We didn’t really know anything much about Slovenia before staying at Lake Bled but by now we know what an oasis it really is – full of emerald green limestone lakes, cascading waterfalls, hiking paths through stunning gorges, very clean quaint towns and friendly people who can all speak great English and the summer climate is just beautiful.
Our 3 night stay in the capital of Slovenia was just as magical. Just the name of this capital Ljubljana has a magnificent ring to it. Our Airbnb accommodation was situated about 5 minutes outside the old town in a quiet neighbourhood by the river. Our apartment was cleverly designed to make for a great relaxing stay. During our stay, Ljubljana was in full swing with a music and dance festival taking hold in various areas of the city. On our first night we were serenaded by a high brow collar and tie musical concert in the gardens next to our apartment.
After a great night’s sleep we set out to explore Ljubljana by foot. We walked down to the canal front to grab ourselves coffee like the locals do which cost a $1-30. Do it as the locals do at a cafe called Spica. The cafe was very atmospheric overlooking the canal. Deck chairs lined the grassy banks.
We followed the walking path lined with pale mauve wild flowers past the local river cruise boats and numerous bridges. Ljubljana is city full of many well known bridges.
Here is a photo that highlights why we are now great at recycling. You need to sort and deposit your household rubbish into the correct bins which must go underground somewhere??? I think there are 6 different bins. The old town area is pedestrian only and it seemed quite laid back, quaint and very clean. The beautiful canal winds along through the old town adding a tranquil feel alongside cute cafes with umbrellas spilling out onto cobbled streets overshadowed by beautiful architectural buildings and fountains.
Lovers of Antiques we happily explored a beautiful antique shop on our path called Antik they had some beautiful antique jewellery.
We hit the Cobbler’s Bridge the water below was emerald green.
Sampling ice cream is a must here. I tried a refreshing mixed berry gelato and a delicious hazelnut ice cream which cost $1-30 a scoop. Rob went hard core with rum and dark chocolate!
Travellers are all very friendly as when we were choosing our ice cream flavours I had a lady tap me on my shoulder which made me jump. She just wanted to say hi as we hiked the waterfall together the day before. I asked if she recognised me as I was in the same yellow shirt, no it was my blonde ponytail bobbing about with excitement from trying my ice cream which was a great price. I had a feeling it was going to be one of those gastronomic days!!!
We hit the famous triple bridge along with many other tourists. There were also lots of young school groups out on excursions. A very brave venture battling bus loads of tourists groups. One school were really clever as their young students were dressed in bright yellow t-shirts. That is my thinking as well. Rob can easily find me in my yellow flowered easily visible, smack you in the face shirt!!
We hit the picturesque lovelock bridge which is really called the Butcher’s Bridge. Which also had some interesting statues with body parts exploding out. Not so romantic!!!
Then onto the the Iconic Dragon Bridge which was Rob’s favourite. Legend has it that a dragon was once slayed here.
We explored the famous produce markets which were the biggest and best produce markets we have seen on our travels. Cherries and berries abundant at each stall.
We were fascinated by the unskimmed fresh raw cows milk and yogurt refrigerated vending machine at the edge of the market place. The farm fresh raw milk (which wouldn’t be allowed to be sold back home in Australia as we seem to have the need to kill any goodness) cost all of $1 per litre!!! No wonder the delicious yogurt was sold out by the time we got there.
We headed on through the beautiful flower markets and crowd to the Church of St. Nicholas. Inside it was ornately decorated and had a beautiful mural painted ceiling. We were taken by the detail in the heavy cast iron church door. It was a true masterpiece.
It was time for us to do the hard yards. An up hill walk to Ljubljana Castle which was steep but only took us about 15 minutes to walk.
We spent about 30 minutes looking around the well kept castle grounds and then we made our quick decent down the hill. If you are not a walker as it was steep there is a funicular that you can travel up on, on a combined Castle entry ticket which costs 10 euros.
On our way back down towards town we found another antique collector shop. It was called Verba, and the owner was great to chat with. He had grown up as a child in communist times here in Slovenia. As a child they didn’t have much but were happy with a ball. He played a lot of sport and tennis was his thing. For the past 20 he has been collecting all memorabilia relating to all sports. It was free to browse through and he hired out vintage push bikes. This was really a hidden gem.
Now we were excited to find out that a special gourmet market called, ‘Open Kitchen’ was on next to the market square. It was a hive of activity where talented chefs and local restaurants had stands selling top dishes from their menus. We were starving from all our walking. We decided on mouthwatering Indian which was huge and only cost 5-50 euros each. We also sampled an Indian curry puffs and an iced ginger, mint and apple juice. For under 20 euros we ate like kings.
On the way home Rob found some cool beers to take home. So that is how we spent our day in the beautiful city of Ljubljana. Is it surprising I fell asleep for two hours when we got home?