Slovenia isn’t a country I had ever thought about visiting before this trip. We didn’t even really have it on the agenda, but as we read more about this part of Europe, Ljubljana kept coming up as a favorite for people. We needed to head west again at some point, anyway. Not having much planned or any particular expectations, we drove into Slovenia on Sunday afternoon from Tihany, Hungary, stopping near the border for lunch at McDonalds – continuing our tradition of eating very non-local foods as our first meal everywhere.
Our Ljubljana Airbnb apartment was in the Podutik neighborhood – in the northwest part of the city. Hilly and full of evergreens, it reminded me of driving into Bellevue from Seattle. As a wonderful bonus, the family we rented from have two boys close in age to Max and Henry, and they spent some fun afternoons and evenings on the trampoline in the back yard and playing something called “PUBG” together on their various devices. Language barriers have nothing on video games and bouncing maniacally.
We spent almost a week exploring the city. A day-by-day would probably be tedious, so just some highlights:
Our tour of Ljubljanski Grad (the castle) and the view from the castle tower. We were told that from the top you can see one-third of the whole country.
The fox that appeared during our castle tour.
Ice cream from Cacao – twice. Total flavors tasted: mandarin, raspberry, mango, lemon, wild strawberry, Santo Domingo chocolate, amarena, pistachio. All of them were delicious.
The Museum of Illusions.
Walking in the old town’s pedestrian- (and bicycle-) only streets.
The Metelkova art district. Henry dubbed it, “Creepy, but good.”
Watching Henry chase bubbles in the square on Tuesday afternoon.
Riding bikes on Friday along the river path. Having lunch (AND dinner!) at Odprta Kuhna (open kitchen). We tried Egyptian shawarma (twice), roti, spring rolls and pork buns, a Serbian meat sandwich, and fried chicken.
One day I took an hour-long walk through Tivoli Park – and happened upon a ski jump training center. While I was walking, the boys were horsing around and Henry busted his chin open on some exercise equipment. By the time I met back up with them, the bleeding had stopped and Kyle was almost over his irritation that I’d managed to avoid the whole thing. Not a highlight of the trip, but it will be a memento, as it looks like it will scar.
Both boys also had haircuts, though neither allowed more than a trim…
We took a day trip to the Vintgar Gorge, Lake Bled, and Lake Bohinj, too, which deserves its own post. So, more to come on Slovenia, my new favorite place. I wonder if Melania wishes she’d never left.