28 Years after the Fall of the Berlin Wall: Berlin, I’ll never let you go!

28 Years after the Fall of the Berlin Wall: Berlin, I’ll never let you go!
© Enrico Verworner

It’s October!

In a few days, Germany will celebrate the Re-Unification of Germany, otherwise known as, German Unity Day or Der Tag der Deutschen Einheit!

This most important day will take place on October the 3rd.

October 3rd is a public holiday given to the German people to honour the Re-Unification of the two German States previously called the German Democratic Republic (GDR) or DDR (Deutsche Democratic Republic) otherwise known as East Germany, and the Federal Republic of Germany (FRG) or Bundesrepublik Deutschland (BRD), otherwise also known as West Germany!

Me in front of a piece of the Berlin Wall & Street Art!

I cannot under-estimate how much I love this city.

I mean, I shout about it loud enough and it was just four (4) years ago that I introduced myself to you on this blog, when I wondered what the heck Berlin was all about anyway!

Oh yeah, and then I wrote a cheeky article which most people didn’t seem to get. And the title? Germany is Boring.

Oops!

I mean, what is the big deal?

Best German meals to try out in Berlin – Currywurst!

I’ll tell you what the big deal is my good man.

It’s the fact that the city of Berlin.

THIS city of Berlin.

Has been together in peace and harmony for 28 years.

That’s right.

28 years!

Book your hotel here!

28 Years after the Fall of the Berlin Wall: Berlin, I’ll never let you go!

WHY WAS THE BERLIN WALL SET UP IN THE FIRST PLACE?

The Berlin Wall after the opening of the Wall near Brandeburger Gate on November 11th, 1989!
@25 Archiv. Bundesstiftung Aufarbeitung – Uwe Gerig

It’s a little complicated but after WWII, Germany was split and divided by the allies as punishment for Nazi Germany. And you only had to look at the city of Berlin to see who the Allies were namely; Great Britain, France, USSR and the United States.

It was not long before arguments and squabbling took place in the international political arena and simply put, the Eastern and Western Bloc decided to go their separate ways, and an Iron Curtain ensued.

East Germany went one step further and built a wall in Berlin, cutting a line through the entire centre of the city!

This wall was supposed to prevent East Berliners and citizens of East Germany from fleeing to the West, but the Wall was unable to stop the mass of people from escaping. As a result, in 1961, the ruling Communist Party in East Germany began adding more border fortifications to the Wall, creating a broad, many-layered system of barriers.

In the West, people referred to the border strip as the death strip because so many people were killed while trying to flee.

I have seen this death wall myself as I live in East Berlin and not 10 minutes away, is the main local park called Mauer Park.

The suburb of Prenzlauerberg where I live, is now enormously trendy and gentrified, and if you’re “in,” or want to be “in,” you strive to live here.

However, let it be noted that “Mauer” in German, means “Wall.”

The Death Strip in now East Berlin but formerly French – Soviet Germany!
©Joyce, S. A.

With the downfall of East Germany in 1989, the Berlin Wall that the Socialist Party tried to use to maintain its power, also fell. The Fall of the Wall marked the definitive end of its dictatorship.

The Berlin Wall enclosed West Berlin from August 13, 1961 to November 9, 1989.

Book your hotel here!

STREETS ON BOTH SIDES OF THE WALL?

The Berlin Wall.
28 Years after the Fall of the Berlin Wall: Berlin, I’ll never let you go!

A couple of years ago, I wrote about one of my favourite places, and where I first lived in Berlin – Kreuzberg. You can read all about it right here! In my post, I mentioned that Kreuzberg had the Berlin Wall running right through the middle of it and that during the happy confusion, when the Wall actually fell, young people were leaving the East to go West, or leaving the West to go East!

In fact, I liked Kreuzberg so much that when I first made a documentary about being a British person in Berlin, we did the filming there!

OMG! Don’t I just look like a city babe!
©Pascale Scerbo Sarro

In Prenzlauer Berg where I live now, we’re about twenty (20) minutes from the original East-West border, and about ten (10) minutes from the first border crossing on the bridge of Bornholmer Straße. If you’ve ever since the videos where East Berliners were running through the border with everyone clapping and giving out free beer, it was that one!

I always take my friends to where the original wall used to be!

And let me tell you.

I always weep tears of joy because even though I wasn’t in Berlin when the Berlin Wall actually fell, living in Berlin means that I’m able to touch, see and sometimes smell, what it was like to live here pre-1989!

Potsdamer Platz today!
28 Years after the Fall of the Berlin Wall: Berlin, I’ll never let you go!

In fact, I can still remember when Potsdamer Platz was nothing more than wasteland and a piece of the border strip known as No Man’s Land. And looked like it too!

Not far off from Prenzlauer Berg, is a street called Bernauer Strasse, also known as Bernauer Straße!

Bernauer Straße as part of the Berlin Wall in 1961 – Frank Baake © Thomas Gade

As you can see, the Berlin Wall used to go right through it!

In fact, it was pretty horrid for all concerned, as you could actually see the other side of the Wall from your kitchen window, but you couldn’t go to the Western side without being shot!

Smashing through the wall! ©frizztext
Smashing through the wall!
©frizztext

Imagine the frustration, pain, and horror.

Many people tried to escape to freedom and found ways to be creative by sailing across in a hot air balloon, digging tunnels underground, pretending to have a funeral and lowering the “dead” person into a pit, hiding inside the seated lining of a Volkswagen car, etc. All for a life of freedom.

Not much of the Wall is left today, which was chipped off and destroyed almost in its entirety, however, three (3) long sections are still standing:

The Topography of Terror. You can still see parts of the Berlin Wall right behind it!
©Britta Scherer

An 80-metre-long (260 ft) piece of the first (westernmost) wall at the now Topography of Terror, but which used to be the site of the former Gestapo headquarters!

But obviously, the original building was razed to the ground.
The Berlin Wall, otherwise known as, East Side Gallery!

