I never imagined that one day I would be exploring Slovenia. But here I am, and it is lovely! The trip started a little bumpy. I’m talking getting on the wrong bus to the wrong airport at 3:30am, a lot of running (sprinting), and another no belt/no shoes dash to my gate. In the end, I made it, and even had the entire row of seats to myself on the plane (an ideal set up for catching up on no sleep the night before.) After a quick bus from the airport to the center of Ljubljana I was ready to wander around and devour a pizza. Not pictured is said pizza.
The city has such a quaint, homey feel to it. Life seems to revolve around the water. Bustling markets, couples sharing coffee at cafes, and cyclists are all lined along the riverside. The charming buildings and colorful facades are simply beautiful.
Also God love the man below.
I spent the entire afternoon swooning over the colors painting the city and was in heaven when I stumbled upon an entire street of flowers. The sweetest women were making unique beautiful wreaths.
Said flower street then led me straight to the city market overflowing with fruits and vegetables. I’d highly recommend taking a stroll through the market and purchasing a snack or two.
More strolling led me to a path that led up to the castle. A few overlooks along the way offered quite the panorama of the red roofs covering Ljubljana Old Town.
Hey there self timer.
The castle was beautiful. It had an old, yet very modern feel. I particularly enjoyed the views.
The perfect reading view.
After enjoying the views from the castle, I meandered back down and made my way through a few more winding streets popping in and out of shops. If only I knew Slovenian I would have struck gold in the book department.
Apparently, wandering and exploring can work up quite the appetite. I wanted to find the perfect restaurant along the river to enjoy a glass of Slovenian wine, which was spoken highly about, the sunset, and my book.
And the perfect spot I found.
I sat beside the two sweetest elderly Slovenian men and we had a very broken English conversation. They kept asking who I was with and were apparently baffled I was on my own and asked if I had extra sweaters for them. A very engaging conversation.
After sunset, I made my way back to the hostel for an evening of making new friends and comparing Australia, to the States, to Sweden. The next morning I laced up my running shoes and ran back to the river to weave in and out of the streets and then back up to Tivoli Park.
Later in the day, a few of us from the hostel met back up for an afternoon coffee by the water. The European riverside café culture is alive and well here.
I wasn’t a fan of the large pigeons that thought it was perfectly acceptable to perch on our table, but these little guys were alright.
Like I said here it practically seemed like the uniform of Ljubljana to have an ice cream cone in hand. Therefore, it was a must to give it a try. Salted peanut ice cream for the win. It was beyond divine and I regret not going for that second scoop!
We shared a risotto dinner at the hostel and it decided that everyone was super keen to check out of the Metelkova district. The city is home to several abandoned spaces, street art, and graffiti, especially in the Metelkova district, a former army barracks. This led to probably one of the most bizarre experiences of my life. We walked up to area, passing the hostel that was a former prison, to find a random jungle gym (apparently some form of art). Intrigued, we climbed to the top, and moments later people were singing (I am not sure if you could call it singing) “who let the dogs out” and strumming their guitars, whilst barking. Then, about ten dogs, not your typical pets, coming swarming in from all directions joining in the barking with the people. Thank goodness I was above ground. These dogs looked a little more man-eating rather than your beloved pet. That was our cue to depart. So bizarre. But all in all a funny last night in Ljubljana. The next morning I packed my bags and hopped on a bus to Lake Bled to meet up with Ben who was finishing up hiking in the Dolomites!
I had told Ben that before we moved back to the States, I wanted to travel by myself somewhere random. I can now check that off my list as well as properly pronounce Ljubljana….[lyoo-BLYAH-nah] Success all around.