Ljubljana, Slovenia

Ljubljana is the capital of Slovenia, a country that is 60% forest, has a population of just over 2 million, and presented proof, if it were needed, that the British ruling party’s approach is to blag their way through life, as it was described by Jeremy Hunt as a ‘vassal state’. I took a similar approach to preparation, spending 5 minutes the night before learning about Slovenia and therefore arrived in the capital with just the word “Hvala”, for “thanks”. At least that let me be polite and I did, at least, manage to avoid upsetting anyone, so I am way ahead of that idiot.

He is, of course, expected to have a shot at being PM. There are depths yet to plumb.

Bikes in Ljubljana, overlooked by the castle, or 'grad'
Ljubljana square, overlooked by the castle, or ‘grad’.

So vote for me. Or don’t; it won’t matter, as apparently I can just interpret a vote for anyone else as a vote for me, in the modern British political world. It won’t surprise you to learn that the young, energetic, well-educated people I have met recently from the US, Germany, Brazil, Mexico and elsewhere are, without exception, laughing and scratching their heads at the state of the UK. I’ve been happy to fill in a few things (mostly a long list of UK lies told about the EU) they might have missed, which have added sympathy to their incredulity.

Prešernov trg Square with the Franciscan Church
Prešernov trg Square with the Franciscan Church.

Slovenia, though, is busy growing vibrantly, with little time to spare worrying about the UK. It has a picturesque capital, a great place to spend a few days. I was recommended the horse burger, as “the best meat for the human body”. I don’t know about the truth of that, but for 6 euros you get a big burger. There’s a smaller one for 4.

Horse burger
Horse burger.

The obvious highlights are the castle, and the view over the city from its environs, and Tivoli park. I just walked up the roads/paths to the castle and wandered round the outside (you can buy a combined entry ticket to the castle and funicular ride up its intimidating-looking aspect, if you prefer to avoid the climb).

View over Ljubljana from the castle
View over Ljubljana from (near) the castle.

Tivoli park is a beautiful and well-maintained park, with a, larger, forest right next door for further exploration. I was staying just a little out of the centre, and had to walk past the park to get there, so it was really the first thing I saw. I wandered round it in all sorts of different ways, and scrambled through some of the less maintained bits of the forest on a run. You really can forget you are anywhere near a city once in the woods, though you are never far from a path to somewhere.

Monument "Ribe", the fish, Tivoli Park
Monument “Ribe”, the fish. It is very small.

There’s also the monument above, to which I walked mostly because it popped up on the map. Don’t make a special trip. Though the reviews on Google maps are worth a read once you’ve seen it.

“This fish changed my life. Knowing that this fish died for my sins, made me a better person… no… a better human.”

The weather has been pretty bad all week. On a particularly cold day I wandered into the City Museum, which has a very good exhibition on the history of the city on the 2nd floor. That’s all it has for the moment, so I presume it is in full off-season mode, getting the first floor ready for visitors later in the year.

I was taken by the two-storey garages behind a housing complex.

Two-storey garage, with a ramp to the top floor
Two-storey garage, heavy on the concrete (but no other support for the top floor).

I leave you with a fairly typical street – cobbled road and attractive buildings on either side.

Ljubljana street
Ljubljana street.

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