A longer section of the second (easternmost) wall along the River Spree near the Oberbaumbrücke in Kreuzberg / Friedrichshain, which you can see throughout the 1988 cult film Run Lola Run, otherwise known as, East Side Gallery!

Bernauer Straße in both East & West Berlin!
28 Years after the Fall of the Berlin Wall: Berlin, I’ll never let you go!

 

And a third section that is partly reconstructed, in the north at Bernauer Straße, which was turned into a memorial in 1999.

And of course, isolated fragments, lampposts, a few watchtowers, and other elements, remain throughout various parts of the city!

On the border between East & West Berlin in Germany.

Book your hotel here!

SO HOW DID THE BERLIN WALL ACTUALLY FALL?

It’s easy to forget that this situation was only 28 years ago. Most of you reading this blog, are probably older!

Let’s get some history!


2 May

Hungary begins dismantling the fortifications on the border to Austria.People demonstrate against the election rigging in front of the Sophienkirche (church).


7 May

Local elections in the GDR. Opposition groups prove that the results were faked. People demonstrate against the election rigging in East Berlin on the seventh day of every subsequent month.


4 September

First Monday Demonstration in Leipzig. 1,200 people gather outside St. Nicholas’ Church. Their demands include freedom of travel and democracy.


9 /10 September

New Forum’s initial call-out becomes a signal for change. Further grassroots movements follow.


11 September

Hungary officially opens its western border for GDR citizens, risking a breach in its diplomatic relations with East Berlin.


30 September

West Germany’s foreign minister Hans-Dietrich Genscher informs the East German refugees in the Prague embassy, that they will be allowed to leave the GDR.


3 October

The GDR government bans travel to Czechoslovakia without passports and visas, to stem the mass exodus. Special trains transport people from the Prague and Warsaw embassies to the West, through the GDR. There are violent clashes with police along the railway line, as well as in Dresden.


7. October

On the 40th anniversary of the GDR, several thousand people demonstrate in Berlin outside the Palace of the Republic.  In numerous East German towns and cities, similar protests are broken up by force.


9 October

Despite fear of military repression of the Monday Demonstration, 70,000 people take to the streets in Leipzig. The police, military and civilian forces do not intervene.


11 October

The single ruling political party calls for people to stay in the GDR, offering a “dialogue” concerning the country’s further development.


16 October

The number of people at the Monday Demonstration in Leipzig doubles. The security forces do not intervene.


18 October

Erich Honecker is forced to resign after 18 years in office. Egon Krenz is made the new secretary-general of the Socialist Unity Party of Germany (SED).


24 October

Krenz is also elected chairman of the State Council and the National Defence Council. 12,000 people demonstrate against his appointment in Berlin that evening.


30 October

300,000 people take part in the Leipzig Monday Demonstration.


4 November

The largest demonstration in the history of the GDR takes place in Berlin.


7 November

The government of the GDR, and the Council of Ministers collectively resign.


8 November

The Central Committee Politburo, the highest body in the GDR, resigns. West German chancellor Helmut Kohl links economic and financial aid for the GDR to three conditions: the opposition must be legalised, free elections must take place, and the Socialist Unity Party of Germany (SED) must renounce its claim to sole authority.


9 November

The Wall falls, prompted by a vague, but now famous, announcement of new travel regulations at a press conference. Tens of thousands of East Berliners rush to the checkpoints and force the border open.


22 December

The Berlin Wall is officially opened at Brandenburg Gate. The first concrete section is removed from its beams at 0.30 a.m.


23 December

The offices issuing passes for the GDR in West Berlin close for good. West Germans no longer need a visa, or have to change a certain amount of money, to enter the East.


1990 Chronology


31 August

The Unification Treaty is signed in East Berlin.


3 October

Germany celebrates the “Day of German Unity” also known as “Re-Unification Day.”


Book your hotel here!

28 YEARS AFTER THE FALL OF THE BERLIN WALL

Climbing up the Berlin Wall for Freedom! Freedom!!

It was the people who took to the streets en masse and courageously resisted a dictatorship, enabling both the Fall of the Berlin Wall and the Peaceful Revolution.

The 28th anniversary of the Fall of the Wall is important because Berlin will continue to invite locals, expats, eyewitnesses who were here, and people of the world, to participate in the anniversary celebrations, and to tell personal stories about the Berlin Wall.

Outside Bernauer Straße in Berlin. Everyone is going to be here!

Everyone is going to be here!

Book your hotel here!

ANYTHING ELSE?

Yep! The Festival of Lights!

Festival of Lights ©Kerstin Röhner

Once a year, Berlin’s world famous sights and monuments become the canvas for spectacular light and video projections.

From 06.10.17 – 15.10.17, the Festival of Lights will transform Berlin’s most famous landmarks and historical monuments through light projections and video art whereby different artists will light up the capital, and illuminate buildings in many parts of the city!

Not only that, but the Festival of Lights also includes various art and music events, photography workshops, open house opportunities at selected buildings, and charity events, as well as guided tours by bus, boat and on foot!

Most of the participating monuments will be focused on the city centre, and will be illuminated from 19:00 until midnight.

Every day!

For a full list of participating buildings, maps, and photographic displays, go to the official Festival of Lights website here!

WHAT IF THE BERLIN WALL ISN’T MY CUP OF TEA?

Two sides and periods, of the Berlin Wall.

As if!!

Keep reading my blog. There is more to come!

That’s it for now.

See you next week!

Book your hotel here!

28 YEARS AFTER THE FALL OF THE BERLIN WALL: BERLIN, I’LL NEVER LET YOU GO!

Festival of Lights ©Alexander Meier

This article is not sponsored and all opinions and the currywurst and bratwurst that I’m sure to be happily scoffing in the next few weeks, are my very own!

I have so much to share with you.

In the Autumn, I’ll be visiting the UK and travelling around the areas of Cheshire, Staffordshire, Manchester, Blackpool, Derbyshire and Yorkshire!

Yipee!

October & November is going to be smashing.

The Berlin Wall – 28 Years after the Fall of the Berlin Wall: Berlin, I’ll never let you go!

Watch this space!

