I Love Ljubljana!!

 

Who needs Amsterdam when you have Ljubljana?


I’ve never rented a car in a foreign country before. Now I’ve got one for 19 days, taking it through 4 countries. We had to buy a vignette to put on our car window when we got to Slovenia. I think I read enough online to know what’s going on, but we’ll see. 

Our cute little Citroen

 

Our hotel the first 2 nights (Hotel Emonec) was in a pedestrian only zone, but parking at a nearby garage was reasonable. Our first order of business was to walk down the street and have a local beer, Union. It was close to 100 degrees. The beer made us tired, so we went to our air conditioned room to shower, nap, and watch movies.

 

Local beer, with the symbol lof Ljubliana, the dragon

We went out for dinner at 7:30 after it had cooled down a bit.  TaBar is a popular tapas bar where fashionable people swirl their wine while watching the stream of evening strollers. I get excited when I find grilled octopus on a menu. It’s worlds better than fried calamari and I’m not sure why everyone else doesn’t think so. We also had salmon with blackened sesame seeds on it. Loved it!

TaBar

 

Ljubljana has free walking tours twice a day during the summer. Our guide Helena, a local teacher, had a great sense of humor. Seeing how I knew so little of the history of this area, most of what she said was really informative. Three hours later, we felt like we had earned our afternoon beer…
It’s kind of fun to have a routine in a foreign country, so we went back to our same sidewalk bar in the afternoon and had Union beers, unfiltered this time. Back to the a/c to regain our strength.

This time we had dinner at Druga Violina – a restaurant that trains and employs special needs people. The street was filled with tables and there was live music. Not good music, but sometimes it’s the thought that counts.

 

Druga Violina

Day 3 Ljubljana had us driving into the areas surrounding the tourist part of the city, partially to kill time, partially to see how the locals live. A massive thunder storm meant we hid in the car outside of the castle, jumping out of our skin when the lighting was basically on top of us, glad we didn’t get caught walking in the downpour. We finally made a run for the castle and got to see some great views of the city.
Metelkova – this article was published the day before I spent the night at Hostel Celica in Metelkova.
http://www.theguardian.com/cities/2015/jul/24/metelkova-ljubljana-abandoned-barracks-europe-squat

Metelkova, former military barracks and jail, was abandoned after the war in 1991 and over 100 years of use. Artists squatted in 1993. Occasionally someone gets the idea to develop the area, but the community is so active that they haven’t tried yet.


  
  

We stayed in the hostel that is inside the Metelkova complex, Hostel Celica. Each room is unique, but they all have bars on them!

 

Our jail cell at Hostel Celica

 

The Dragon Bridge

 

 

Coffee at Cafe Cokl

 

The main square had an overhead mister!

 

Castle overlooking the town

 

Afternoon local beer by the river

 

Street Graffitti

Ljubliana may turn out to be the highlight of our trip. It was quaint without being cheesy. It was small and easy to navigate. Food was excellent. It just ~felt~ good to be there.

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