My guest house in Ljubljana was just what I needed and after racing to check-in by the deadline, I got comfortable and wrote up Zagreb, the disappointing city that was never going to be good. The next morning after the included breakfast, I stored my bag at the hotel and explored the city centre.
It was a beautifully sunny day while still being a cool 26C, some 10C less than I was used to, so I opted for a lesser worn jumper. The river running through the centre is the main social hub of Ljubljana and here restaurants paved the wide streets and wide (read tourist friendly) bridges lined up above the water. One of these in particular featured local artwork and had a clear walkway to look down at the water, making it particularly popular.
The architecture was very Austrian in my assessment; quite striking and something ordered about it. There was also a Roman-esque touch with pillars and grand fronts of houses. Spending some time admiring this and visiting the Cathedral, I followed the crowds to the base of the hill and jumped on the funicular to Ljubljana Castle.
The castle sits impressively amongst nature and the greenery that Slovenia has preserved even in urban areas. A quick two minute climb up the hill and the castle itself is rather, and this isn’t a criticism, plain. A couple of turrets and viewing platforms are the main features, in addition to the large square that’s now made up of cafes and restaurants. Of course, I spent my hour here – as I had a bus to catch to Lake Bled – on the viewing platforms and ascending to the tallest tower for panoramic treats.
The spiral stairs here are spacious and utilise two staircases, one for going up and one for going down, so it’s a relaxed experience, dissimilar to the chaos in Copenhagen’s main building for views. Here I varied my typical view selfie:
It was a clear day and I could see for miles. Honestly, finding these spots is a highlight of every destination; not only is it beautiful but it puts my exploring into context. Once I’d descended, I popped to a food festival in the main square by the water that I’d spotted in the morning and got into the buzz of the atmosphere as I waited for Pad Thai noodles, freshly made, before returning to the hotel and then the bus station.
I have to mention a funny thing that happened in the morning! I went to the bus station to buy my ticket and check the line number where I’d need to wait (it was 28), at which point I wanted a water from the vending machine. Instead, after I typed in the number for this item, I got a peach ice tea and a free secret twix!! It was always going to be a good day.
Just like that, my night and day in Ljubljana were over and Lake Bled (Lesce Bled), one of my top places to visit in Europe was in sight. I set myself up at the arrivals door at the airport to wait for Will before we got a transfer, which we’d pre-booked to our hotel by the lake. By this point I was so excited – Lake Bled was at the forefront of my mind when this trip was planned, and the time had finally arrived to check it out.
A final thought to finish Ljubljana, I wasn’t there too long but it worked well as a quick stop. It was a little too modern for me but depends what you’re looking for in a destination. I’d recommend it for a relaxed weekend, with afternoons spent in museums and drinking coffee by the river.