Note! I never travel without insurance as you never know what might happen.

I learnt my lesson in Spain. And obviously, in countries like Qatar, where technically the risk is higher, I can’t imagine going that far beyond, WITHOUT INSURANCE. No siree! You can get yours here, at World Nomads!

Please note that there are now affiliate links (for the very first time) connected to this post. Please consider using the links, because every time some sort of accommodation or travel insurance is booked via my links, I get a little percentage, but at no extra cost to yourself!

A win-win for all!

Thanks a million!

28 Years after the Fall of the Berlin Wall: Berlin, I’ll never let you go!

Have you ever been to Berlin? Do you remember where you were when the Berlin Wall Fell. Where were you in 1989? Let me know in the comments below!

 See you in Berlin.

If you have any questions send me a tweet, talk to me on Facebook, find me on Linkedin, make a comment below, look for me on Google+ or send me an Email: victoria@thebritishberliner.com

If you like this post, please Share it! Tweet it! Or like it!

Advertisements

Slovenia – a basic guide to food!

Slovenia – a basic guide to food!

And so it’s here!

The last post that I’ll be writing about Slovenia.

But what a most important post!

It goes without saying that my stay in Slovenia was lovely.

Myself in the mountains of Kamnik on a day trip in Slovenia!

If you had asked me about Slovenia a few years ago, I couldn’t even have shown you where it was in the map, and now I can’t stop writing about it!

Really, I’m becoming quite the (baby) expert!

From the moment we got off the bus and fell exhausted into our hotel in Ljubljana, to the time that we fell bone-tired, into the arms of a loving husband and father one week later.

Slovenia has been nothing but smashing!

And the Slovenian locals have been fantastically welcoming, friendly, and enormously helpful.

Lake Bled – 10 reasons to visit!

It was my second time to go to the Balkans, but it certainly, won’t be the last. If you’re just tuning in, and why is that?! Here’s what you missed:

WHY SLOVENIA?

Me in the Philippines, but could this be a James Bond moment!
©Scott Herder – BoboandChiChi.com

Because I’m weird and I like going to interesting exotic places!

Seriously though, the reason why I wanted to go to Slovenia is because I’d heard such a lot of wonderful things from practically everyone! And remember, just two years ago, I hadn’t heard of any of the Baltic or Balkan States. In fact, I couldn’t even pronounce them!

Myself in Ljubljana – A 5 minute introduction to Slovenia!

But the other reason that I wanted to visit was because of Ljubljana. I was hearing mixed messages and that some “experts” were saying that Ljubljana wasn’t worth more than a few hours!

When I hear things like this, it makes my blood boil!

The ignorance of people constantly astounds, and annoys me.

However, I am a strong supporter of Europe, and I have a weakness for tiny countries in the middle of beyond! Besides, I had such a wonderful time in Croatia, why wouldn’t I want to go to it’s “sister country” – Slovenia – too!

Book your hotel here!

How to use the train in Europe: 10 tips to help you.

One of the amazing things about travelling to a country that is extremely small, is that you can do soooo many things.

A shepherd girl on the Velika Planina plateau in Kamnik – Slovenia
©Chiara Marchi

We spent a jam-packed week in Slovenia, and not once did we get anywhere near bored!

We didn’t have time to do everything, but if you’re determined, YOU certainly can!

‘Remember how I told you about 51 things to do in Ljubljana? Well, one of those things to do was to eat. Actually, if I’m really honest, about eleven (11) of those points, were connected to food, and here’s why!

Book your hotel here!

SLOVENIA OR SLOVAKIA!

Lake Bled – 10 reasons to visit!

Honestly speaking, most people have never previously heard of Slovenia.

In fact, most people mix it up with Slovakia! 

Hmm!

A historical castle in Slovakia!

Isn’t Slovenia somewhere in Eastern Europe?

Yes.

And No!

It can’t be both, surely?

Being a British European means being widely travelled.

Well, geographically, it’s one of the previous communist states.

Eek!

Don’t worry.

Breathe!

However, in recent years, Croatia has managed to re-invent itself, so that even though it is actually in Eastern Europe, it’s marketed as a country in Central Europe, Eastern Europe, and South-East Europe too!

One of the best types of sausages in Austria – A most wonderful hotdog. In Vienna!

In truth, it has the vibe of the Mediterranean, and you’d be hard pressed not to think that in certain parts of Slovenia, you could actually be in Italy, or dare I say it. Austria!

And this is reflected in it’s food!

Book your hotel here!

So let’s get started:

WHAT IS SLOVENIAN FOOD?

Trnič is a pear-shaped hard cheese from Velika Planina – which resembles a female bosom!
©Klemen Brumec

Slovenian food is defined by the diversity of Slovenia’s landscape, climate, history and neighbouring traditions, as well as it’s religions, towns and villages. And each region has its own distinct culinary tradition rooting back to ancient times!

In fact, present-day Slovenia is heavily influenced by food from Germany, Austria, Italy, and Hungary!

The best way to experience how a nation really lives, is to go to the market place and sample street food. Or even better, indulge yourself on a guided food tour so that you can get inside knowledge from local experts!

We were invited to join the Taste Ljubljana culinary tour as well as lunch, during our daytrip in Kamnik!

I even took part in a tiny TV slot for the Taste Ljubljana Culinary tour, as part of a video about tourism in Ljubljana for Slovenian commercial TV! I’m only in for about 5 seconds. See if you can find me!

And why?

Because food. Yum!

Slovenian sausages & wine, as part of our “Taste Ljubljana culinary tour.”

I adore street food as it’s ultimately the best way to get to the culture of a nation. I’ve been to many countries, and sampled many a nations’ cuisine, and Slovenia was no exception!

The major characteristic they have in common is that they are made from locally produced ingredients.

Most ingredients used in Slovenian food would be:

  • cheese
  • potatoes
  • mushrooms
  • sausages
  • pork
  • fish
  • vegetables
  • beans
  • grapes
  • oils
  • honey

Take a look below:

SLOVENIA – A BASIC GUIDE TO FOOD!

