So after my last post on our trip to Budapest we decided to head to Slovenia.
However the 10 hour journey by train wasn't the best of ideas - having to sit next to a homeless guy for 5 hours whilst changing over at Vienna, despite it already being our decided 3rd inter-railing stop. So a small tip is to check train routes before you head to the next country!
So we stopped of at the capital of the country, Ljubljana. As it is quite a small city I suggest only spending a day or two in the city and booking some nights at Lake Bled or areas close by. Although small in size, Ljubljana would be a very good and cheap alternative to an European break. Not only are there rugged Baroque buildings, fresh markets, cute vintage boutiques and trendy restaurants; it also sprinkles that flair of Eastern European charm of its own. Oh, and lets not forget how friendly everyone was there!
Hostel: Zeppelin Hostel http://www.zeppelinhostel.com/
An awesome hostel which was ideally located! Only 5 mins from the station which was so useful when travelling to different areas of Slovenia by bus. The service was really friendly and helpful alongside portraying obvious elements of cleanliness and care for the environment! Definitely recommended.
- In Ljubljana city, I advise just walking around and taking in the beauty of the city. You can find small hidden gems around the town, with locals drinking coffees around the river side, graffiti-ed walls with meaning and traditional but contemporary shops on every corner.
- The national photography gallery is definitely one for the artists. In a beautiful building itself, photographs are hanged around the building featuring as part of the interior rather then showcasing a lonesome and separated exhibit
- In the old town you have to walk around the bridges, with their iconic figure being the dragon, they've dedicated a whole bridge to the mystical creature. Whilst the other bridges never fails to conform to the general stereotypes of European bridges featuring the beautiful lover's padlocks.
- A must visit is the Neboticnik Slovenia sky bar, located in what used to be one of first high rise buildings in Ljubjana and one of the highest buildings in Europe at the time. A very stylish and cosmopolitan bar serving very well-made cocktails, which was a perfect location when watching the sunset.
- Afterwards we visited the Metelkova, one of the most alternative social scene in Ljubljana, something completely unexpectedly different for the stylish city. We were told the Metelkova was located on an abandon site of former military barracks (Slovenian headquarters of the Yugoslav National Army), taken over by youths. The area was very alternative but pretty cool, it included art galleries, spaces for designers and old prison which turned into a hostel! Definitely a must see but lies 15 minute walk from the main square.
- Skojan Caves One of my favourite parts of the whole inter-railing trip, with breathtaking views. My photographs definitely do not give the place justice, and was far more beautiful in real life then what is may portray. Although it took a while to get there, roughly about an 1hour 30mins by train, the Skojan Caves are the largest underground Caves in Europe and the effort to get there is definitely worth it. My advice for this is that most hostels/info places will tell you to book with a group which will charge a relatively high price, however it is very easy to get there by train but takes around 45 minutes to trek to the caves. However I highly recommend using the footpaths which are very easily located, this will save you around 30Euros and the walk is very scenic too! Also take a jacket, as it gets very cold in the caves
- If you have a fair bit of time, highly recommend travelling to Lake Bled. Personally I would've liked to stay there for a few days to do some water sports activities, however the bus from Ljubljana takes about an hour and a half. The views are beautiful, almost Scandinavian like especially when you walk up and around. We had a go at rowing but have to admit we weren't the best of rowers! Hope you enjoy the rest of the photos!