This is the fourth in a series of posts about a trip to Europe in the summer of 2016.
It has to be said that Slovenia was our ‘rare find’ of this trip. It is a tiny country cuddled up between more well-known European nations, that is why one doesn’t hear the average tourist making a beeline for it. But the country, albeit tiny, has a lot to offer. It has a splendid little capital called Ljubljana. We were there for a day but we really really wish we had stayed longer. It was so very worth it. From Salzburg we drove to a place called Lake Bled. Ok I’m not one for superlatives or clichés but I need to communicate the truth here. It was beautiful. The bluest blue lake, with mountain all around and a tiny islet in the middle of the lake housing a castle! It was really just as awesome as it sounds, even more. It was the stuff Disney likes to cash in on. Honestly breathtaking. The water was very very clear and restaurants and hotels dotted the lakeshore all around. Each angle provided its own vantage point. Stunning.
When we reached the lake we were literally starving. But we first took loads of pictures, then parked our car, and THEN found a place to eat. Lovely view of the lake and great food. And by the way, in Slovenia everyone speaks very fluent English and with a legible accent. So there are no communication issues.
With heavy hearts we left Lake Bled, almost ‘bleeding love’ for it (sorry, the urge to pun was too great), and left for Ljubljana. Checked into the Slovenian House Vida– a small family establishment that was perhaps the best in the whole trip and the hospitality was unparallel. The only drawback was that it was a 20 min car rode from the city center and there was no public transport that we noticed in the vicinity. But if you have your own transport, please go for it. Good, clean rooms and the hosts willing to go the distance for your comfort. The kitchen was well stocked with the basics so we decided to do the groceries (and make dinner ourselves later which turned out great), and then headed to town. The city proper was quite like other European cities, but obviously smaller. The stark difference was that the air was obviously relaxed. In Ljubljana, one can tell the pace is not frantic and family always comes before work. There was a Triple Bridge that was proudly touted as a tourist attraction. The gelatos were great. And the street performances were showstoppers. I feel as though the toddler was also taking in the relaxed air and was somehow tantrum-free.
If I wasn’t travelling with the baby I would have certainly sat down to enjoy dinner at the roadside café here- the eateries had an air of excitement. And what set it apart was the ample pavement space that housed great rows of table than one gets to see on average. You will notice the average European comes all dressed up early for dinner, and spend a nice long time chatting emphatically over many a glass of wine, cigarettes, bruschetta and cups of coffee. It feels as though all the conversations are very intellectual and wired. Looking in from the outside it feels as though these people (donning a daring red shade of lipstick, the French roll, high heels and dangling earrings) could not be talking about something banal, or gossiping. From the looks of it the conversations seemed to be about grander things – ideas perhaps, even great ideas. Maybe it’s the European manner of speech, the expressions, the hand gestures. I’m sure that is my imagination running away with me, but I would have liked to have been on the inside looking out. Well, someday, soon.
Next post: Croatia. Stay tuned.