At Ljubljana Castle – A 5 minute introduction to Slovenia!

I could write pages and pages of what Slovenian food consists of and how they make it, but instead, I’ll let the pictures do the talking and if you have further insight, let me know in the comment section below!

We stayed at the aptly named Hotel Park Ljubljana / Hotel Park – Urban & Green. In Slovenia!

In order to encourage sustainability and environmental consciousness, we stayed at a very nice hotel aptly named hotel – Hotel Park Ljubljana / Hotel Park – Urban & Green – located in the heart of the Old Town of Ljubljana, situated in the middle of a leafy park, and mere minutes away from Metelkova City – an abandoned army base and one of the largest, and most successful, urban squats in Europe!

We were in one of the en-suite superior twin rooms at Hotel Park Ljubljana / Hotel Park – Urban & Green. In Slovenia!

We were in one of the en-suite superior twin rooms, and it was enormously comfortable.

We were on the 12th floor and had a fantastic view of Ljubljana from the window, along with a wide desk, a huge wardrobe, an en-suite bathroom, sustainable bathroom shower gel, plenty of fluffy towels, and of course, most importantly, free fast Wi-Fi!

Drinking a very important cup of tea!
© Pascale Scerbo Sarro

They even had a fridge but sadly, no kettle so that I could make myself a cup of tea!

The service was warm and friendly.

The variety of nationalities visiting the hotel were wonderful, ranging from a tour group of elderly ladies from France, a busload of young Americans travelling with Contiki, and a Bollywood film crew from India!

Prices are from €70.00 per night, including breakfast. For two people, easily €35.00 a pop!

Awesome!

I couldn’t make myself a cup of tea, but the views were fantastic at Hotel Park Ljubljana / Hotel Park – Urban & Green. In Slovenia!

Book Hotel Park Ljubljana / Hotel Park – Urban & Green here or here!

But OMG!

Our breakfast was awful!

Eek!

BREAKFAST:

Slovenia – a basic guide to food!

After the wonderful delights in both Sweden and Croatia, we were so disappointed.

We were looking forward to:

Slovenian home-made bread, butter & milk
Sadly, we got this bland piece of toast!
Although the jam was quite nice!

Sadly, what we got was a bland continental breakfast, that could have been from anywhere.  But if you’re desperate for a cup of tea….

If not, skip it!

Skip breakfast and have lunch instead!

As soon as we told the various Slovenian locals about our breakfast experience, they made it their duty to ensure that from then on, everything we ate, was some of the best, that Slovenia had to offer!

Book your hotel here!

SNACKS:

If you’re looking for traditional ingredients, you can get everything you need at a local street market!
  • For ultimate excitement, try horse burgers! Yes, horse!

Apparently, horseburgers are very popular in Slovenia!

The very famous horse burger in Ljubljana – Slovenia!

The Tall Young Gentleman was eager to try it so went to the doner and falafel restaurant that specialized in horse burgers, about 5 minutes from our hotel!

It was “quite OK,” and then he had another one! Bought at Šeherezada in Ljubljana. Cost: €4.00

A few slices of cold cuts and bits of cheese in Ljubljana – Slovenia!
  • We had a few slices of cold cuts and bits of cheese, with olives (yuk!) to start! Bought at Čompa in Ljubljana. Cost: €3.00

You can also have:

  • Polenta with cheese
  • Ajvar with Slovenian bread
  • Bacon bread
  • Buckwheat bread or Ajdov kruh
  • Crackling bread or ocvirkovka
  • Pumpkin bread with cinnamon, nutmeg, walnuts, and whipped cream
  • Sweet rye bread or razeni kruh
  • Serbian baked beans

Book your hotel here!

LUNCH:

Slovenia – a basic guide to food!

We had a mass of delightful lunches, while we were in Slovenia, and the highlight in my opinion was the gourmet lunch on the Archers’ Tower of the Ljubljana Castle wall!

There weren’t any prices on the board, but it’s Eastern-Central Europe, how bad could it be? The food was fantastic and the service attentive, so we decided to spend the rest of our money!

A delicate crispy white, cracker, a slice of pickled meat, with herbs, a blob of cream, and petals, in Ljubljana – Slovenia!
A foamy cream sauce, with herbs in Ljubljana – Slovenia!
  • We both had a delicate starter of a sort of crispy white, cracker, a foamy cream sauce, and a slice of pickled meat, with herbs, a blob of cream, and petals. It was made especially for us ‘cos of my nut allergy, so isn’t on the menu! It was delicious and light. Bought at the Strelec Restaurant in Ljubljana. Cost: €6.00
Venison with buck wheat dumplings, goose liver, red beet compote, rowan berry & spruce buds in Ljubljana – Slovenia!
  • I had the venison with buck wheat dumplings, goose liver, red beet compote, rowan berry and spruce buds! It was most delightful! Bought at the Strelec Restaurant in Ljubljana. Cost: €28.00
Boar, mushrooms, and grapefruit in Ljubljana – Slovenia!
A platter of exquisite Slovenian cheese in Ljubljana – Slovenia!
  • We shared a platter of exquisite Slovenian cheese! Bought at the Strelec Restaurant in Ljubljana. Cost: €10.00
I absolutely adore anything to do with water!
Lake Bled – 10 reasons to visit!

A few days later we went on a daytrip to Lake Bled!

All around us were people noshing on the Original Bled Cream Cake, but we were starving, so we had a proper lunch instead!

A platter of dry meat delicacy with cheese at Lake Bled – Slovenia!
  • I had the platter of dry meat delicacy with cheese and olives. Without the olives! It was very nice and the view over Lake Bled and the Julian Alps was stunning. But the service was slow! Bought at the Hotel Park restaurant at Lake Bled. Cost: €13.90
Pasta with chicken and young spinach at Lake Bled – Slovenia!

One of the great things about being a respectable travel lifestyle expat blogger is that you get invited to many things! As a result, we were guests of Taste Ljubljana culinary tour.

