My recent holiday to Slovenia already seems like a distant memory. My time spent exploring the cobbled streets of Ljubljana, and soaking in the sunset at Lake Bled took place just over a month ago, yet looking back I can scarcely believe how quick the time has gone.
I spent a whole year planning and prepping for this whirlwind trip. Ever since my first solo adventure just over a year ago the alpine fields, and turquoise glistening lakes of Slovenia had been calling my name. Yet, I didn’t want to go there for the sake of it. No I wanted every-thing to be just right. I needed the weather warm, the sun out, but most of all, it couldn’t be summer. One aspect which determined when I visited this gorgeous, and in my opinion underestimated country was the time of year. I wanted my trip to be perfect without my experience being interrupted by hordes of tourists, and tour groups, plus without suffering from the extreme prices experienced during high season in Europe.
Visiting mid-way through April I had both of what I wished for, the sun and peace, helping make for a magical time spent enjoying the views across the lake.
My week in this small European country started with three days spent relaxing on the shores of Lake Bled. I will always remember my arrival into this small resort town, driving down the hill on route from the airport I was suddenly blinded by the sun that bounced off the lake that appeared from nowhere. On the way to checking in to my hotel, everyone I passed was either jogging, walking, or siting by the lake leaving me overcome with the desperate urge to get out and join them.
My three days at Lake Bled was purely spent; walking, taking thousands of photos, and sitting on the numerous benches dotted about the lake, in fact I suspect I sat on nearly every bench at least once whilst enjoying the view and reading my book.
Sitting beside the lake staring at the small island in the middle, you will think you have not seen a more beautiful view, that is until you visit the castle and look down from a higher vantage point. Choosing to hike to the top of the hill from the lake’s shore I eventually reached the castles entrance much out of breath and panting.
Unfortunately during my chosen time to visit Bled castle renovation work was underway, and as a result restricting much access. In the small viewing space empty of the builders, and tables from the rooftop restaurant you are able to look down onto the lake, and the surrounding town. The view already spectacular was made even more fantastic by the two eagles which chased each other in full view for the many spectators.
Although the view is extraordinary, and there are a number of small museums housed in the castle, the size of the castle,and the fact that current on-going building work closed off parts of the site, the fee which is charged at the entrance in my opinion is too much.
My three days spent relaxing by Lake Bled complete, and needing a change of scene I was on my way to visit the city of Ljubljana. Ljubljana is a compact, compressed and charming city. A city filled with history and elegance. Staying in the pedestrian quarter just off the Old Town I was lucky enough to be in walking distant from the many river bars, cobbled side streets, and Slovenia’s first cat café, all located just off the glistening turquoise Ljubljanica.
Easily explored in a couple of days, Ljubljana is one of the ultimate European cities for an unforgettable city break. This city has it all, days can be spent enjoying the views from the city’s own hill top castle, learning the history at one of many museums located in and around the center. And when your feet are beginning to tire from all the walking along the cobbled streets, and admiring dramatic bridges, there are ample of restaurants and cafés lining the river on both sides.
One afternoon I decided to venture out of the picturesque Old Town and over to Tivoli Park to visit the National Museum of Contemporary History. Being interested in history and wanting to learn more about the locations I visit, the idea of a modern museum seemed right up my street. For me the National Museum of Contemporary History was by far one of the best museums in this small and developing city.
One museum which I advise any potential visitor to stay clear from was the City Museum of Ljubljana. At my time of visit there was a temporary exhibition on the ancient Roman city of Emona, a small exhibition on Emona was also being held at the National Museum of Slovenia. The city museum in my opinion along with being small, uninformed and overpriced, would only appeal to those under the age of ten. Usually I turn to reviews on Tripadvisor for a quick laugh, but on this occasion the reviews on this museum were accurate and justified.
Overall my time spent visiting this small yet charming country will forever be looked back on with fond memories. Slovenia met, and exceeded my expectations to such a level that I am already looking forward and planning my return in the near future. There are sights and activities to cater to a range of interests, there really is no excuse not to visit and see for yourself the overwhelming beauty stuffed into this compact country. As a holiday destination, Slovenia, in my opinion deserves more promotion and more praise. Where else can you find a stylish student city located alongside stunning misty lakes and snow-capped Alps?