Slovenia | Fairy-Tale Places

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Where is this pint-sized, fairy-tale country of Slovenia with love in its name? Slovenia is situated in Central and Southeast Europe where one could touch the Julian Alps or tickle the Mediterranean Sea. Slovenia is bound by Austria, Croatia, Hungary, and Italy, being nearly landlocked; with only 50 km of Adriatic Sea between Italy and Croatia. Here we visit the capital city of Ljubljana, (loo·blee·aa·nuh) a hidden European gem.

This journey began along the shimmering Dalmatian coastline, crisscrossing the Homeland War countries of Croatia, Montenegro, Serbia, and Bosnia-Herzegovina. The Adriatic Sea provides glorious views at every turn, playing hide-n’-seek with the sea on one side, and the soaring Balkan Mountains in the distance.

While winding westward along the Istrian Peninsula, making a stop at the Bay of Kvarner, near the popular resort town of Opatija before leaving Croatia, often referred to as Opatija Riviera. Opatija has a rich history on the Croatian coast with fashionable luxury hotels and a meandering promenade that hugs the coastline, offering views of the town and islands in the distance.

The heart-shaped Istrian Peninsula is shared by three countries; Croatia, Slovenia, and Italy making for an easy segue into Slovenia; where Ljubljana, the capital, and economic, political, and cultural center is a must-see, an undiscovered treasure with a 6000-year history.

It’s the country’s largest city with a population of 300,000 and is referred to as the “city of dragons.” Legend tells the story of Greek hero Jason who fought and slew a terrible monster, the Ljubljana dragon, which became the symbol of the city.

Dragons are a prominent symbol throughout Slovenia i.e., the Dragon Bridge, Butcher’s Bridge, fairy-tale castles, and baroque facades. They symbolize power, courage, and greatness.  

Ljubljana’s beauty is often compared to Prague with its eclectic mix of architecture, and where the Ljubljana River runs through the heart of the city.   Its most famous architect, Jože Plečnik,  a classicist, tried to model the city of ancient Athens. His collected works are considered to be important pieces of art and are together known as Plečnik’s Ljubljana.

A guided tour is the most convenient and informative way to walk through the history from Habsburg rule, the Middle Ages, or the communist era; to the newly formed state in 1991, to explore this striking city of Ljubljana.

Continue this journey to Lake Bled where we discover the oldest fairy-tale castle in Slovenia. Come on along, travel vicariously to places some only glimpse on a postcard.

*2018 travels

Ljubljana Tourist Info

Homeland War 1991-1995

*Slovenia joined the European Union in 2004 and adopted the Euro in 2007. Since then, the Euro is the only reliable currency you can use in Slovenia.

J. Christina is the author and owner of Scribbles and Smiles. Through our blog, we share stories of the wonderful discoveries we have made on our European travels. Christina (Christie) is married to John, a.k.a. Mr. Christie. Where Mr. Christie is right on board with their travel jaunts around the world sharing in their blogging endeavor - hence, their bespoke pen name, J. Christina.

After many years of intrepid travel, we thoughtfully opened our treasure-trove of European travelogues, artfully sharing with a worldwide audience. Intentionally sharing the joie de vivre through our words and images, so others can travel vicariously. 

You can sign-up to receive email updates via her blog, and you can also find Scribbles and Smiles on social media. 

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