As we wandered through Ljubljana during our last day in Slovenia, I kept feeling overcome with anger. I ADORED this country, and every delightful experience just made it harder to say goodbye.
The open market was mostly organized and really enchanting. We ate freshly purchased blueberries while picking out purses, honey brandy, and glass blown vases. We wandered through shops and watched children chase bubbles through the street under a sign proclaiming that Ljubljana had been awarded the title of European Green Capital 2016. We sat in Le Petit Cafe and ate a cheese platter and a chocolate soufflé while going over the things we loved best about our trip…and the things we didn’t love as much. For your own Slovenian travels (do it!), here is one woman’s preferences:
- Driving on tiny mountainous roads. This was seriously scary for two Midwesterners, and we didn’t even go into the Alps. It didn’t help that we had a larger vehicle, so if you want to do more exploring than we did, book a smaller rental car ahead of time!
- Lake Bled. This was the only area I’d heard of, and apparently the same was true for everyone else. Although Bled Castle was really great, I just couldn’t stomach the pristine beauty of the place while jostling through crowds (note: this complaint was going to seem VERY petty once I got to Venice).
And…that’s it, I think. Slovenia won me over, hard.
- Renting a car. Do it! Although you can get to all of the tourist destinations by bus or tour guide, it is so rewarding to take in the country at your own pace. Having a car gives you freedom to stay longer, change plans, or just get in some roadtripping.
- The pastoral yet majestic scenery. None of the pictures I took really capture the way the Slovenian countryside filled my insides with peace. So much of where we went included quaint steeply sloped houses with bright flower boxes in the foreground and stunning mountains in the background. It’s what I imagine New Zealand must be like.
- Vintgar Gorge. This place is AMAZING, go at 8:00 am to get the full exploratory experience!
- Predjama Castle. Great tour, cool castle, lovely surrounding landscape.
- Skocjan Caves. It is one of those places that make you think, “The world is more magnificent than I ever thought to imagine,” so I recommend it highly for those who need a boost of wonder!
I adored Slovenia. I hope this is not my only time to see the country. If any of you ever go there, let me know and we can shriek about its perfections!