Ljubljana has a population 283,000 and is the capital of Slovenia. On route from Budapest, it was about 1/3 the way to our home in Capestang France. What an amazing little find. This city has an old inner city that feels like a tiny Austrian village, with cobblestone walking paths over the Ljubljana River. Clean and bustling with people after the holidays, we arrived just before sunset, enough time to explore the area on foot, and to take the train to the top of the fortified castle on the hill. From here you will find spectacular views of the surrounding mountains, and we lucked out with a full moon to give us light on the way down.
Slovenian food is a combination of the surrounding countries. Whenever we stop at a highway gas station, I always check out their restaurants. Once in Slovenia I notices near the Hungarian border, they have stolen goulash and cabbage rolls, and meaty vegetable soups. As we got closer to their Italian neighbours they served high quality pastas and pizzas. Closer to Austria you will find typical schnitzel with French fries. They have local sausages that seem very popular, but taste much like the ones from their Austrian/German friends. In the olden days when meat was scarce, they would enjoy buckwheat porridge dishes, wild mushrooms and a variety of local nuts. The desserts looked amazing, and I wish we stayed one more night so I could check out the bakeries as well. From what I could see with my nose pressed up against the window, was cream filled pastries with nuts on top, fresh looking cakes with berries, and original items I was not familiar with from any of my travels. Perhaps this is where to find the Slovenian uniqueness, but I do not have much of a sweet tooth. Next time.
Although we were not here long enough for the people to make a firm impression in me, we found the Slovenians multi-linguists with a kind, generous nature. Typically they are known for being indirect communicators, polycentric family structures that take very good care of their homes and gardens. Their families are the centre-point of their lives.
I could hear many different languages on the street; French, Hungarian, English both American and UK, Russian and even a tour group of Asians although I have no idea where they were from exactly. Everyone was bundled against the cold and smiling savoring the winter crisp air and the remarkable clear sky. Snow was still visible on the road, which fell the evening before, and the entire village was trimmed in white
The high traffic route through Eastern Europe’s Ljubljana seems to have been influenced by many cultures. Our beautiful waitress was a Language student in here twenties, who was originally from Croatia, spoke at least three languages fluently. There are 32 different dialects in Slovenia. Here they pick up the vocabulary of their neighbours as well, and with the diverse countryside, they seem to have managed to isolate themselves in parts and develop their own version of the language. Interesting.
Parking was a problem in Ljubljana and our hotel provided us with secure parking. It was the selling feature. Our room was a bit of a disappointment, as we booked a one room with a pullout for the kids in the front room, and ended up with a studio. Buyer beware. Make sure you get what you pay for. The rpice was reasonable and our host was very nice.
My overall impression was very good. I loved how they also have a lovelock bridge. The food was reasonably priced and good value for the money. Everything was fresh. We ate along the tourist strip along the Ljubljana River. In summer this place is packed full of tourists, and I felt lucky to only have to share the experience with a handful for onlookers. If you have the chance to visit, I would recommend Ljubljana.