Tag Archives: slovenia

A Travel Retrospective: Slovenia

18 Dec

When we first left the plane, I had no idea what to expect. The airport was small and modern, recently renovated by the look of things. We progressed through with a minimum of fuss, nothing was particularly remarkable, yet airports are so rarely inspiring. We arrived outside and promptly looked for transportation. No buses, no trains, we took a minicab.

Packed tight with at least five other travellers, we departed into the capital, passing old communist-bloc buildings and a few more recent wealthy urban developments. Nothing really caught our eye, yet suburbs are so rarely inspiring. We pulled up outside our hotel, a repurposed Soviet tower block and progressed inside. Everything was pleasantly bright and shiny, we were mostly impressed. So far our sojourn into Slovenia was thoroughly unremarkable, enjoyable but not exactly top grade.

In the failing light and encroaching cold, we set out with the aim to take in a little of the city before darkness settled in. We were thoroughly impressed, the city centre was beautiful and unique, designed to delight the eyes. We ambled through the spellbinding streets with nary a thought, taking it all in, that is until our stomachs unceremoniously yanked us back into reality.

Food became our number one priority. Despite my other half’s best efforts, I hesitated to make a decision, unwilling to be drawn into a gaudy tourist trap. After a while I was inevitably defeated in my ‘selfish’ quest for authenticity, my arm was grabbed and I was pulled into the nearest available eatery. For once I was glad of my better half’s violent tendencies.

If you like seafood, Slovenia is where you must go. Octupus salad was one among many delicacies that we partook of across the next few days. Sausages, soups, dumplings, the cuisine of the country is quite exquisite, gaining vaue by twisting and elevating the mundane. The Slovenians, nestled between the Croatians, Germans, Italians and the Aegean sea, have come upon a varied and beautiful range of foods. That is to say nothing of their wine. The ‘Terran’ wine of the country is rare outside its borders, but has a full body, deep ruby colour and truly unique flavour, well worth seeking out through an importer.

The rest of our trip, well, we wandered around the capital with no desire to leave. The castle, the ballet, the shops, the cafes, we were entranced. We did take a short trip to Bled, a skiing town set upon a lake, with picturesque castle towering on a precipitous rocky outcrop, needless to say we were spellbound yet again.

Slovenia is a diamond in the rough, a genuine thrill to visit and explore. You would be well served by a visit there, so get packing!