Ljubljana, Slovenia – May 1999
For those of you out there who still don’t know where Slovenia is (shame on you), it’s a small country (tiny actually, only 20.256 sq.km) stuck between Italy, Austria, Hungary, Croatia and the Adriatic sea.
It’s easy to access, people are friendly (at least I live under that impression) and most of them speak English and/or some other language (beside Slovene). At least the younger generation does.
First things first, there is no war in Slovenia! Many people still don’t get it, considering Slovenia used to be a part of Yugoslavia.
But that was finished eight years ago, so it’s almost “ancient history”. It’s perfectly safe to come to Slovenia and just enjoy everything we have to offer.
This is the perfect place for those who like to do a lot of different things in a limited amount of time. The best example of this would be that you go mountain-climbing in the morning and then swimming in the sea in the evening. From the cultural point of view, you might enjoy Roman remains now and maybe a Renaissance castle afterwards.
So, what is to happen in Slovenia in May? First, let me warn you that the 1st and the 2nd are national holidays, so don’t be surprised if you don’t find too many stores open. But it’s a weekend anyway, so you almost won’t be able to notice it.
In Ljubljana (the capital of Slovenia, also the place where I live), a new Tourist Information Center (TIC) has opened its doors. It’s in a renovated building right next to the Three bridges (Tromostovje in Slovene) and there is not a soul in Ljubljana who wouldn’t be able to tell you how to get to Tromostovje.
When you’re there, just look around and you’ll see the TIC building. There you can get a free map of Ljubljana, promotional material for various (mostly tourist) spots in Slovenia and a monthly newsletter covering the happenings in and around Ljubljana (that comes out on the 1st, so I can’t tell you what it says for May).
Oh, yes, the TIC is open from 8.00 to 19.00 on weekdays, 9.00 to 17.00 on Saturdays. You will have to visit the TIC at the Central train station on a Sunday or a holiday.
A big thing happening in Ljubljana in May is on the Saturday closest to the 9th of May. This year that falls on Saturday, the 8th.
This is the day we commemorate the liberation of Slovenia from under the Germans at the end of World War II. It’s a walk around Ljubljana, about 40 kilometers in length altogether, but you can also choose a more moderate distance (from 2 kilometers upwards) and just walk a part of the circle.
There are several different starting points, but all the routes end in the center of Ljubljana. If you decide to take part in the walk, you’ll get a pin as a souvenir.
Hey, if you get up really early in the morning and go all the way around, you might even meet the President of Slovenia on your way!
An interesting way to spend a Sunday morning in Ljubljana is to go visit the flea market on the banks of Ljubljanica (that’s the river that flows through the town).
It’s more of an “antiques” market; they mostly sell things found in the attic that really need some (or a lot of) renovating, but some of them are really beautiful.
Another possibility for a Sunday morning is, of course, a church service, but there are so many different churches in Ljubljana (mostly Catholic, though) that it’s hard to choose. Most services start at 9.00 or 10.00.
If we switch to night life a little, a new night-club was opened sometime in the past two months. Its name is “Hit the road Jack” and actually it’s not so new. It was only renovated, redecorated and renamed.
I’m sorry, but I really don’t have a clue what it used to be called, so I won’t say anything. I heard it’s a pretty cool place, but I haven’t checked it out for myself, so don’t ask me what I think.
A great Internet link, containing more or less up-to-date information about Slovenia. And it’s in English!
Another useful place is Adacta, also available in English, that offers (among other things) access to the phone book of Slovenia.
You’ll find more about Ljubljana, itself, here. Also in English.