Lake Bled – 10 reasons to visit!

Lake Bled – 10 reasons to visit!

I think it’s becoming awfully clear, that we really had just the greatest time in Slovenia, and I’m not even finished yet!

Isn’t it strange?

Top 30 expat bloggers 2017!

But before we go any further, I’ve just been featured as one of the top 30 most inspiring expat bloggers in 2017!

Isn’t that cool?

I’ve never been featured by other bloggers before, so it’s a real honour in my book.

Go have a look, and check out the other expat bloggers too.

Thanks so much!

Back to Slovenia!

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

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 an utter delight!

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

Lake Bled – 10 reasons to visit!

If you’re just joining, and why is that?! This is what I have written so far:

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!

At Ljubljana Castle – 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!

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Get a train ticket and travel through Europe!

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!

Even with 7 days, we didn’t have time to do everything, but if you’re determined, YOU certainly can!

This week, I’m going to tell you about the lovely time we had at Lake Bled!

LAKE BLED

Lake Bled – 10 reasons to visit!

Lake Bled, otherwise known as Blejsko jezero, Bleder See, or Veldeser See, is a lake in the Julian Alps of North-Western Slovenia!

The lake is of mixed glacial and tectonic origin and is 2,120 m (6,960 ft) long, 1,380 m (4,530 ft) wide, with a maximum depth of 29.5 m (97 ft), a small island in the middle of it, and a medieval castle hanging over a cliff!

The fact is, you can’t go to Slovenia without at least spending a few hours at Lake Bled.

We decided to dedicate a complete day to it! After all, it isn’t every day that you get to go to the Julian Alp mountains, and visit the fabulous beauty of a lake that has been attracting and dazzling people for more than one thousand (1,000) years!

A millennia!

Wow!

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HOW TO GET TO LAKE BLED

We took a public bus from Ljubljana to Lake Bled – Slovenia, & a semi-private van on the way back!
Lake Bled – 10 reasons to visit!

As you know, I’m a huge fan of taking trains, but just like Croatia, the train station for Lake Bled is a little iffy to get to. In this case, the train from Ljubljana only reaches to the Lesce train station, which is about 4.5 km from Lake Bled, and you still have to take the bus!

We decided to take the bus.

Don’t get confused. The bus station in Ljubljana doesn’t really look like a bus station, and is sort of in the middle of the road! However, there are loads of buses with signs towards Lake Bled, and you can pay for your ticket on the bus. A one way ticket is about €6.00 per person.

Cash only of course!

It took about 90 minutes and the buses are usually crammed to the brim, so take something to read, or simply look out of the window!

Right there in front of us, was Lake Bled – Slovenia!
Lake Bled – 10 reasons to visit!

Once we got to the bus station, we sort of walked around the tourist office, found a little road going down a slight hill, and right there in front of us, was Lake Bled!

The first thing we opted for at Lake Bled – Slovenia, was ice-cream, and then we had another one!
Lake Bled – 10 reasons to visit!

It was June, and boy it was hot, so the first thing we opted for was an ice-cream, and then we had another one on the way back!

On the return journey, we were approached by a little agency that offered to take us back to Ljubljana more frequently than the public bus, faster, and in a semi-private vehicle with far fewer people, at a cost of €8.00 per person, rather than €6.00!

I admit, I was a little suspicious at first as I thought it was some sort of scam, but when I insisted on a receipt, was given it with no hassle at all, and saw the very nice van, I was sold!

And true to their word, we were back in Ljubljana in less than 45 minutes!

Let’s get to it!

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LAKE BLED – 10 REASONS TO VISIT!

Lake Bled – A 5 minute introduction to Slovenia!

Absolutely ignore all those people who say that Lake Bled isn’t a thing, too many tourists, not worth the talk, is over rated, etc. It’s absolutely not true. It’s worth it and what’s more, if you’re in Slovenia, and you don’t visit, you’re a fool!

There.

I said it!

And here’s why!

I absolutely adore anything to do with water!
Lake Bled – 10 reasons to visit!
  1. Lake Bled itself: 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! I spend a lot of time going to the Baltic Sea in Poland, and would you believe it, even Germany has a seaside, and it’s really rather nice!

So was it any wonder that Lake Bled was on the agenda, and besides, walking around the lake was just so tranquil. A slow pace takes about three (3) to four (hours), whilst a brisk walk would probably take about an hour and a half.

Less, if you ran!

Bled Castle is one of the most iconic places in Slovenia!
Lake Bled – 10 reasons to visit!

