With a long drive home, we took the time to reflect on our travels over the last two weeks. Anything we would do differently? Favorite moments? Things we want to do if we visit again? A lot of our favorite moments fell on our stay in Slovenia! We visited and stayed with our very hospitable friends Mitja and Nika in the city of Ljubljana. We spent the first night catching up over beers and crepes, wandering old town as we went. The first thought we had while wandering Ljubljana was that it’s incredibly clean. The architecture was grand and old, and the fact it was so clean made it stand out that much more.
Akin to our Croatian trip, we travelled all over Slovenia. We visited the neighboring city of Celje, exploring the Celje Castle and spending time with Mitja’s family. Along the way we saw several crops, vineyards, and hops. The production of beer and wine in Slovenia is high and is not considered an import or export, most that is made is consumed within the country. We had the chance to try several wines made by Mitja’s family along with homemade meats and cheeses. Mitja is one of Andrew’s friends from college, so meeting Mitja’s parents was an enjoyable part of the trip and they were so very kind! Small and family owned businesses are popular here which made us feel at home everywhere we went.
Our love for games doesn’t disappear when we travel. We were introduced to Karrom by Nika’s family which is similar to pool but a small scale more difficult version! The local, homey feeling we felt was largely due to the fact we spent so much time with our friends and their families. We did visit several “touristy” spots but we preferred to lose track of time eating, drinking, playing games, and chatting. One must see location we visited was Postojna. The Postojna Cave is massive at 79,130 feet long, seeing a sliver of it was worth the drive to the city. And the Predjama Castle, built into a rocky cliff, was also a must do as we learned a lot of its history through our guided tour there.
Adding to our long list of cities we spent an afternoon in Piran, a small seaside town full of color and Venetian architecture. Here we stopped for lunch at a self-service restaurant and people-watched from a cozy spot under the grape vines. You can’t beat the house wine they offered for 1.50 euros. Everything was much cheaper in Slovenia from drinks to clothes. It was a nice change of pace from what we are accustomed to in Switzerland!
Lake Bled was high on our list of places we wanted to visit in Slovenia. It’s a popular spot for swimming as the worries of motorboats are nonexistent. We rented a couple of SUPs and got our paddle on to get a closer look at the Pilgrimage Church. It is situated on an island in the middle of the lake. After recently being on the coast of Croatia, there was a noticeable difference in the water. It gave us a feeling of being out on Beaver Lake, in Arkansas.
We chose to drive up to Bled Castle, overlooking the lake, to see if we could catch a good view, which we did! Before leaving Bled and at the recommendation of our Slovene friends, we stopped to share a traditional dessert, Kremna Rezina. They take puff pastry, layer on vanilla custard, sweet cream, and another puff pastry, topped with powdered sugar. It. Is. Delicious!
We really felt like locals during our stay in Slovenia. This was one of our favorite aspects of this half of our trip. We were comfortable, carefree, and happy. It was really nice having friends to show us where to go, how to get there, and be our personal translators as Slovene is quite different to try to comprehend than French. We’ve seen a lot in the past two weeks and have learned just as much. Despite how much love we have for this we are officially ready to get back to Switzerland! After travelling for such a long period of time it makes us miss routine, normalcy, a regular diet, the gym, familiar language, and simply knowing how to get somewhere without having to Google. We won’t have too much time to lay low as our next trip will be in ten days but we are loving all of the moments we have shared everywhere we go and are always excited for more!