SloveniaPosted: January 20, 2012
Woops!!! Take Two.
This is Bled, village in the north westish of Slovinia. I am starting at the end of our Slovenian escapade as I loved this photo so much – loved this place – loved, actually Slovenia. One of Europes best kept secrets. Slovenia is our 26th country and we were both amazed at the beauty of the scenery and the towns. Maybe it’s just because it’s the most recent in a long list of fabulous destinations. None the less, I felt VERY privileged to take our morning walk 6kms around the Bled Lake on a well cared for gravel pathway.
These are more photos of Bled and another village on the way there!!
We also fell in love with the capital. (Prizes for anyone who knows its name – I certainly didn’t. PS We know you will know Douglas!!!) Ljubljana (meaning “the beloved!”) a European capital, sitting between Venice and Vienna, has all the culture, (apparently over 10,000 cultural events a year) glamour, wealth and history to measure any other. With a population of under 300,000, it has a small town, almost country friendliness and ease of getting around. Add to that just under a quarter of the population are students – its a vibrant mixture and a wonderful place to spend time in. Classy, almost flashy in a fresh, shy way and was recently awarded the Readers Digest most honest city after 10 mobile phones were left lying around the city streets and all bar two were handed to police!!! The Franciscan Church is pink, interior domes are lined with uplifting cherub and angel frescos and the entrance is very cool – stone and timber.
The shops are Stylish with a capital “S.” The architecture, in the old city, a Viennese feel, commonly Baroque and Art Nouveau. Ljubljana seems to have shrugged off past conflicts and wars with a positive youthfulness. During the 2nd world war this lovely city was surrounded by a 33 kilometre barbed wire fence constructed by the Italian army. It stood for 3 years in a attempt by the occupying forces to keep the partisans at bay! Today a well maintained 33 km “Pot ob zici” or “path along the wire”, commemorates the liberation of Slovenia after the 2nd world war, and also the winning of independence from Yugoslavia after the 10 day war in 1991, in a lovely way and is used and loved by locals and tourists alike.
All together, Slovenia was all not what we expected. Perhaps I thought Slovenia might be a little sad, ex socialist and war torn. Instead we found a beautiful country with happy people, proudly members of the EU for the past 8 years. Seemingly more closely related to its Austrian and Italian neighbours than the other Balkin states. Very much a world class European destination.