A good 1 hour flight from Zurich to Ljubljana landed around 11am on Thursday. The airport is about 40 mins outside of the city and for 8 euros you can catch a minibus shuttle to the city (door to door).
I was very impressed with the capital city, though it seemed much more compact and tiny than other capitals. Built on either side of the Ljubljana River there are patio restaurants, cafes and bars. Up from that are trendy and funky boutique shops. A city that definitely has character!
What would be a European city or town without a castle! This one situated high on the hillside allowed for some great views, especially with glorious weather! However, they are modernizing it extensively, lots of use of glass and metal, simply leaving the facade. A bit of a disappointment.
World cup fever was across the country Friday leading up to the Slovenia vs USA match. The horn honking began at 10am for a game that started at 4pm. What better way to spend a Friday afternoon than in the sun, on a patio, cheering for the local team and against the United States! The crowds went ecstatic when Slovenia went up 1-0, and then just as much with the second goal! Despite an end result of a draw, all were happy!
In a spontaneous fashion after meeting some locals during the game, I joined them for a trip that evening to Dornberk, south west of the capital, in the Slovenian countryside and close to the Italian border. Windy switch back roads through the mountains in the rain made for quite an adventure. Once arriving, it was a relaxed night in a old cottage watching the storm and drinking some homemade Slovenian wine.
Returning to Ljubljana yesterday I caught a bus northwest to Bled in the Julian Alps. Seems the rain has begun once again, it has now been coming down for the last 24 hours. However, a couple fellow Canadians and Aussies still set out on a mission to swim this morning in Lake Bled to the island in the middle, which has a church on it. The water was surprisingly warm, warmer then the air, and the responses from tourists on the other side, whom had gotten there by boats, made it fully worth it. As we got out of the water they clapped, laughed, smiled, said things in foreign languages and one lady simply said ‘must be English!’