a beautiful alpine region. I instantly fell in love with this lake, the island in the middle of it, the reflexion of the mountains on the water and the green postcard landscapes, and that’s how I made my decision to go there. Once my decision made, I had to find out the cheapest way to get there, after a mini market research I came up with a plan that would take me to another destination on the way, well why go directly to Slovenia when you can make a 1 day stopover in another beautiful city like Venice right? So the plan was: to take a flight from Casablanca to Rome, then on the same day take a train from Rome to Venice, Spend a day wandering in the streets of Venice and finally take a bus to Ljubljana from Venice (5 hours drive or so). Well, I agree with you on the fact that one day is not enough for Venice but the number of couples and lovers in that city is just heartbreaking and that’s another story!
Well, to give you a bit of background, Slovenia is a little country tucked between Italy, Austria, and Croatia, and it is probably one of my favourites in Europe so far (I still have couple of cities to visit in Europe but I’m pretty sure Ljubljana would make it to the top 5). It’s a city filled with bridges, pretty buildings, and laid-back people and trust me when I tell you that when you go to Ljubljana, chances are you will never want to leave 🙂
When you compare Ljubljana with other European capitals, this city is not the trendiest or the most modern, it’s not either the best known or most connected to the rest of the continent, but it is sure one of the most beautiful ones. Here are the things that I loved the most about the city.
First of all you have the architecture, if you love colourful medieval buildings, if you like walking on bridges (and there are lots of them by the way!) it is your favourite city too. Walking around in the city Center of Ljubljana is like travelling back to medieval era on the 21st century.
Secondly, it’s a friendly city: bikes friendly, tourists friendly, travellers friendly, people friendly… You just name it! Then you have the Ljubljanica River, this canal cutting through the city which is an attraction on itself and allows some stunning things to exist: the bridges (Paris-like fashion), the cafés and restaurants on both sides of the river and of course the traditional boat tour along it. In the summer time, the city center is just a festival of joyful and colourful things: from traditional local markets and restaurants to concerts in the different parks, the city just never sleeps!
Now when you go out of Ljubljana itself you discover the beautiful Bled town and its lake in the middle of the Julian Alps. This lake might be the most scenic place I’ve ever been to so far! In the middle of the lake (which is frozen in the winter by the way, can you imagine that?) a beautiful island stands naturally with a castle and a church on the top of it (reminded me of a happier “Game Of Thrones” landscape!) , and all this magnificent image is surrounded by green forests and mountains. This church has a quite funny story: the legend says that in the past when people got married in the Castle’s church , the groom had to carry his bride through the 99 stairs leading to the church…So now visitors carry their wives/girlfriends through the stairs, make a wish and ring the castle’s bell for their wish to come true.. Well I actually had to carry myself to the top but the view was worth it 😉
Bled is not the only amazing region in Slovenia, all the towns located in the Julian Alps are just pieces of heaven on earth; Bohinj and its lake and valley, the city of Skofja Loka and its castles and old buildings (don’t try to say the names of the cities with the right pronunciation, it’s mission impossible!), you just need to keep aside 5 days maximum from your calendar and go discover the country, as long as it’s still unknown as a tourist destination, I’m pretty sure it won’t remain that way for long, and that’s why I was talking about it as a precious secret to share with you. So go to Slovenia, go now before the rest of the world gets the fact that you can’t visit it without falling in love with it 🙂
And cheers to the places we yet have to go to!