On our way to Bled, we would land at a place that I had never heard of, and had no idea how to pronounce: Ljubljana. “We’re flying into an airport close to Bled,” was the best I could do.
What a gem of a city! Who knew? Not I. I barely knew of Slovenia. The capital, Ljubljana, has more than ten percent of the country’s population, but then again, the whole country is barely over two million people. This charming small city won the 2016 “European Green Capital” award. (6:21 min. promotional video)
In fact, I had no idea that Slovenia would be such a delightful country, so clean it reminds me of Japan, so environmentally friendly that solar panels are commonplace, so healthy that eating the creme cake at Lake Bled feels like a sin.
The villages of the Julian Alps are quaint, Austrian in feel, and clean: “where barns are attached to the houses, but even the cows do not smell,” is how our OAT guide Goran described it.
The scenery is beautiful, the history interesting,
and tourist attractions like the Postojna Cave and nearby Predjama Castle fun to visit, but it is Ljubljana that surprised me the most.
Our one day in this city left me with a feeling that I could live here.
Walkable––pedestrian zones clearly identified.
Environmental––garbage disposal paid by weight.
Cultured––four symphonies, according to most capable local guide Borut
(and you are lucky indeed if you get Borut as your guide).
I want to go back.
Date of travel: October 2017. Tour: OAT’s Hidden Gems of the Dalmatian Coast