"All because of VT............." Slovenia by leics
Slovenia Travel Guide: 7,885 reviews and 20,096 photos
If I hadn't met Ursa then I doubt if I'd have visited Slovenia, at least not for a very long time. To be honest, I was extremely hazy about where it was (actually, it's tucked between Italy and Croatia) and even more hazy about what it was like. But it seemed a good idea to visit, and the flight price was good (one Easyflight per day from Stansted) and..............well, I'm really pleased to have discovered Slovenia before the tourist hordes do (as I strongly suspect they will).
I've been back three times now, twice in early Spring (lovely) and once in August. I've begun to explore the country....it has a huge variation in landscape and culture for such a small place.........and will definitely go back again.
My visits have been unusual for me; being with Ursa, and visiting her ultra-hospitable parents, is always great fun and absolutely fascinating. Normally I spend my visits anywheer by myself, walking for miles, wandering around and looking, people-watching and history-spotting but here I have the luxury of a car (and driver!) and people who speak the language, know where things are and how things work. So it is always a very different experience in so many ways.
Slovenia seems to have taken into itself the best parts of the surrounding cultures, particularly with regard to food. One can see the Italian influence (superb pizza, as good as any I ate in Italy itself), the Austrian (cakes!), the Slavic ('mangold' potatoes, meat) but there are also regional specialities such as the hugely delicious pumpkinseed oil.
Slovenians are friendly and helpful and pleasant, their towns and countryside clean and tidy, their driving sensible and steady (even on the motorway........it's the first place I have visited where I feel I could cope with driving on the 'wrong' side of the road!).
And the country, although tiny, has such a huge range of scenery; the Alpine areas, and the vineyard areas, and the coast . Because the population is small (2 million or so) everything is small-scale, and nowhere seems crowded......and I like that very, very much.
On my first visit we stayed in Ljubljana, but thanks to Ursa and Milan managed to visit not only Bled but also Ptuj (in the east), as well as eating far too much wonderful food (and drinking far too much wine) with Ursa's parents in Obrez (and visiting the local vineyards).
On my second, longer, August visit I explored Maribor, Piran, Kog (though that was more of an eating-and-drinking exploration!) and the Skocjan caves, as well as a bit more of Ljubljana.
This year's visit included side-trips to Croatia (Cakovec ), Hungary (Lenti ) and Austria (Bad Radkersburg)! Crossing Slovenia is easy by motorway, and the borders of all these countries are only an hour or so from the Maribor area.
There's so much to see in such a little place (rather like England in that respect, but far, far less crowded and stressy) that more visits in future are essential. Next time, I'm seriously thinking of hiring a car ...and that tells you how safe I felt the roads to be! :-)
I suspect many people miss these, focusing instead on the Ljubljana/Portoruz/Julian Alps parts of Slovenia. I'd never... more travel advice
Be warned: Slovenian food is exceptionally good, and Slovenians really care about the quality (they aren't into the... more travel advice
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