We continued our day at the beautiful capital of Slovenia, Ljubljana. By the way, I bet you already tried to pronounce that name many times and can’t figure out how to properly say it. It is pronounced [loo-blee-ah-nuh].
Before heading for the castle, we started to walk towards the famous sausage restaurant we heard about from many people. The city is full of nice plazas, here one guy just started blowing bubbles, not for money, just for fun.
We arrived at the famous place: Klobasarna! This place, located on the premises of a once famous watchmaker’s shop, is a fast food restaurant offering the best known traditional Slovenian dish, the Carniolan sausage.
The restaurant’s menu is simple: it includes the original, high-quality Carniolan sausage, recognized as a product with Protected Geographical Indication, served with a fresh Kaiser roll, fine mustard, and fresh horseradish. We also got some barley soup. The sausage was not that good, proving again that this part of Europe urgently needs some good-food lessons. At least we had some wine to pass it through.
With our stomachs not even slightly full, we continued towards the castle on the hill. Everywhere here is walking distance… i love this city.
By this time of the trip, we were definitely lazier. At the beginning, we would have totally saved a couple Euros and climb the hill by foot. But we our legs have been walking around half the world already. We are taking the funicular railway, with the cost of $4 return, this was a no-brainer.
The Ljubljana Castle is a castle complex standing on Castle Hill above the downtown of Ljubljana. It is a key element of the Ljubljana skyline. Originally a Medieval fortress, probably built in the 11th century and rebuilt in the 12th century, it acquired its present outline with an almost complete overhaul in the 15th century, whereas the majority of the buildings date to the 16th and 17th centuries.
At first a defense structure and since the first half of the 14th century the seat of the lords of Carniola, it was since the early 19th century used as a penitentiary, then in the first half of the 20th century as a residential complex and in the latest times as a tourist attraction and a major cultural venue.
We climbed to the top for some spectacular 360 degree views of the city.
Here is the aerial view of St. James’s Parish Church.
We visited the castle’s chapel where we found this awesome guy writing whatever you wanted in a medieval gothic font. Here he is writing Sarah and Eitan very cramped because Sarah insisted to have the name together in one paper instead of two separate ones because she thought it was romantic.
The Chapel is one of the oldest built parts of the castle. By order of the Emperor, it has since 1489 been dedicated to St George, St Pancras and Empress Helena. It is rare for church buildings to be decorated with secular content, and the chapel is therefore regarded as a genuine jewel among European sacred buildings.
Another exhibition inside the castle complex was the National Geographic world photography exhibit. Way more fascinating than any church, museum or statue around the city. I could look at this photos for hours non stop.
We left the castle to find something to eat, we ate in one of the hundreds of outdoor restaurants around the river. They all serve basically the same food: Italian. The Balkans cuisine is so bad and Italy so close, that they have adopted Italian cuisine as their own.
We then stop for a quick wine tasting at the best winery (shop) of all Slovenia. Apparently, the wines we tried are rated among the top 20 wines in the world…. exquisite! Its a shame these wines were not cheap so we could get more.
The city is full of art exhibits everywhere you look you will see art. This is a smal hidden alley we encounter by pure luck. The floor is full of drowning heads. Bizarre!
After we took the free walking tour, the guide gave us a discount to get into one of the wooden boats for a ride in the river. The other couple that joined us was from the Faroe Islands. One of my bucket list items is to have a conversation with at least 1 person of every country in this world. There are only 50k people from the Faroe Islands, so meeting one of them is very difficult. Anyways, they were super nice and it was very interesting to learn about how they survive over there without amazon.com
The Ljubljanica river is the continuation of several karst rivers that flow from the Prezid Karst Field to Vrhnika on the surface and underground in caves, and so the river is poetically said to have seven names: Trbuhovica, Obrh, Stržen, Rak, Pivka, Unica, and Ljubljanica. We will be visiting these famous caves in a few more days!
The river was very relaxing but there was not really much to see besides trees and bridges.
We were exhausted so we decided to call it a day, but not before visiting the area called Metelkova Mesto. This area is located on the site of former military barracks (the Slovenian headquarters of the Yugoslav National Army) and was squatted September 1993. After many attempts of the government to re-take it they finally gave up and now it has developed into a creepy-as-fuck art district that comes to life at night. It reminded me of Christiania in Copenhagen. The place is full of graffiti, emos, weirdos, drugs, and generally not the environment or the vibe we usually enjoy, so we left as fast as we arrived.
Bonus Pic Of The Day: The Slovenian flag is extremely similar to the Slovakian flag. The only difference is the coat of arms with the image of Mount Triglav, Slovenia’s highest peak, and above it are three six-pointed golden stars arranged in an inverted triangle which are taken from the coat of arms of the Counts of Celje, the great Slovenian dynastic house of the late 14th and early 15th centuries. Flags are fun!