Slovenia Surprise


Arriving in Slovenia

I arrived in Slovenia after many hours and many border patrol checkpoints since leaving Serbia at dawn. Ignoring the straight freeway, our shuttle van veered onto a two-lane road in Bosnia, and crossed into Croatia, before popping back onto the the main freeway and the border of Slovenia.

I suppose the the detour from the freeway was to cut down on the larger, more congested border crossings. As it was, we were pulled over by some unhappy-looking Bosnian police who scowled at my passport.

Slovenia is not your Mother’s Eastern Europe

Slovenia-11Upon entering into Slovenia, I figured it would be more of former Yugoslavia — and I mean this with love. I had been traveling throughout the region visiting Croatia, Montenegro, Serbia and Bosnia — all of which had their own uniqueness, but also a similar Eastern European flair and sensibility.

However, arriving in Slovenia there was something different. For me it was the hills. The terrain of Slovenia reminded me of Austria. By the time I arrived in Ljubljana, the capital city of Slovenia, I knew that while I might technically be in Eastern Europe, the feeling of being in former Yugoslavia was a memory. The country simply felt more like Western Europe, a term I do not know how to define — but there was just something different about it.

Slovenia is Where Exactly?

Slovenia is on the border of Croatia. It was part of former Yugoslavia. It also borders both Austria and Italy, which makes it an interesting blend of Europe — new and old, east and west. While much of my time was spent hanging around the Three Bridges area in the center of the old pedestrian section of Ljubljana (with everyone else), I think a stroll along the Sava River is a must. Be sure to bring a camera.

Slovenia-48The stroll by the river is lovely and charming, like the rest of Ljubljana, and it offers great views of its castle and local Slovenians as they ride their bicycles, walk their dogs, visit the outdoor antique and art markets, and sit in the cafes.

Now my wife wants us to move to Ljubljana, and I can’t come up with a reason to argue.

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