2.  Bled Castle: The castle, other wise known as Blejski grad or Burg Veldes, is a 12th century medieval building that was built on a very steep cliff overlooking Lake Bled, and is the oldest castle in Slovenia!

Bled Castle is one of the most iconic places in Slovenia and is home to a museum collection, the Knights Hall, the Gothic Castle Chapel, a castle printing workshop, a wine cellar, a castle smithy, a herbal gallery, and the Castle restaurant! And if you’re lucky, you get to experience an archery tournament, and just like Ljubljana Castle, costumed characters wandering around the castle courtyard too!

Within Lake Bled – Slovenia, is a sort of mini-island in the middle of it – Bled Island!
Lake Bled – 10 reasons to visit!
The only way to get to Bled Island – Slovenia, is by boat, or swimming!
Lake Bled – 10 reasons to visit!

3.  Bled Island: Within Lake Bled is a sort of mini-island in the middle of it!

On the island is a Baroque stairway all the way back from 1655, and with 99 stone steps leading up to the pilgrimage Church of the Assumption! There is also a lovely bell-tower with a wishing bell that can be rung, the chaplain’s house, provost’s house, small hermitage and some rather mysterious legends…!

The only way to get there is by boat, or swimming!

Sail away on traditional wooden pletna boats on Lake Bled, Slovenia!
©Marco Coppo – Slovenian Tourist Board

4.  Sail Away: All around Lake Bled and Bled Island are traditional wooden boats called pletna boats which can either be rented privately, or which you can travel in with other people. The origins of the Pletna boat goes back to 1590, and you can recognize it from its’ colourful awning and oars that remind me of Thailand!

You can also rent rowing boats, canoes, and other sport equipment!

Taking photographs of Lake Bled – Slovenia. There’s no need to be shy!
Lake Bled – 10 reasons to visit!

5.  Take photographs: There’s no need to feel shy taking photographs. Everybody was taking photographs because the scenery was so beautiful. One of the reasons why we took so long walking, was because I kept taking pictures!

Lake Bled cream cake in Slovenia!
© 2017 Rear View Mirror

6.  Eat Slovenian food: We had a lot of Slovenian food, but the most iconic thing to have whilst at Lake Bled is actually the Bled Cream Cake! Oh yeah! More about this next week!

Go hiking at the Vintgar Gorge – Slovenia!
©Jacob Riglin – Slovenian Tourist Board

7.  Go hiking: If you’re feeling a little more energetic and want to do even more, you can either go to the nearby Vintgar Gorge where you can find the largest waterfall in Slovenia, or go hiking at the Triglav National Park which isn’t that far away either, and is the only National Park in Slovenia!

Everywhere you go in Slovenia are huge beautiful ducks and swans!
Lake Bled – 10 reasons to visit!

8.  Admire the swans: Everywhere you go in Slovenia are huge beautiful ducks and swans.

Why there are so many, I haven’t a clue, does anyone know?

One of the most common swans found around Lake Bled are the mute swans! Swans are large, heavy, aristocratic-looking birds which breed successfully in Slovenia. By all means admire them, but don’t get too close, and definitely don’t feed them. Sadly, humans don’t know when to stop and end up feeding them meat, cake, and all sort of poisonous crap.

Best to take lovely photographs, coo at their beauty, then leave them alone!

Lake Bled – 10 reasons to visit!

9.  Hang out with the locals: There’s always something happening on Lake Bled, and while we were there, there was an international rowing regatta competition on the other side of the lake!

So when we got there, we bought ourselves a drink, sat down, and started clapping and cheering with everybody else!

It was great fun!

Share your declaration of love on Lake Bled – Slovenia!
Lake Bled – 10 reasons to visit!
Show the love!
Lake Bled – 10 reasons to visit!

10.  Be romantic: If you’re travelling with your loved ones then where better to share your declaration of love than to go on a romantic night-time carriage ride around Lake Bled, leave a heart lock, or by putting your head inside a huge heart-shaped symbol of love, which you can find while walking along the lake shore!

 

So what are you waiting for?

That’s it for now.

See you next week.

Book your hotel here!

LAKE BLED – 10 REASONS TO VISIT!

Lake Bled – 10 reasons to visit!

This article isn’t sponsored, and absolutely all opinions, and the magnificent walk around Lake Bled that we had, are my very own!

I’ll be telling you about my next adventures in a couple of weeks!

What about you?

Lake Bled – 10 reasons to visit!

