Firstly, this isn’t a solo blog. SorryNotSorry. It would have been, if my awesome pal Ceinwen hadn’t heard my aspirations to visit Slovenia, immediately got on board with the idea, and suggested we go together. A few wines in a Greenwich pub late…and we had booked our flights. Buzzing, mate.
I knew I wanted to stay by Lake Bled, and that I wanted to paddleboard on it. That was literally my only criteria, and anything else we planned would be, in my mind, a bonus. So, we decided to get a mid-PM flight to Ljubljana (the capital) and stay there for one night, before heading up the country to Bled for our remaining stay.
LOTS of #PlaneProsecco later, we arrived in this glorious capital and I have to say, it was more beautiful that I imagined. It has a stunning river running throughout the centre of it, and because I love being near the water, I was THRILLED with this. Slovenia is sandwiched between Croatia, Austria and Italy, so Ljubljana has a combination of all those influences in its food and architecture. Because I’m a lover of all things germanic, I enjoyed the Austrian vibes the most, I think.
We walked over the famous Dragon Bridge – a stunning piece of Art Nouveau architecture built in 1900. We crossed the Triple Bridge, which connects the medieval Ljubljana with the modern city Ljubljana. We hung around there taking photos for a bit and then decided to follow the advice of our taxi driver and get the funicular up to Ljubljana castle.
Funiculars are always fun (as long as you aren’t queuing for hours on end to get up them…) and when we reached the top there were some very cool views. Cue the obligatory landscape shots…
We settled down in the square to have a drink, overlooking the locals as they prepared a stage for some live music. We would later find out that Ljubljana was hosting a music festival throughout the whole city that night (AWESOME)…which I’ll come on to later.
Now, CJ and I are both SUPER organised to the point of being anally retentive, so of COURSE we’d researched some of the highest rated restaurants on Trip Advisor. Despite that, it’s always good to ask the locals for recommendations, and our hotel (City Hotel…and it was fab) receptionist suggested a few options which we could see scored well online, so off we trotted to a place called Most, a restaurant nestle in amidst a long chain of eateries that were dotted along the riverbank.
The atmosphere was buzzy, the lights were twinkling, the water was lapping…and there was the distant sound of live music in the air. The food was great, and the local wines ever greater. We sat discussing how surprised we were by the beauty of the capital, and debated whether we might come back here for a day trip once we were settled up in Bled. (Spoiler alert…that did not happen…)
We needed to walk off ALL THE FOOD so we wandered through the city from stage to stage, and were greeted with a plethora of art, dance and music. The local salsa dance club were performing along the riverbank, which attracted quite a crowd. As we walked further into the centre, we discovered a variety of jazz musicians and rock bands playing across various stages, comprised of musicians from all over the worlds. It was a glorious collaboration of musical influences and such a surprising treat.
It was only 10pm by this point, but we are old and we shattered from all the excitement/flying/booze/food, so we trotted back to our hotel, nattering about how we could make the most of this lovely little city before we trundled up to Bled the following day. Little did we know what EVEN MORE GLORIOUS adventures awaited us….