Ljubljana Travel Blog› entry 190 of 251 › view all entries
August 9th, 2008 – by: cmgervais
Today we had breakfast in Budapest, flew to Zagreb and picked up a rental car, then arrived in Ljubljana well in time for dinner. Three European capitals in one day -- a personal record!
As we were leaving Zagreb, the capital of Croatia, I felt real regret that we weren’t staying longer there. The area is beautiful, with blue skies and green rolling hills… and very clean. We will be in Croatia a long time, but I didn’t put Zagreb in the schedule for some reason I can’t remember now… dang. We should have stayed for lunch at least.
The border crossing into Slovenia was easy -- we didn’t even get out of the car. They ran the passports, stamped them, and then we were in a new country.
A word about Slovenia, since for some of us it’s been hard to keep up with all the “new” Eastern Europe countries. Slovenia was once part of Yugoslavia. It was the most productive region, and I guess the population grew tired of seeing the fruits of their labors go to Belgrade. In 1991, Slovenia proclaimed independence, which was followed by a 10-day war (far less violent than the massive fighting that happened in Bosnia and Croatia).
We checked into our hotel room at the historic Grand Union, then headed out to explore and have a late lunch. We crossed over the Triple Bridge (three old stone bridges “fanned out” from one side of the Ljubljanica River to the other -- very pretty) to enter Old Town. It seemed so quiet but then as we walked south along the river, we found many people in the cafes that line the river. They appeared to be eating a variety of salads, pasta dishes, and pizzas. There was an ice cream vendor every 10 feet or so. Things were looking good!
We walked quite far south, to a pizza place recommended by Fodor’s, called Trta.
Then we explored just a bit, not wanting to spoil things too much for our big day of sightseeing tomorrow. With the exception of the bars and cafes, the pretty city was mostly closed for the weekend. We window shopped and wished the cute shops were open. All around us, tourists were in the same boat… kinda bored and looking for something to do but enchanted by their surroundings. Snap, snap, snap. Everyone was taking pictures. With its clean street and stone buildings in beautiful condition, picturesque Ljubljana is an easy place to love.
Later on, when we came out for dinner at 8:45pm, we quickly realized people eat earlier here (it’s hard to keep track!).
As if Ljubljana wasn’t perfect enough already, we were serenaded on the way home. A candlelit boat carrying an opera singer and her accompaniment floated on the river, entertaining the crowds on the banks. Everyone watched in silence and respect, and clapped enthusiastically between the songs. Her beautiful voice gave me chills. I really love it here.
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