Published: July 19th 2013July 16th 2013
Ljubljana Slovenia 15 to 17 July 2013
As soon as we crossed into Slovenia (an EU country) we could see we were in for a treat regarding scenery. The border was a ‘drive-straight-through’ and buy a vignette for the car. This is instead of paying tolls. Slovenia is only 20,000 sq km and 85% of it is covered with vegetation, with 2 million people. It is also a very mountainous country and it hasn’t been subjected to major wars. So all in all we knew we were in for a treat.
The country only has 45 kms coast line between Croatia and Italy, but it’s a beautiful part of the country. We drove through it from Croatia on our way to Trieste.
stop after travelling over excellent roads was Ljubljana with 280,000 people of which there are 65,000 students. It’s the main university in the country. Other than an administrative building for the Uni, which is now housed in the old Parliament House, all the faculties are separate and sprinkled throughout the town – great concept. When the students are on holidays (now) they are ‘replaced’ by tourists. It has capital city facilities but with a
It’s like a little Prague with its extensive rows of cafe-bars. And at this time of the year, there are plenty of tourists to fill the chairs, although it was quiet compared to the coast! Apparently the present Mayor doubled the number of pedestrian streets and duplicated the main walking bridge so there is now 3 stone pedestrian bridges side by side in the old are not far from the Presernov Trg (Trg = square in Slovene).
We settled into the Ljubljana Hotel Resort Camping area. This had everything. The most magnificent pool, restaurant, good WiFi, a bar, fitness centre and very pleasant weather. We met our Netherlands neighbours one side and German neighbours on the other side. We had a lovely meal at the restaurant with a lovely local red wine.
Next day, we dropped the camper off at a Peugeot outlet to service the car. We had organized this the day before. This was the 5th
car service outlet we had tried (including the one in Trieste, Italy). Everyone is apparently getting their car serviced during the summer holidays as they were all busy.
Once we dropped it off, we caught a
bus into the city. They have a good system where you buy an Urbana card for 2 Euro and you load it with money for all forms of transport in the city. We reckon the Greeks should use this system to help improve their economy (and honesty!). By the way, talking about honesty, the Slovenians have the reputation of being the most honest in Europe which is pretty cool.
The Old Town was easy to find. Information for tourists were excellent…and in English. We had our obligatory coffee at one of the café-bars in the sun (it was about 25-28 degrees) and then popped into the Information Centre for all the rest of the info.
The area that dominated the city is the Ljubljana Castle which has a 19th
century tower. We headed for that but before we did, we came across a city walking tour so for 10 Euro we joined it. We were pleased we did because we learned about the city’s architectural history (Renaissance style – after the 1511 earthquake - Baroque and art novae mainly but with a bit of Romanesque thrown in) and the society of Ljubljana. The guide was a local of
course and with very good English (with an American accent). We started at the Town Hall and worked our way around the city, crossing the rive3r several times. There are 3 rivers in this city so that makes pleasant walking. We also stopped at a local restaurant and was served loc al cuisine – sausage and strudel. As it is a very flat city, despite all the rest of the country mountainous, there is a lot of bike riding. They also have a bike-hiring system similar to Brisbane where you fire a bike and you ride it to a different bike-station and leave it there. Hopefully the photos will show you where we walked.
One of the many interesting parts of the history of the city was the devastating earthquake in 1895 which devastated the city. The city’s plan was retained but was style was redesigned by the very famous locally-born architect and town planner, Jose Plecnik. The city is proud of their notable person. Architectural schools throughout Europe always refer back to his work for standard-setting guidance.
After the walk we caught the funicular up to the Castle. What an amazing view of the city and what
an unusual but tasteful mixture of old and modern.
We had lunch up the top in the castle square and caught the funicular down. We caught the bus back to the car servicing area only to find they hadn’t done anything because they had to order a few things which would arrive the next day. No worries – we are flexible with time.
The next day (17/7) we dropped the camper off again and the service was completed. We were off th Bled which is in the NW corner of Slovenia.
There are more photos below