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!

Lake Bled – 10 reasons to visit!

Have you ever heard of Lake Bled? Do you like swans? 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

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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!

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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

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A 5 minute introduction to Slovenia!

On a clear day you can even see as far out into Slovenia!

Well, this summer has been something!

I mean, I met Prince William & Kate Middleton!

Wait. What?

Where have you been?

If you’re just joining, here’s really what you missed:

Prince William & Kate Middleton
©Getty Images

And a few weeks before that, I wrote this: Fantastic news! I’m travelling to Sweden & Slovenia by bus. Now isn’t that just awesome. Eek!

I had a most fantastic time in both countries, and even though I wrote all about Sweden, I hadn’t actually got around to writing about Slovenia!

Until now!

A 5 MINUTE INTRODUCTION TO SLOVENIA!

Lake Bled – A 5 minute introduction to Slovenia!

We visited Slovenia in June and it was utterly new, making the countries that I’ve visited (not that I’m counting you understand!) to be 37 countries in Europe, 12 countries in Asia, 6 countries in Africa, 2 countries in North America, 1 country in South America, 1 country in the Middle East, and 5 dependent islands! 3 countries (so far), have been new in 2017.

That makes a grand total of 64 countries and 5 continents!

Myself & “The Tall Young Gentleman” on top of the Velika Planina in Kamnik – Slovenia!

From the moment we got off the bus and fell exhausted into our hotel in Ljubljana, to the time that we fell exhausted into the arms of a loving husband and father one week later, Slovenia has been nothing but an utter pleasure!

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

Right!

Where to start?

Predjama Castle – A 5 minute introduction to Slovenia!

Slovenia, otherwise known as Slovenija or the Republic of Slovenia, is another tiny nation-state located on the northern Balkans, and described as being a country in Central Europe, Eastern Europe, and South-East Europe!

It is bordered by Italy to the west, Austria to the north, Hungary to the northeast, Croatia to the south and southeast, and the Adriatic Sea to the southwest.

It has a mass of 20,273 square kilometers or 7,827 square miles and has a population of just 2.06 million people!

A LITTLE BIT OF HISTORY…

One of the sculptures in Ljubljana. Does anyone know it’s name?

Not a lot of people know much about Slovenia. In fact, most people mix it up with Slovakia! 

Hmm!

Now since this is a five (5) minute introduction as opposed to thirty (30), it’s only right and proper that I give you the low down:

The Slovenian people are a mixture of Slavic, Germanic, Romance, and Hungarian, with most being Slovene.

Slovene or Slovenian is the official language, and Hungarian and Italian, are recognised as co-official languages too. In fact, most people are also quite able to understand Croatian and Serbian, as previously spoken languages from the former Yugoslavia!

Slovenia is a tiny, but historically old country, stemming right back from the Roman Empire, followed by the Habsburg Monarchy in Austria! In 1918, the Kingdom of Serbia was merged into the Kingdom of Serbs, Croats and Slovenes, later becoming the Kingdom of Yugoslavia in 1929!

Remnants of Yugoslavia and the Communist State at the flea market in Ljubljana, Slovenia!

During World War II, Slovenia was occupied and annexed by Germany, Italy, and Hungary, with a tiny area transferred to the Independent State of Croatia.

Slovenia became a founding member of the Federal People’s Republic of Yugoslavia or the Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia, and was the only communist country in the Eastern Bloc which never became a member of the Warsaw Pact!

In 1991, Slovenia split from Yugoslavia and became an independent country. In 2004, Slovenia became a member of the EU and in 2007, became the first ex-communist country to have the Euro!

Book your hotel here! 

Slovenia has the one of the largest brown bear populations in Europe! In a tiny country that is rather a lot!

DID YOU KNOW THAT?