Some of the things we had were:

You can’t go wrong with sausages, mustard, horse-radish, and a bun in Ljubljana – Slovenia!
  • Klobasa sausage – You really can’t go wrong with a traditional Slovenian sausage, mustard, horse-radish, and a bun. Yum! We were invited to a complimentary lunch via Klobasarna. Retail price: €3.50. Food tour all-inclusive. With wine!
Deer medallions with mustard, horse-radish cream, and pears in Ljubljana – Slovenia!
  • Deer medallions with mustard, horse-radish cream, and pears via Vodnikov Hram. Retail price €19.50. Food tour all-inclusive
Mashed potatoes, rucola and Slovenian beer in Ljubljana – Slovenia!
  • Mashed potatoes, rucola and Slovenian beer. They had to make something different for me ‘cos of my nut allergy, so I can’t remember what everybody else had. Sorry! It was a very nice place though, via Druga Violina. Retail price competitive! Food tour all-inclusive. With beer!
Fried chicken with garnish and remoulade sauce in Ljubljana – Slovenia!
  • Fried chicken with garnish. Notice the remoulade sauce! It was a fancy restaurant via Restavracija Romansa 1971. Retail price: No idea! I couldn’t find the menu in English! Food tour all-inclusive. With wine!

You can also try:

  • Burek
  • Boiled beef tongue
  • Ljubljana cottage cheese pancakes with tarragon
  • Klobasa sausage and Kisod Zelje sauerkraut
  • Dandelion Salad
  • Sour turnip soup or jota

Book your hotel here!

DINNER:

Slovenia – a basic guide to food!

For dinner, we always strive to patronise interesting traditional-inspired restaurants. For this, we don’t scrimp, but use the opportunity to sample all that is good in Slovenian cuisine.

I have to tell you. Pretty much every evening meal that we had, was a win!

On our very first evening, we strolled around, and less than 10 minutes, we found a long narrow street with table after table outdoors. We managed to nab a table for two and opted for a lovely restaurant a few minutes away from Dragon Bridge!

I was a bit nervous, as the menu seemed to be centred on beef, and although I’m not a vegetarian or vegan for that matter, I’m not fond of beef at restaurants!

I wasn’t to worry as the meat used is free-range and grass-fed, the staff were great, and attentive, and made sure that our platters were delicate, and not in the least chewy!

And you know what?

I was astounded and most impressed!

Just look at this lovely meat platter in Ljubljana – Slovenia!
And this lovely meat platter in Ljubljana – Slovenia!
And this succulent piece of meat, in Ljubljana – Slovenia!
  • We shared the meat platter. Bought at Čompa in Ljubljana. Cost: €12.50
A platter of pork chops in Ljubljana – Slovenia!
  • And then we shared a platter of pork chops with squares of creamy butter, paprika, and shallots. Yum! Bought at Čompa in Ljubljana. Cost: €15.00
We had the Štrukli with trnič cheese & berries. It was amaaaaaazing!

A highlight of traditional Slovenian food were the meals that we had in Kamnik!

After our hiking adventure at the Velika Planina and in the valley of the Kamniska Bistrica, we had quite a large appetite for a traditional meal, and boy were we given the red carpet.

We were taken to the family-run inn & restaurant Gostilna Pri planinskem orlu, where home-cooked meals are made the traditional way, and had a chat with the owner and chef – Janez Uršič – who was delighted to have us as his guest!

The food was absolutely fantastic!

Slovenian cold cuts, pate, cheese, vegetables, herbs & spices in Kamnik – Slovenia!
Soup with a dumpling in it, garnished with petals, in Kamnik – Slovenia!
Slovenian dumplings with asparagus, and probably veal in Kamnik – Slovenia!
  • Slovenian cold cuts, pate, cheese, vegetables, herbs and spices, soup with some sort of dumpling in it, garnished with vegetables and petals, and Slovenian dumplings with asparagus, bacon, probably veal (but I can’t remember), broccoli, and a creamy sauce!

We were invited to a complimentary early dinner! Bought at Gostilna Pri planinskem orlu, in Kamnik. Cost: €0.00!

You can also have:

Eating frogs – Slovenia – a basic guide to food!
  • Frog legs
  • Palacinke – thin pancakes filled with nuts or jam and topped with chocolate
  • Potato dumplings  or njoki
  • Jota  – a meat and vegetable stew
  • Black or blood pudding
  • Klobasa sausages
Slovenia – a basic guide to food!
  • Seasoned venison with smoked bacon and huckleberries
  • Sweet and sour boar, with prunes, chocolate and red wine
  • Zavitek or strudels
  • Goulash or golaz
  • Buckwheat porridge
  • Slovenian sour pork kidney served with vinegar, sour cream and bacon
  • Ox tail
  • Tripe served with mint, cheese and bacon
Baked potatoes with cheese, in Ljubljana – Slovenia!
  • Baked potatoes with cheese. Bought at Čompa in Ljubljana. Cost: €1.00

Oh yeah!

Book your hotel here!

SEAFOOD:

Our seafood meal in Ljubljana – Slovenia!

I absolutely adore anything to do with water. I live in water cities, I spend time visiting places just because they have a river, and I’m weirdly drawn to river-states having lived in them all my life, in one place or the other, to lakes, rivers, mountains, valleys and seas!

And since we spent a huge amount of time on Lake Bled and Ljubljana, it seemed only prudent that we try out the seafood.

We chose our seafood meals at a restaurant on the river-side. We practically found it by accident, but once you poke in and out of the various bridges in the Old Town, you’ll find it directly below the Triple Bridge, facing the Central Market!

Fried fish, anchovy fillet, crab chips, tuna, capers, toast & a side salad in Ljubljana – Slovenia!
  • I ordered the Seaman Plate which consisted of fried fish, anchovy fillet, crab chips, tuna, capers, toast, and a side salad. I was really looking forward to some seafood, but I didn’t really like it! Bought at the Okrepčevalnica Ribca or Fish Restaurant Ribca in Ljubljana. Cost: €6.60
Bass fillet, bacon, baked potatoes & rucola in Ljubljana – Slovenia!
We chose our seafood meals on the river-side, but neither of us really liked our meal! We probably should have ordered frog legs instead!

