Tag Archives: Slovenia

Ljubljana, Dragon Bridge

The weather was better in Ljubljana and we wandered down the left bank of the river and took in some of the sights that we had missed on our previous visit.  We started at the heart of the city, Prešeren Square, with a statue of Slovenia’s greatest romantic poet France Prešeren that looks out over the square and the Triple Bridge.

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Slovenia – Škofja Loka

There was another free-for-all in the breakfast room and with a karate club on one side and builders carrying out alterations on the other we didn’t linger over our continental breakfast but set off straight away once again making for the bus station.  Today we had decided to take the shorter journey to what we had read was the most perfectly preserved medieval town in Slovenia, Škofja Loka.

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Slovenia, Yugoslavia and the Balkans

Yugoslavia had been created in 1918 after the First World War by the victorious western allies in the hope of bring some stability to the Balkans but this had been a hopelessly optimistic attempt to impose a solution on a disparate region of Europe who were never going to coexist easily as one single nation.

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Slovenia, Lake Bled

It had been quite some time since I had been in charge of a boat and my rowing skills were a bit rusty when we cast off and I was called upon to negotiate our passage across the short distance to the island.  Rowing can be quite a lot more difficult than it looks and I had some early problems coordinating the actions of left and right hand oars to keep us progressing in a straight line and with Kim in charge of plotting the course I had to make frequent adjustments to maintain the right direction.  I found it most helpful however when she began to beat out the rowing tempo in the manner of a Roman galley slave-master but I was worried that I might not be able to cope physically if she decided to up the pace to Ben Hur ramming speed!

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Ljubljana – Bus Ride to Lake Bled

After another zoo time breakfast experience we left the hotel and made our way to the bus station because today we were visiting Lake Bled in the Julian Alps.  These are part of the Alps that stretch from north-eastern Italy to Slovenia.  They are named after Julius Caesar and at their highest point they rise to nearly three thousand metres at Triglav.

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Ljubljana – Rainfall Capital of Europe

Continuing our walk around Ljubljana we visited the walls of the old Roman city and another church, the Cerkov Sv Janeza Krstnika before we turned and returned to the city centre passing through the impressive French Revolution Square where there is a monument to one of the great men of Europe.  Well, he might have been a bully and a tyrant and not many places have monuments to Napoleon these days but here in Ljubljana they have cause to remember him fondly because for a short period from 1809 to 1813 he brought a brief moment of enlightenment to a perpetually repressed nation.

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Ljubljana – Park Hotel

We had had some difficulty in finding some suitable accommodation in Ljubljana and had eventually decided upon the Hotel Park which although suspiciously cheap and almost certainly basic sounded as though it would provide us with a good central location for our visit and we committed ourselves to a booking.  After we had orientated ourselves and found our bearings we set off on the short walk to our chosen lodgings.  After a few hundred metres we turned a corner and there towering above us was an ugly concrete structure and a sign confirming our worst nightmare, this was the Hotel Park; Oh My God!

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Slovenia, Lake Bled and a Rowing Boat Adventure

Lake Bled

Leaving Ljubljana the local bus passed out of the city and into the countryside and passed through green meadows flanked by snow capped mountains, vivid green fields surrounding semi Alpine villages with traditional farmhouses and churches.  Finally, after about an hour and twenty minutes on the efficient little bus we pulled into Bled and disembarked into the tourist town and the sunshine.  We planned to walk around the lake but before we started we found a terrace bar for refreshments and debated the alternatives of clockwise or anti-clockwise (a bit like choosing a route around the M25) and we both agreed that anti-clockwise for some unknown reason seemed preferable.

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