We flew into Venice, rented a car, and drove about two hours to the capital of Ljubljana. Ljubljana is a small city that has plenty of museums, universities (1/4 of the population are students), greenery, and a castle overlooking the city on its highest peak.
From our hotel we walked to the old town, which includes all of Ljubljana's most important sights and buildings, including Ljubljana Castle which can be seen overhead from every point. As we walked through Presernov Trg (Preseren Square), we noticed that this square seems to be where the life of the city is. There is a river running through it with quite a few small walking bridges crossing the water. Many restaurants and cafes line the riverbank and even though it was 25 degrees F there were a lot of people sitting outside and sipping their coffees with friends.
|Cathedral of St. Nicholas|
|The castle courtyard|
|The Castle above the city|
Our ticket also included an entrance to the Slovenian History Exhibition, leading us through the country's past, exhibiting significant objects and video explanations. There are about six museums in Ljubljana so it was nice to see a collection of items in one place instead of trying to find them at the various museums.
|Copy of the world's oldest flute. The original is held at the National Museum of Slovenia.|
|Reconstruction of the oldest wooden wheel with an axle from Ljubljana.|
|Some of the market|
After our day in Ljubljana we drove 40 minutes to the town of Bled. Bled is situated right on the lake (Lake Bled), a picturesque emerald-green lake that has the scenery of a postcard. The lake has some of Slovenia's highest mountain peaks as a backdrop, a medieval castle on a small cliff, and a church sitting on a tiny island in the middle of it all. In the summer Bled gets incredibly busy, as there are many rowing, swimming, and boating competitions, while in the winter - though not empty - one can walk around the lake without the chaos and noise of tourists.
Soon after we arrived we walked the four miles around the lake, capturing pictures, petting dogs on walks, and admiring the natural beauty of this location. Seeing the snow covered Julian Alps in the distance was stunning and the entire landscape was just breathtaking.
|The small island with the church. The castle is on the left.|
|Castle at night.|