Its official, I’d like to become a Ljubljanaian. With more cafes and restaurants than population, it’s definately our kind of place. In fact I’m devastated that we haven’t got more time to spend in Slovenia because it’s definately the surprise destination. Sadly we are running out of Schnegan days and need to get to Croatia to stop the clock.
Before coming to Ljubljana, I had read the usual stuff that you read before visiting a place, you know how the lists read:
– Visit the Castle
– Visit the Cathedral
– Visit the Park
– Find the Bridge
– Eat here drink there
For the most part that’s what it tells you to do in Ljubljana too but what they fail to do is capture the true essence of the place. It’s a fabulous city with wonderful streets to wander, a vibrant university culture where on Monday there are bands playing in the street, colourful street markets and riverboats. It’s just got a fabulously easy vibe about it, slightly faded and crumbling in parts but that just adds to the charm.
We stayed in an official motorhome carpark a few kms out of the city at the Park and Ride. Yes it’s big and it’s noisy with a trainline running directly behind BUT for 2 €, which is the cost of your transport card for the bus into town, you get free parking, water, a dump station, electricity, and access to the cities free WIFI. That’s a bargain in my eyes . So we had no sleep but in the morning we crossed the carpark to catch the bus right into the Centrum and it was just so easy. It’s such a shame some of the bigger cities aren’t so forward thinking towards motorhomers.
My best advice for Ljubljana is just wander. The cobbled streets are the cleanest we’ve seen with a very modern recycling system and even leaf sweepers to mop up the autumm leaves.
Our first stop is always coffee and we found this great spot in the sun next to the river and the best thing – our coffees were 2.50€ for both.
We kind of latched onto an English speaking tour for a few moments, enough to learn about the Slovenian writer Ivan Cranker who lived in Ljubljana. He is obviously the local hero.
I had heard that Ljubljana is quite compact but actually we found ourselves wandering for ages in the little streets, which is where I start to panic and think we won’t see it all. I don’t like to miss out on anything.
The little boutique shops are uber trendy and the cafes and restaurants that spill out into the streets are beautiful so it’s hard to choose which one to eat in.
Being greedy we had a “snack” in the gorgeous tea rooms that is Cajna Hisa and the tradtional fare of cheese dumpling and soup in Jujlia. It was all amazing and I’m getting to that can’t stop pinching myself – can this trip get any better moment.
We were late for the markets but there was still plenty of produce on offer, salad greens everywhere, obviously a specialty here.
The market eateries were packed but having already eaten twice we dragged ourselves away and headed for the Castle. Never the easy way for us, why take the funicular when you can walk up a very steep hill?
It was such a fabulous day but we were both exhausted so dragged ourselves away to a carpark with our name on it to rest up.
The next day, bright eyed and bushy tailed after a great nights sleep by the train track, (NOT), we opted for the seaside town of Piran over the more popular and touristy Lake Bled because of time constraints. We also missed the caves and the Lippizaner horses in Lipica for the same reasons and really felt like we were missing out on Slovenia and all that it has to offer.
Lucky for us Piran is a coastal gem. Although not equipped for motorhomes due to its size, we had to park quite some distance away, but it was an easy 30 minute coast walk in the bright sunshine so no real hardship. Piran is the real thing, picture Mediterranean sea, old fishing boats, stone houses clinging to the shoreline and the narrowest of streets.
It was blowing a gale when we arrived and the board sailors where out in force.
The seafront restaurants are there to cater for the tourists but step back into the alleys, the narrow narrow alleyways where the locals hang their washing out the windows and sample some of the best squid around. Stuffed squid, crumbed squid, grilled squid, fried squid….
We must have picked right because people kept turning up with their Lonely Planet Guide Book in hand.
It really was a delightful town and a perfect way to end our brief tour of Slovenia. I would definitely come back again.
Next stop Croatia.