You can also have:

  • Seafood pasta salad
  • Crabmeat and broccoli

Book your hotel here!

DESSERT:

Slovenia – a basic guide to food!

Dessert in Slovenia was pretty wonderful. I had to watch out here and there, ‘cos of the nut factor, but I was able to have about 75%!

If you’re on a diet, forget it, and indulge!

Štrukli wth cream, raspberries & raspberry compote in Kamnik – Slovenia!
  • Štrukli (I think!) with cream, raspberries & raspberry compote. OMG. So delish! We were invited to a complimentary early dinner! Bought at Gostilna Pri planinskem orlu, in Kamnik. Cost: €0.00!
We had the Štrukli with trnič cheese & berries. It was amaaaaazing!
  • Štrukli with trnič cheese and berries. We were invited to a complimentary lunch in Kamnik. Cost: €0.00!
Lake Bled cream cake in Slovenia!
© 2017 Rear View Mirror
Walnut and raisin potica cake with a digestif liquor! I couldn’t eat it of course, as it had almonds in it!
  • Walnut and raisin potica cake – One of the other famous cakes in Slovenia. Of course, I couldn’t eat it, as it had almonds in it! We were introduced to ours as part of the food tour which I’ve already discussed above, via Kavarna Nebotičnik (Skyscraper) building. It was a really cool place and great for a nightcap! Retail price: €2.00 – €4.00. Food tour all-inclusive. With a digestif liquor!

You can also try:

  • Gibanica – a layer cake with cottage cheese, walnuts, poppy seeds, and apples
  • Jabolcni zavitek  – a type of apple pastry
  • Siroy zavitek  – a type of cheese and raisin pastry
  • Upside down pie
  • Blue lagoon cake or torta plava laguna filled with hazelnuts, almonds and breadcrumbs
  • Waffles
The Tall Young Gentleman & his almond-covered ice-cream in Ljubljana – Slovenia!
Having a most scrumptious ice-cream at the Triple Bridge!
51 things to do in Ljubljana. That’s right!
51 things to do in Ljubljana. That’s right!
The first thing we opted for at Lake Bled – Slovenia, was an ice-cream, and then we had another on the way back!
Lake Bled – 10 reasons to visit!
  • Who doesn’t like ice cream?!!

I’m always having to be careful ‘cos of the liberal sprinkling of nuts that I seem to see everywhere these days, and the combination of chocolate! The former ‘cos I have a nut allergy, and the latter ‘cos I don’t like chocolate!

The huge portions above were bought at this really lovely place on the riverside, opposite the Central Market in Ljubljana. They were so huge that I  couldn’t finish mine, so they packed it for me in a box! Bought at – Kavarna Cacao. Cost €6.40 and €7.60 respectively.

The others were bought at little ice-cream shops in Ljubljana and at Lake Bled. Cost: About €2.00, depending on toppings! Yum!

Book your hotel here!

DRINKS & REFRESHMENTS:

Ice cream in Ljubljana – A 5 minute introduction to Slovenia!

The food culture in Slovenia, as in many other Mediterranean States is that of outdoor, al fresco dining. The weather generally tends to be warm and summery, and the lifestyle in the country tends to be more relaxed.

You can, and should, take little breaks, have a snack, or a drink. The cost is relatively peanuts, and the quality is great.

So why shouldn’t you indulge?

A glass of wine taken in the Old Town, in Ljubljana – Slovenia!
A delicious mug of cold craft beer in Ljubljana – Slovenia!

Here’s a most delicious mug of cold craft beer! Bought at Čompa in Ljubljana. Cost: €2.50

My gin cocktail in Ljubljana – Slovenia!

p.s. Don’t forget to hang out with the locals! We had such a great time with our guides, that we went out for drinks one night, and met other locals! Thanks Urban. Good times!

Note: Taste Ljubljana Culinary Tour includes tour guidance, the tasting of five traditional dishes, the tasting of five different drinks, and a digestif. Each participant also receives a brochure containing recipes for typical Ljubljana dishes, and a small gift.

Cost: €38.00 for adults, €28.00 for children up to 12. €0.00 for children under 2!

Wow!

Slovenia – a basic guide to food!

I could go on and on, but I ought to leave something for you to discover, don’t you think?

That’s it for now.

See you next week!

Book your hotel!

SLOVENIA – A BASIC GUIDE TO FOOD!

Slovenia – a basic guide to food!

This article is part – sponsored, and even though I’m working in partnership with Ljubljana Tourism, absolutely all opinions, and the marvellous food that we noshed on, are my very own!

I’ve got plans for Autumn.

Find out next week!

Slovenia – a basic guide to food!

Watch this space!

Note! I never travel without insurance as you never know what might happen.

I learnt my lesson in Spain. And obviously, in countries like Qatar, where technically the risk is higher, I can’t imagine going that far beyond, WITHOUT INSURANCE. No siree! You can get yours here, at World Nomads!

Please note that there are now affiliate links (for the very first time) connected to this post. Please consider using the links, because every time some sort of accommodation or travel insurance is booked via my links I get a little percentage, but at no extra cost to yourself!

A win-win for all!

Thanks a million!

Slovenia – a basic guide to food!

Have you ever had Slovenian food? Would you try a horse burger or boiled beef tongue? Let me know in the comments below!

See you in Berlin.

If you have any questions send me a tweet, talk to me on Facebook, find me on Linkedin, make a comment below, look for me on Google+ or send me an Email: victoria@thebritishberliner.com

If you like this post, please Share it! Tweet it! Or like it!

51 things to do in Ljubljana. That’s right!

Having a most scrumptious ice-cream at the Triple Bridge!
51 things to do in Ljubljana. That’s right!

Yoo Hoo!

So Slovenia!

What a most beautiful country!

Last week, I wrote a five (5) minute introduction to Slovenia!

I hope you like it?

Myself in Ljubljana – A 5 minute introduction to Slovenia!