  • The tallest chimney in the world is the chimney of Trbovlje Power Station at 360 metres high!
  • The oldest wooden wheel in the world was found in the Ljubljana marshes, is about 5,200 years old, and I think I saw it!
  • The oldest grapevine in the world is in Maribor, and is about 440 years old!
  • The oldest musical instrument in the world is the Divje Babe flute, otherwise known as the Neandethal flute, is made out of a cave bear bone, was found above the Idrijca river, and is believed to be about 55,000 years old!
  • The first man to ski down the summit of Mount Everest was a Slovenian called Davo Karničar. And it was only in 2000!
  • Not only that, but the first married couple to conquer Mount Everest together were also Slovenian – Marija and Anfrej Štremfelj. They did this in 1990, and make me feel ashamed that I couldn’t even conquer hiking up a live volcano, not to talk of Mount Everest!
  • Slovenia has the one of the largest brown bear populations in Europe and is estimated to be between 500 – 700 bears! In a tiny country like Slovenia, that is rather a lot!
  • The oldest written document in the Slovenian language is a Freising manuscript dated between 970 and 1039 A.D!
  • The white horses known throughout the world as Lipizzaners, actually originate from a place called Lipica. In Slovenia!
  • Postojna Cave – which sadly, we didn’t quite make to visit ‘cos there was a rain storm, is the most visited cave in Europe!
  • Not only that, but there are more than 10,000 caves in Slovenia! 10,000!
  • And. The oldest cave show – the Vilenica cave near Lokev – has had people visiting since 1633!
  • The first printed book in the Slovenian language was published in 1550 by a Lutheran priest called Primož Truber.
  • Slovenia is the only country in Europe that combines four (4) diverse geographical regions namely: the Alps, the Mediterranean, the Karst (spanning Italy and Slovenia), and the Pannonian Plains (covering Hungary, Serbia, Croatia, Slovakia, the Ukraine, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Romania, Austria, and Slovenia)!

Isn’t that cool?

Myself in Ljubljana – A 5 minute introduction to Slovenia!

I mean, is it any wonder that I was intrigued to be visiting Slovenia.

Oh, and just so you know, the capital city is Ljubljana!

What?

Ljubljana!

Huh?!

You heard me. Lju-bl-jaaaaaaaaaana!

WHY LJUBLIJANA?

Fantastic news! I’m travelling to Slovenia by bus. Now isn’t that just awesome. Eek! Ljubljana – Slovenia
©D.wedam – Ljubljana Tourism

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!

Me in Dubrovnik – Croatia!

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

  • I wanted to spend some quality time with The Tall Young Gentleman, and I think Slovenia was the perfect place to do it.
  • Slovenia is a very green country and like Croatia, amazingly beautiful. I mean, just look at the photography, so we spent quite a lot of time outdoors.
Ice-cream in Ljubljana – A 5 minute introduction to Slovenia!
  • Of course, we wanted to spend quite some time in Ljubljana itself as I like to get inside the soul of a city. I also wanted to prove people who say that Ljubljana only deserves a few hours, wrong!
  • We wanted to go on a guided tour so that we could get inside knowledge from local experts.
Cake as part of our “Taste Ljubljana culinary tour.” Of course, I couldn’t eat it, as it had almonds in it!
  • We wanted to go on a most delicious food tour. Because food. Yum!
  • We wanted to go to the Slovenian countryside and spend a day among the shepherds on Velika Planina!
I’m hoping our river cruise in Slovenia, is not going to look like this. Gulp!
But rather like this!
Boat cruise – Ljubljana – Slovenia ©D.wedam – Ljubljana Tourism
  • We wanted to go on a river cruise.
  • We wanted to explore Ljubljana’s largest and most beautiful parkland area at the Tivoli Park.
We explored Ljubljana’s largest and most beautiful parkland at the Tivoli Park – Slovenia
  • 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.
Lake Bled – A 5 minute introduction to Slovenia!
  • And to top it off, we wanted to spend a day at the stunning Lake Bled, not only surrounding ourselves with mountains, forests, and fresh air, but also the medieval Bled Castle.
FlixBus – Germany to Slovenia – A 5 minute introduction to Slovenia!

Oh, and we did all this by travelling from Germany to Slovenia by FlixBus – the bus-coach company! 

Again!

Yep!

You might have noticed that there’s an image of a FlixBus on the side of the panel. I’m so convinced that it’s one of the best ways to travel through Europe on the cheap, that I’ve joined their affiliate programme so that you can share in the fun too!

As usual, if you book your journey via my link, there is no extra cost to you, and I get a little percentage for my trouble.

Book your hotel here!

Gulp!

Find out more next week!

A 5 minute introduction to Slovenia!

Just because Slovenia is a small nation, doesn’t mean that it’s “small!”

And I aim to prove it.

Book your hotel here!

A 5 MINUTE INTRODUCTION TO SLOVENIA!

At Ljubljana Castle – A 5 minute introduction to Slovenia!

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

I’ll be spending the summer in Germany!

Will you?

A 5 minute introduction to Slovenia!

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!

A 5 minute introduction to Slovenia!

Have you ever been to Slovenia? Do you think Ljubljana is worth more than a few hours? 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

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