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Venice & Slovenia

Posted in Europe, Italy, Slovenia

We flew into Venice before our drive to Ljubljana and were looking forward to a day exploring the city. The last time we were in Venice was 2005 during our February school vacation and we loved it. It actually snowed our first day there. Venice has changed a lot though, and not for the better. It is overrun with tourists and it wasn’t even the high season. The cruise ships have overwhelmed the city and it has lost much of it’s local charm. We were glad to be on our way to Slovenia.

We rented a car and made our way to Ljubljana, the capital of Slovenia. We were pleasantly surprised what great condition the roads were in, unlike home. It sometimes feels like we live in a third world country with how bad our roads have become. When you enter the country it’s important to stop at one of the first gas stations you see to pick up a toll sticker for your car. They have eliminated the toll booths so every car has a sticker. You can purchase them in different daily increments and we picked up a 7 day pass.

While researching our trip I discovered that there was a castle on our drive to Ljubljana that we decided to visit. Predjama Castle is amazing and built right into the side of a mountain. Located in a tiny little town, it was the perfect introduction to Slovenia and was one of the highlights of our trip. We explored the castle and walked around the countryside enjoying lunch with a view of the castle.

We loved Ljubljana! Overlooking the city is Ljubljana Castle, and while the castle itself is not really worth visiting, riding the funicular and the amazing views of the city make up for it. The old town area is pedestrians only and was fun to explore. The weather was beautiful and everyone was out enjoying the sunshine and eating in the cafes along the canal.

Triglav National Park

Triglav National Park was absolutely stunning. We had hoped to do some hiking, but instead just drove through the park enjoying the jaw dropping views.

Triglav National Park
Bled Lake

Our last day in Slovenia was a drive to Bled and enjoying a walk around the lake with the views of the mountains and castle. The weather was perfect and there were lots of people with the same idea, so the walk was more crowded then we had anticipated.

We were sad to leave Slovenia so on our drive back to Venice for our return flight home, we stopped in the tiny coastal town of Piran. This was an unexpected and delightful side trip that was well worth the visit. Cars are not allowed in Piran, so we parked in one of the visitor lots and walked into town. With a beautiful town square, a church with an amazing view of the town, and a lovely walk around the town it was well worth the stop.

We are so glad we visited Slovenia, especially before it becomes a popular tourist destination. The country is beautiful and the people are so friendly and made us feel welcome.

Jen & Brendan {April 2019}

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