Slovenia is a small country south of Austria, with Hungary as its borders in the East, Croatia to the south and Italy in the west. It's capital Ljubljana is just over 400 km from Munich via the Austrian cities of Salzburg and Villach.

Slovenia declared independence from the former Yugoslavia in 1991, a country which it shared a traumatic past with its sister countries; Croatia, Serbia , Bosnia and Herzegovina. Many in our generation would remember NATO's intervention in Kosovo and names such as Slobodan Milošević, the former President of Serbia and Yugoslavia and what earned him the nickname "The Butcher of the Balkans". This was a region which was engaged in stiff conflict for a very long time. In fact, one day after declaring independence, tanks rolled into Ljubljana from Yugoslavia in a 10 day conflict. The people's resistance convinced the Yugoslavian army to withdraw, leaving Slovenia an independent soverign country.

Today less than 20 years from that conflict, the country appears to be doing very well - good highways, nice cities with a post-modern feel to it and a lot of history to show for itself. Called " the Switzerland of Eastern Europe", the country was nestled with snow capped mountain range througout most of our travels.

We had the good fortune to visit the market, a place where an abundance of produce, handycraft work, books and clothing were put out for sale. People were friendly and very nice, at least to us. They made an interesting pizza from what looked like cake material at the market but we weren't hungry enough to try that.

There are 10 castles in Ljubljana, with an Opera, severeal Museums, Art galleries, the Parliament, Philharmonic Societies and numerous bridges over the Ljubljanica RIver. One can not mistake the numerous beautiful buildings littered all over the city.

Slovenia food is good and mostly consisting of game meats, breads and soup. Game meats would consist of wild boar, venison, goat meat and pheasant. Slovenia is also known for its seafood - shellfish, fresh fish from the local rivers (Fishing is a thriving sport in Sloveina - hint!) as well as fish from the Adriatic sea.

I ordered what was called "Florentine Steak" off the menu of a local restaurant and was served a delicious but huge "Horse" size meal. Jeanette's grilled Squid although not so horse size was good as is the Risotto. They seem to eat a lot of rice as well, evidenced by rice salads and RIsotto's in their menu and oh yes; For breakfast, they make great coffee's, croissants and really good half boiled eggs! Jeanette and her mum enjoyed the local honey tremendously. Perhaps a "Kopi Tiam" here will not be too unwelcomed.

Before we complete this newsletter, we shouldn't forget to say that one of the more famous things you can get from Slovenia is the painted beehive panel. This is essentially a painting of a scene depicting a Slovenian proverb. The painting is made on a piece of timber, which was used as panelling for beehives in their honey making industry.

We stayed in a hotel in Prevvdor, near Kranj, Slovenias 4th largest city which is about 30km from Ljubljana on the way back to Austria. The weather was a bit too overcast for perfect pictures on the first day (affecting pictures of Ljubljana) - at least from the view of camerapersons not so experienced in these conditions but we hope you enjoy the pictures anyhow.

 

March 2nd, 2008

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Images of Ljubljana


Images of Kranj

Note that images have a 24 bit colour depth and work best when viewed through systems appropriately configured.

 

 

People
Slovenians generally keep to themselves but are nice when you make eye contact with them and unlike some countries, they don''t stare at asians armed with cameras! We rate this 4 out of 5.

Service
Service oriented, smiles, good manners, speaks English. In fact, our waiter spoke Slovenian, English, German and some Italian! Whilst you don’t get the smiles as you do in Thailand, the atmosphere is described as friendl and warm.  I would rate this 4 out of 5 for Service.

Culture
Founded in the 5th century and sSpread among 119 small islands, Venice achieved it UNESCO World Herigage listing also from its amazing architecture and the home of famous Italian artists.. We rate this 4 out of 5.

Attractiveness
There were not a lot of history left in Ljubljana but to be fair, its only been 15 yaers since they came out of conflict in July 2001.

Food
If you are into game food, this is the place to be! We enjoyed their soups, breads, steaks and in particular the breakfast. We rate this 3.5 out of 5.

Cost
We paid under € 100 for a hotel room night for 3 person bedroom, which also included breakfast and car parking. 95 RON petrol was priced at €1.02 per litre compared to €1.42 in Munich on the same day. Car parking in the city was between €0.30 and €1.00 per hour and the pricing of food was around €12 per person including drinks. In Europe, this represents fantastic value. We rate this 4.5 out of 5.

Overall
Everything considered; the sights, experience, food and cost - we had a fun time and would rate this 4 out of 5.

Ljublana, SI

 

People

Service

Culture

Attractiveness

Food

Cost

Overall Score


Big Mac Index
ref: Jul 5th, 2007

Malaysia $1.60
Russia $2.03
Australia $2.95
South Korea $3.14
Europe
(incl. Italy)
$4.17