On Exploring an Unexpected Place

Ljubljana, Slovenia is a place on my bucket list.

I know the thoughts racing through the mind of most readers right now …. “Ljubljana, Slovenia? Where’s that? How does one say that place? What the heck is he thinking?” (Was I close?)

First the pronunciation – lyoo-BLYAH-nah. I even discovered that the Italians and Spanish simply say (and write) Lubiana, which I find helpful.

Slovenia is a small country that was part of Austria-Hungary (WW I), part of Yugoslavia after WW II, and part of Italy for 27 years between the two World Wars. It became independent in 1991, and has been part of the EU and NATO since 2004.

It has a small coastline along the northeastern Adriatic Sea, and those who remember my background note that Slovenia is very close (a few miles/kilometers) to my birthplace – Trieste, Italy – so I’ve seen Slovenia in the distance, but haven’t visited.

I recall watching a feature on a Slovenian skier from Ljubljana during the Sochi Winter Olympics, and a Rick Steves episode expanded my attraction for Ljubljana. Yep, I’ve even researched how to get from Trieste to Ljubljana by train – so it’s time to pass along this hidden secret to others. FYI: Trains don’t connect the two cities, but I discovered the way.

Enjoy this short tourism video. For those wanting to do see the Rick Steves episode, here it is. What do you think? Ready to join an aFa tour group?

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43 thoughts on “On Exploring an Unexpected Place

  1. Slovenia and Croatia I”d go to in a heart beat if the opportunity were to arise. If I recall Slovenia’s independence from Belgrade went well. As for Serbia,Croatia and Bosnia Herzegovina the transformation sad. All are naturally beautiful places. Even if one cannot go they are great places to Google Earth walk through.

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    • Calvin,
      I recall Slovenia’s independence like you do. We had two cruise stops in Croatia – Dubrovnik & Split – which are very different from each other. Enjoyed both. Good idea using Google Earth.

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    • Amanda,
      Instead of thinking it as an out-of-the-way place, I see Ljubljana and other places as a hidden gem. The world simply offers so much for us to encounter.

      Christmas was good … low key as we entertained my father-in-law … but we had a good time. How was yours?

      Liked by 1 person

    • Vanessa,
      Hey hey … someone willing to join the journey. It’s not the large, bustling, place as London, Paris, or New York City, but that doesn’t mean it isn’t a good time. Would you be willing to be an advance scout, too?

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  2. I didn’t know (or didn’t remember) that you were born in Trieste. My father’s father traveled with his mother and little sister–he was very young, too,–from Kiev to Trieste to sail to the US in the early 1900s. As you said, it was part of the Austro-Hungarian Empire then.
    I would definitely join your tour. 🙂

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  3. Am I the first? The first to say I’ve actually been there??? In the summer of 1998, we drove from our house near Geneva through eastern Switzerland into Austria and then down through Slovenia to meet friends in Trieste! Slovenia is a gem from top to bottom, and it remains the only former Eastern bloc country I visited. We spent most of our time in Bled, which is a lovely resort town favored by Tito. It’s located in the Slovenian Alps not far from Austria. It is just beautiful, situated on a manageable-sized lake. We spent a day in Lubjiana, and wished we had more time to spend. It reminded me of Venice — only it wasn’t yet popular enough for the dilapidation (of which there was a lot) to seem as charming as it does in Venice! But it is a spectacular city, and we’ve often wished we had bought property there — we would have made a mint!

    After meeting our friends in Trieste, the group of us went back to Slovenia to visit the lovely seaside town of Piran, which was also lovely.

    I highly recommend your trip, Frank. In fact, I’d love to come along!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Elyse,
      Woo hoo … The group now has a tour guide! Awesome … let alone the marketing opportunity for advertising the group tour.

      It would be interesting to see the changes since your visit. After all, Slovenia was just getting out of the Eastern Bloc shadow when you visited. Your trip seems wonderful … so thanks for taking us along!

      Liked by 1 person

      • I didn’t have a chance to watch the video — so I’m looking forward to going back later on today! Such a pretty city.

        I swear, Frank, one of the best things about living there was getting to go to places I never would have even thought of going.

        And one thing I forgot to mention — most folks spoke English!

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    • You’re the first, but you won’t be the last. 🙂 It’s funny, but I seem to have followed your trip and had also been to Bled, Ljubljana, and Piran (and then on to Trieste). My biggest impression of Slovenia were the caves (don’t remember the name) between Ljubljana and Piran, which were like something out of the Lord of the Rings.
      As for Ljubljana, i would say it’s definitely worth a visit, but it’s not in the league with, say, Paris, London, or Prague.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Quit stalking me, X. I’m warning you!

        It would have been fun to have been there together. We met several US pilots flying out of Turkey at the hotel in Bled. Interesting.

        One of my impressions of Slovenia, though was that every color was muted — like mud was added into the paint. There were no bright hues anywhere! Cracked me up!

        I haven’t been to Prague (sadly, since we have Czech/Scottish friends who bought a place there after we left the Continent), but I agree that it is not Paris or London. I guess it depends on what one is looking for.

        My recommendation when anyone plans a once-in-a-lifetime trip to Europe, though is Italy. Anyplace in Italy. There is always good food, scenery, history and wonderful people. I love Italy!

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  4. Interesting narration on Ljubljana, Slovenia and the video too was a great idea. I seemed to have got hooked to the idea of making a trip hopefully next year. Thanks Frank.

    And here s wishing you and your loved ones 💐💐💐

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  5. Our son visited Slovenia a couple of years ago, and I’m afraid I don’t recall the details of where he visited, but I do recall his enthusiasm. He is much more of a world traveler than we are, and loves some of the countries that aren’t necessarily high on the average American tourist list. I hope you can make your plans and visit in 2016!

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