I was intrigued to be visiting Slovenia so we based ourselves in the capital city of Ljubljana and spent a whopping seven days.

Seven (7) days!

And you know what?

It wasn’t anywhere near enough!

I know!

If you’re just joining, don’t forget to subscribe by either using the pop-up that you see if it’s your first time visiting, or simply clicking the “Following the British Berliner” tab or any of the social media icons on the side bar.

Yay!

SO WHAT WERE WE DOING IN LJUBLJANA?

Me drinking bubble tea in Taiwan because I’m weird and I like going to interesting exotic places!

Because I’m weird and I like going to interesting exotic places!

Seriously though, the reason why I wanted to go to Slovenia is because I’d heard such a lot of wonderful things from practically everyone! And remember, just two years ago, I hadn’t heard of any of the Baltic or Balkan States. In fact, I couldn’t even pronounce them!

But the other reason that I wanted to visit was because of Ljubljana. I was hearing mixed messages and that some “experts” were saying that Ljubljana wasn’t worth more than a few hours!

When I hear things like this, it makes my blood boil!

The ignorance of people constantly astounds, and annoys me.

However, I am a strong supporter of Europe, and I have a weakness for tiny countries in the middle of beyond! Besides, I had such a wonderful time in Croatia, why wouldn’t I want to go to it’s “sister country” – Slovenia – too!

How to visit the Balkans: Introducing Croatia – the dream of Game of Thrones!

We spent a jam-packed week in Slovenia, and not once did we get anywhere near bored!

Slovenia is a very green country and like Croatia, amazingly beautiful. I wanted to spend some quality time with The Tall Young Gentleman, and I think Slovenia was the perfect place to do it.

Book your hotel here!

51 THINGS TO DO IN LJUBLJANA. THAT’S RIGHT!

Dragons in Ljubljana – Slovenia, can be seen literally everywhere!

Ljubljana is the capital of Slovenia and has a population of just 278,789 people!

It was first mentioned at the beginning of the 12th century and was the historical capital of Carniola, a Slovene-inhabited part of the Habsburg Monarchy from the Middle Ages, until the dissolution of the Austro-Hungarian Empire in 1918!

The symbol of the city is the Ljubljana Dragon!

The dragon is believed to be adopted from England’s patron saint – Saint George – who is also the patron of the 15th century chapel in the Ljubljana Castle!

The dragon is found on the top of the tower of Ljubljana Castle, on the Ljubljana coat of arms, on the Dragon Bridge, otherwise known as Zmajski Most, and can be seen literally everywhere!

We had a very fine time using the Ljubljana Card.

We wanted to spend some time rambling through the cobbled streets and running from one museum or local attraction to another, using the Ljubljana Card.

Thanks very much!

Here’s what we did:

We rushed out & went for a stroll & a bit of a ramble in Metelkova City in Ljubljana – one of the most successful urban squats in Europe!
  • Ljubljana is tiny. Go for a walk! After checking into our hotel – Hotel Park – Urban & Green – we rushed out and went for a stroll and a bit of a ramble around the local area, poking into every nook and cranny!
  • Eat Slovenian meat!
  • Check out Metelkova Mesto! Metelkova City is an abandoned army base and one of the largest, and most successful, urban squats in Europe!
  • Go on a Ljubljana city tour. We were lucky to have a private guide so that we could get inside knowledge from local experts on the things that interested us. However, regular Ljubljana city tours usually include a walk around the historical city centre, exploring major attractions, an opportunity to taste traditional Slovenian dishes as part of a brief tasting session, a return funicular ride to Ljubljana Castle, and a visit to the outer part of Ljubljana Castle!
  • Visit street and food markets! One particular evening, we were passing through the Central Market and saw one person pick up a fiddle, and start playing! And then a few people just sort of joined in and started dancing! We were the only tourists present so I didn’t take any photos, as it felt slightly intrusive!
At one of Ljubljana’s most iconic points – the Triple Bridge by Jože Plečnik!
©D.wedam – Ljubljana Tourism
  • Do a walking tour of Plečnik’s Ljubljana: Jože Plečnik was a native of Ljubljana and considered one of the world’s most important pioneers of modern architecture with buildings not only in Ljubljana, but Prague and Vienna too!
  • Make sure to visit the Triple Bridge: You’ll see why!
  • Go to the Town Hall: It’s one of Ljubljana’s most striking Baroque monuments and if you’re lucky, you might even see one of the guides dressed in Slovenian traditional costume!
  • Visit the Antique Flea Market: It’s held every Sunday on one of the bridges further down the street!
  • Take photographs of the splendid buildings in the Old Town!
The Tall Young Gentleman & his almond-covered ice-cream in Ljubljana – Slovenia!
  • Have ice-cream! There are many ice-cream parlours and the servings are huge! Yum!
  • Get free WiFi! You can have free wifi access anywhere in the city for up to 60 minutes a day! In fact, if you have the Ljubljana Tourist Card, you can have free access for 24 hours with the code on the card! Mind you, we found logging into the WiFree Ljubljana network directly on your phone far easier!
  • Explore the history and architecture of Ljubljana which you can see all over the city!
  • Join in the free open-air festivals! We went in June and saw the biggest festival of all!
  • If you’re broke, make your own independent walking tour, go to any of the two Tourist Information Centres (TICs), pick up maps, and as many booklets as you need, then take off!
“The Tall Young Gentleman” at the elegant 19th century University of Ljubljana – Slovenia!
  • Be impressed by the elegant 19th century University of Ljubljana!
  • Visit the very grand-looking national museums and galleries. And if you use the Ljubljana Card, many of them are free!
  • Marvel at the many palaces, not only in Ljubljana, but in the surrounding area too!
  • Hike up the 900 year old castle hill, and be amazed by Ljubljana’s main attraction!
  • Or take a ride up the funicular, and take in the city view
One of the costumed characters / castle guides at the Ljubljana Castle in Slovenia!
  • If you do nothing at all, make sure you go to the Ljubljana Castle. We spent half a day there and really had a fantastic time. It’s free with the Ljubljana Card!
  • One of our highlights at the castle was a costumed characters castle guided tour of the Ljubljana Castle. We went on the Behind Bars tour, and it was great fun! It’s not included in the Ljubljana Card, but we only had to pay €4.00 more!
  • If you’re at Ljubljana Castle and have a bit of time, I highly recommend the Museum of Puppetry. Even though I was travelling with a teenager, he found it interesting and fun. And so did I!
  • Have a gourmet lunch on the Archers’ Tower of the Ljubljana Castle wall! Whilst there, we noticed a fancy restaurant – the Strelec Restaurant – and decided to spend our last night spending the rest of our money! The food was fantastic and the service attentive. I’ll tell you more about it in a few weeks!
  • Fill up your bottle with fresh water! Unlike many countries in Eastern / Central Europe, you can actually drink water from the tap!
Hang out with the guides & locals in Ljubljana! Good times!
  • Relax and take a break at Ljubljana’s largest and most beautiful parkland at the Tivoli Park!
  • In fact, if you’re really into stuff, you can go on a guided tour of the Tivoli Park too ‘cos it’s huge!
  • Hang out with the locals! We had such a great time with our guides, that we went out for drinks and met other locals! Thanks Urban. Good times!
  • Have a seafood lunch! Ljubljana is surrounded by water and restaurants that give you a front-side view of the river.
  • If you’re worn out after all that excitement, call for a free ride using Ljubljana’s electric-powered vehicles referred to as Kavalirs, which are a free city centre public transport option! Cool or what!
Slovenian sausages & wine, as part of our “Taste Ljubljana culinary tour.”
  • Indulge yourself on a most delicious food tour with the Taste Ljubljana culinary tour. Because food. More on that in a few weeks. Yum!
  • For ultimate excitement, try horse burgers! Yes, horse!
  • Splurge on cocktails. Prices are cheap. Oh go on. You know you want to!
  • Help yourself to a couple of cold beers at the many Slovenian restaurants and bars
  • Try as many Slovenian dishes and delicacies as you can. Prices are low and won’t hurt the bank!

