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September 16th 2019
Published: September 16th 2019
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Slovenia is a new and old place: It only gained independence in 1991. Slovenia has historically been the crossroads of Slavic, Germanic, and Romance languages and cultures, and there are sizable Hungarian and Italian populations here. Nearly all of the population between the ages of 25 and 64 speak at least one foreign language and almost three quarters of them speak two!! This is the highest percentage in the European Union.

Present-day Slovenia has been inhabited since prehistoric times. There is evidence of human habitation from around 250,000 years ago. A pierced cave bear bone, dating from 43100 ± 700 BP, found in 1995 in Divje Babe cave near Cerkno, is considered a kind of flute, and possibly the oldest musical instrument discovered in the world.In the 1920s and 1930s, artifacts belonging to the Cro-Magnon, such as pierced bones, bone points, and a needle were found by archaeologist Srečko Brodar in Potok Cave.

In 2002, remains of pile dwellings over 4,500 years old were discovered in the Ljubljana Marshes, now protected as a UNESCO World Heritage Site, along with the Ljubljana Marshes Wooden Wheel, the oldest wooden wheel in the world. It shows that wooden wheels appeared almost simultaneously in Mesopotamia and Europe. wikipedia

It's strange and a little frustrating to be in a country where I have so little context with the language. I have only learned "Hello" so far today and can almost remember how to say "thank you". Sign reading is almost impossible. But almost everyone speaks some English, so we'll get by.

This morning we washed clothes in the machine in the apartment, and hung them in the drying room upstairs. It doesn't get any sun, but there is fresh air circulation. The room was almost full of clothes!

We walked down to the river and the historic center of the town. Ljubljana has much graffiti, which was a surprise. The buildings are a mix of styles, and everything is on a much smaller scale than Trieste. Many people cycle here, and there is much less car traffic and no noisy scooters like Trieste. We signed up for the city bike program but did not see a city bike stand anywhere...We'll look near the bus station tomorrow.

Once in the historic center, we wandered around, and saw that there were river boat tours. We checked in at the tourist office, and made our way to the nearby dock, where a boat was just arriving and we were first in line. We got front row seats, and had a very pleasant 45 minute, narrated (in Slovenian and English) tour of the river and its history.

After our tour, we ate lunch at one of the food trucks in the market area. We had a delicious spinach pie with roasted tomatoes and fresh greens. We walked to the Dragon Bridge, and checked out a thrift store before heading home to spend time on line booking a rental car for our trip to the mountains next Sunday and planning the next part of our trip: Croatia! (and napping....)

Here's some information about the city:

During antiquity, a Roman city called Emona stood in the area. Ljubljana itself was first mentioned in the first half of the 12th century. Situated at the middle of a trade route between the northern Adriatic Sea and the Danube region, it was the historical capital of Carniola, one of the Slovene-inhabited parts of the Habsburg Monarchy.It was under Habsburg rule from the Middle Ages until the dissolution of the Austro-Hungarian Empire in 1918. After World War II, Ljubljana became the capital of the Socialist Republic of Slovenia, part of the Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia. It retained this status until Slovenia became independent in 1991 and Ljubljana became the capital of the newly formed state.

Additional photos below
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Boat trip on the riverBoat trip on the river
Boat trip on the river

The market arcades

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