The second country on our honeymoon road trip was Slovenia. We spent a week in Ljubljana, Lake Bled and Strmec na predelu. We arrived in Ljubljana late at night on our delayed Flix Bus from Trieste (terrible honeymoon decision) Our trendy loft Airbnb was a five minute walk from Union Brewery. We headed straight there for late night pork ribs, beer sausages and of course Union beer. It was a warm evening so we sat outside. The food was excellent, the music was good and the whole place was buzzing.
Our Airbnb was right next to Tivoli Park. We walked into town through the park which was busy with Sunday morning runners, cyclists, tennis and crazy golf. The park had lots of interesting sculptures and tree lined paths. Nearer the city there were interesting government buildings, theatres and art galleries.
The city centre is car free. Only pedestrians, cyclists and economically accessible city buses, which run on natural gas are allowed. In 2016 Ljubljana was awarded greenest city in the world and in 2017 Slovenia was awarded most sustainable country. There are separate recycling bins all over the city. Locals who live in the city centre have key cards that allow them to open local bins for their non-recyclable waste which they are charged for by weight. 74% of their houses are heated by natural gas. There are also more than 500 square metres of public green space in the city per resident. And this is constantly growing as the build more. Slovenia also initiated UN international bee day to raise awareness and acknowledge the role of bees and other pollinators. What an amazing country!
We walked along the cobbled streets of the old town. Through Presernov trg square which had a weather circle and statue of beloved poet France Prešeren at the centre and was surrounded by cafes, the Franciscan church and the triple bridge over Ljubljanica river. There were more ice-cream shops than I’ve ever seen anywhere. Fancy gelato shops, ice-cream stalls by the river, self-serve soft serve ice-cream shops where you pay for your ice-cream by weight and have a hundred toppings to choose from.
Over the next two days we did all the usual sights. Walked through the flea market, along dragon bridge which has four huge dragons guarding it, Metelkova with its crazy, weird, fun and interesting street art and sculptures. We did a boat trip down the Ljubljanica river and saw a swimming nutria, which I excitedly thought was an otter but found out they are webbed-foot rodents. We got a funicular up to the castle for view of the city. We did an excellent food tour with Ljubljananjam. I have written a separate post about it.
Mostly we wandered around slowly, sat in cafes people watching, eating ice-creams by the river, having boozy lunches, listening to live music and finding restaurants with excellent food. A few places we found:
Union Brewery: Pork ribs, beer sausages and of course beer
Ribca: Sardines and homemade bread/ Local sheeps cheeses and anchovies/ Calamari- fried, grilled, stuffed/ Smoked trout , horseradish and rocket
Cacao: Mango, white chocolate and pistachio ice-cream
5-6 kg: Beef tongue with goats cheese and pumpkin oil/ Suckling pig shank and salad/ Piglet pork belly
Klobasarna: Kranjska klobasa - Slovenia’s famous carnolian sausage in a roll with mustard & horseradish
Lockal: Homemade pineapple lemonade
Pop’s place: Craft Beer - there were hundreds to choose from!
Tabar: Slovenian orange wine and cheese
Last Stop: The Dolomites
Next Stop: Lake Bled