Until this year, I barely knew that Slovenia existed. I would often confuse it with Slovakia, or couldn’t remember it if was it’s own country, or a part of a larger one. But on this wild trip, we decided to travel to Ljubljana, Slovenia for a few days of relaxation and cheaper prices!
We arrived to Ljubljana around midnight, and had to navigate our way around the city to find our Airbnb. Again, knowing practically nothing about Slovenia, I was on edge the whole walk, hoping that we wouldn’t get caught in a sketchy neighborhood. But we finally made it to our place around 1:30 am and hunkered down for a good night of sleep. It rained the whole night and next day, but it gave us the perfect environment for a chill day. We slept in late, had a slow breakfast and did some much needed work with the Wi-Fi and computer. While we enjoyed our rest day, we hoped the next day we could venture out into the city.
Thankfully, the next morning the sun was shining and it felt like the city of Ljubljana came alive! We took the day to walk around the city, which offered plenty of surprises at every turn. We saw Ljubljana Castle, built on the highest hill of city. The castle was beautifully restored but was once again filled with modern pay-to-see museums. We continued on to walk over the Triple Bridge and the Dragon Bridge on our way to the city center.
We stopped for a mid-morning snack of great kielbasa with mustard and horseradish – seriously delicious! Still starving we went on to Union Brewery and had some great local brews and burgers. At night, Matt and I found an Open Air Salsa dance. It wasn’t more than some speakers and fancy lights set up in an open square, but it was a lot of fun! In Barcelona we went to a salsa club, but were so intimidated by the amazing dancers that it was hard to enjoy ourselves! But here, while there were still some incredible dancers, there were many more beginners like us. After a few drinks and little coaxing, we got on the floor and pulled out all the moves we knew. We took breaks in between songs to watch others, and tried to pick up new moves along the way. Of course there was some trial and error (more error I think), but we laughed and joked the whole way through! It was an amazing night, and we were sure our dance teacher Katherine would have been proud.
The next day, I found out that there was an open kitchen/food festival happening at the farmers market. The food was not just Slovenian, but from various regions across Eastern Europe. We started with an interesting, but delicious, salmon burger with a black squid ink bun from an organic restaurant. Next we moved on to falafel and hummus. After sitting down to digest we took one more loop around the stalls; Matt tried some spicy Ethiopian chicken, and I got a beloved Nutella crepe. Needless to say, we were extremely happy and extremely full! The best part about the festival was that, despite being in the capital, it still felt low-key. No massive crowds, or hour-long waits to try the next dish. And, it was all reasonably priced!
On the way home we made our way to Metalkova – an artists community similar to Christiania in Copenhagen. While it lacked a formal “Green-light District”, it didn’t lack in the amount of crazy art that covered every building from sidewalk to rooftop. It did seem a bit more like a closed off community, one that welcomed visitors, but maybe not ones that were as “put together” as Matt and myself. We thought it wasn’t quite our scene and after a few pictures, made our way back to the city.
Our trip to Slovenia wasn’t long, it was a really great stop over! Good food, good people, great scenery – how could we ask for more?!