Lovely jubbly ana!

Trip Start May 07, 2012
Trip End Jun 06, 2012

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Friday, May 25, 2012

Thursday morning and up at a sensible time for the 9am from Zagreb to Ljubljana in Slovenia, a destination we know little about. Having travelled across flat country for two weeks it’s great to have river views and rolling hills for today’s journey. So plenty to look at on the way and substantial checks on the Croatia/Slovenia border resulting in one of our ‘train mates’ being led away by the Slovenian Police.

We arrived in Ljubljana on time. John misjudged the hotel distance from the station so an uncomfortably long and hot 20 minute walk was endured but the hotel (again) was found to be in good order and well positioned in the old town. Now for the big surprise. However good we thought Zagreb was then Ljubljana was several times better. Hard to describe it adequately or for photos to do it justice but quite simply the capital of Slovenia (population just 300,000 including 60,000 university students) is a beautiful city. It has the Sava River running through its centre which is only about 40 yards wide and has cafes, bars and restaurants lining both sides of it for around 0.5km linked by several attractive foot bridges. There are a succession of wonderful old buildings and a good vibe throughout the city. As we have seen in many other places so far there are live music events running in the town squares.

The next John clanger was our first evening in Ljubljana. He had identified an interesting ‘secret pub crawl’ published by an art critic in a travel magazine last year. It started well with a nice beer and meal in a Bosnian café tucked away in an alleyway just away from the city centre. Unfortunately the next stop was a 30 minute walk out of the city to a half decent bar with a very limited clientele and on the basis that the next one on the list was a further 30 minutes away from the city the pub crawl was abandoned after two drinks. A lengthy walk back into Ljubljana allowed us to finish the evening at one of the 40+ really good bars that existed within 200 yards of our hotel.

Up in the morning for a climb up to the castle (our oriental tourist chums in hot pursuit again) and then see the market, city squares and other impressive landmarks. This included a good look at the many interesting bridges that cross the Sava including one where local lovers engrave their names on padlocks and attach them to the structure. Can’t see it working on Tower Bridge!

We have another good day with very nice weather, followed by an excellent Italian/Slovenian dinner down by the river in the evening. On the way home got chatting to three Turkish bikers (not hairy ones!) doing a 12 day round trip from Antalya via Slovenia, Venice and Athens. They weren’t interested in seeing any of the cities they visited they just wanted to ride their motorbikes for thousands of miles. They ride all day arriving in a new city late evening and then set off again first thing the next morning. Each to their own!

The weather has picked up but we know that we’re on the border of low and high pressure. Hot days and pretty cool evenings the order of the day. Fortunately any rain seems to come down at the right time for us.

Another day in Ljubljana would have been nice. We can definitely recommend this City as a weekend destination. It was perfectly clean, literally everybody we encountered was welcoming and in the time we were in the city we saw just 2 policeman; we suspect there is little crime. We reckon that the city and Slovenia as a whole has a good future. Sad to leave but Austria beckons in the morning.

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