Book your hotel here!

Sail across the waters on a river cruise in Ljubljana – Slovenia!
Experience many of the numerous museums & galleries in Ljubljana – Slovenia!
  • Experience many of the numerous museums and galleries. If you use the Ljubljana Card, entrance is free!
  • Make sure you check out the Museum of Illusions that turned out to be one of our favourite museums and such a lot of fun! Go there, and you’ll see what I mean!
  • Go to the City Museum of Ljubljana and learn about the history of Ljubljana, which we enjoyed very much, but had to rush as we had spent too much time at Ljubljana Castle!
  • Check out the National Museum of Slovenia and learn about the oldest musical instrument in the world which I told you about last week!
  • If you’re looking for something different go on the Union Experience Brewery Museum and tour! We didn’t go, but I believe families are welcome!
Myself in the mountains of Kamnik on a day trip in Slovenia!

One of the amazing things about travelling to a country that is extremely small, is that you can do day-trips to other regions of the country, fairly easily!

  • You can be a craftsperson for the day, and learn how to be a herdsman or a shepherd in the Velika Planina. More about that next week!
  • You can hike up the Alps, mountains and waterfalls in Kamnik. More about that next week!
  • You can take a bus or train out to Lake Bled. More about that in a few weeks!
  • You can go to the beach or even go wine-tasting!
  • You can get off the beaten path and discover the unknown parts of Slovenia. Even with 7 days, we didn’t have time to do that, but if you’re determined, YOU certainly can!

And lastly,

  • You can do all the activities above and more, or do nothing at all, and simply enjoy the moment! Why not?

Book your hotel here!

TAKE ME THERE!

Travel through Europe by FlixBus – the bus-coach company!

The best way to travel to travel to Slovenia depends simply on where you’re coming from!

If you’re flying in, Ljubljana is connected by air with flights from most major European cities flying into the Ljubljana Jože Pučnik Airport (LJU), also known as the Brnik Airport!

If you’re coming from Italy, Austria, Hungary or Croatia, you can either take the train or drive.

I like excitement and making things more difficult for myself, so we decided to take the fourteen and a half hour (14.5) hour journey by FlixBus – the bus-coach company!

OMG!

BY BUS!

I must be mad!

Book your hotel here!

Myself at the coach-bus stop in Austria!

And I am because the coach-bus was delayed in some places, although we had a nice stop-over in Austria!

I’ve written about the FlixBus company already and even though the very long journey was quite enjoyable as it was sunny, it’s also quite exhausting!

I’ll continue to take bus journeys. But shorter.

Or trains!

She says!

51 things to do in Ljubljana. That’s right!

That’s it for now.

See you next week.

Book your hotel here!

51 THINGS TO DO IN LJUBLJANA. THAT’S RIGHT!

The padlocks of love on Butcher’s Bridge in Ljubljana – Slovenia!

This article is part – sponsored, and even though I’m working in partnership with Ljubljana Tourism, absolutely all opinions, and the tremendous time that we had, are my very own!

I’ll be spending the summer in Germany!

Will you?

A busker at the Triple Bridge – 51 things to do in Ljubljana. That’s right!

Watch this space!

Note! I never travel without insurance as you never know what might happen.

I learnt my lesson in Spain. And obviously, in countries like Qatar, where technically the risk is higher, I can’t imagine going that far beyond, WITHOUT INSURANCE. No siree! You can get yours here, at World Nomads!

Please note that there are now affiliate links (for the very first time) connected to this post. Please consider using the links, because every time some sort of accommodation or travel insurance is booked via my links I get a little percentage, but at no extra cost to yourself!

A win-win for all!

Thanks a million!

51 things to do in Ljubljana. That’s right!

Have you ever been to Ljubljana? Was there any activity that surprised you? Let me know in the comments below!

See you in Berlin.

If you have any questions send me a tweet, talk to me on Facebook, find me on Linkedin, make a comment below, look for me on Google+ or send me an Email: victoria@thebritishberliner.com

If you like this post, please Share it! Tweet it! Or like it!