We just got back from a wonderful weekend in Slovenia. The country looks like something straight out of "The Sound of Music" - sub-Alpine mountains, forests, lakes. Plus the awesome city of Ljubljana. As M called it, "the land of milk and honey." Walking the city streets was a pleasure, with plenty of pedestrian-friendly sidewalks and cross-lights and not a single car or bus tried to run us over! The shopping looked awesome too, unfortunately since we were there over the weekend we didn't get a chance to enjoy that fully since the shops all conveniently closed at 1:00 on Saturday and weren't open at all on Sunday. At least my credit cards were spared a workout.
Saturday we walked all over Ljubljana, toured Ljubljana Grad (castle) and explored the Old Town area. The Town is a wonderful mix of architecture, lively people, music, food. We ate in some fine restaurants and also had some delicious burek from a street vendor. Another feature of the city is the huge - HUGE - farmer's market. Fresh produce, hand-crafted items, artwork, clothes, honey, it was truly awesome.
On Sunday we took a tour out to Lake Bled to see Slovenia's oldest castle (dedicated in 1004!) and the lake there. In the middle of the lake is Slovenia's only island, complete with an ancient church and the "wishing bell" - legend has it that anyone who rings the bell five times will have a wish granted. You reach the lake via rowboat and we discovered our oarsman had just returned from a trip to Tampa. Small world, indeed. After a few hours in Bled, we went over to Bohinj to visit Slap Savica, a waterfall. Unfortunately, D, exhausted from touring the castle, had fallen asleep on the drive to Bohinj and objected heartily to having to go see a waterfall in the middle of her nap. I had to carry her, literally, up the 500 steps to the top of the falls with her screaming and crying the whole way. At the top of the falls, she stopped crying but refused to have her picture taken (I had to resort to trickery) and pouted until we left. Then of course, because she's three, she was all smiles and sunshine and told stories and chatted merrily the whole way down. I'm sure our tour guide thought she was bi-polar.
I'm exhausted after traveling all day, so I'm sure I'm not doing it justice. We leave early tomorrow to spend the rest of the week in Lake Ohrid, Macedonia. Not sure what our Internet access will be like there, so I'm not sure how much posting I'll be able to do. Stay tuned though and I'll get caught up when we get back next weekend.
p/s - For everyone wondering why there's no pictures attached to this blog, I'm not able to upload them via our satellite Internet connection. It takes forever! So you'll just have to wait until we get back to the States in July.