Day 2 of Slovenia wasn’t blessed with good weather to start with, although first thing it didn’t look terrible. Overcast but ok, I was confident my leather jacket would be fine. It was not fine! I got really rather rained on towards the end of our morning but of course, after I bought an umbrella from one of the tourist shops, it didn’t rain again all day. Typical. Anyway, although it wasn’t the best morning weather wise, we had a great time at Slovenia’s Railway Heritage museum before a sunny afternoon walking around the city.
Entry was included in the Ljubljana card that I talked about in my first Slovenia post so we got there just as it opened and enjoyed the morning looking round. I’ve actually already written about this in a post on Aidan’s walking challenge blog, you can go direct to that post here.
We headed back into town afterwards and met back up with my parents for lunch (after buying the aforementioned umbrella…!) and ended up in a lovely Italian restaurant. I had a beautiful pork chop covered in prosciutto and served with mashed potato (they know how to do good mash potato over there, it’s kinda fried or something, I don’t know but it’s LOVELY). There’s a huge Italian influence in Slovenia due to them bordering and so a lot of their food features on the menus which seem to blend the traditional meat dishes of the Slovene culture with the pastas and risottos etc of Italy. It’s great!
Afterwards, we made use of our Ljubljana card again as we headed off on the walking tour included as part of the deal. Guys, it was WONDERFUL. Our guide, a lovely chap named Urban, was truly great. He was very, very entertaining but hugely knowledgeable and engaging. There was just us and two American guys on our tour so we had a great time in a lovely, small group. The tours run regularly throughout the day, one of which ends at the castle, one that specialises in Art History and the one we chose, which ends with a boat trip.
We started at the town hall, explored the old town, including a quick traditional food tasting at one of the old taverns (more about that place on other days) and then headed across the river to a spot, literally a stones throw from the city centre, but as quiet as you could possibly imagine, it was beautiful.
We stopped here to hear more about one of Slovenia’s most famous residents, Joze Plecnik, the architect who had a huge influence in the 20th Century on the look of the town; he designed some of it’s most famous places suchs a town squares, the 3 bridges and the new Cobbler’s bridge.
We then explored the new town, on the left hand back of the river. This was one of the few times we spent in the new town, characterised by more modern architecture, it has some impressive 18th and 19th Century architecture from where the city expanded out from the old town. It also has the city’s main CBD and most of the museums and galleries. The Kongresi Trg was very impressive. The square was laid out ready for the 1821 Congress of Laibach, it was where all the European leaders apart from, Britain, the Ottoman Empire and the Papacy, came to Ljubljana to discuss the political problems of the time (there was quite a bit going on…). It’s now one of the largest squares in the city and very pretty, with various 19th Century buildings fronting onto it.
From there we headed back to the bridge and across to the old town to get on the boat for a short boat trip in the sunshine to round off a wonderful tour of the city.
Usually when Aidan and I go for city breaks, we seek out the local bus tour to get our bearings and still get a glimpse of all the sights of the city, even if we don’t have the time to visit them in all in great detail. In Ljubljana though, the city centre is pedestrianised so this isn’t an option and this informative and engaging walking tour was definitely a brilliant alternative to see the sights of this compact city centre in an afternoon. We spent the late afternoon exploring the old town a little more, eating ice cream and enjoying the sunshine by the river.
We were accompanied by Noodles, affectionately known as Noo-Noo, the panda. He was my first stuffed animal although there’s huge family debate as to whether he belongs to my Dad who bought him before I was born and took him away when they went on holiday when Mum was pregnant with me. ANYWAY. He now lives at my parents house and goes on regular adventures with them, often starring in family holiday photos. It was only right that he joined us for adventures in Slovenia. He enjoys food.
Exhausted but happy, we headed back to our accommodation for a slap up snack dinner and a well earned sit down!