Slovenia In 36 Hours: Part 1 Ljubljana
One of my favourite weekends away was to a place I knew very little about: Slovenia! I also put very little thought into planning which was not such a good idea. Here’s my diary of how I made the most of my 36 hours in this delightful country, part one (Ljubljana):
I’d be flying to Ljubljana, the capital of Slovenia although my general game plan was to make it out to Lake Bled. That was what I had wanted to see. Ljubljana itself I hadn’t anticipated on spending too much time with. My only real priority of this half day was to get a good night’s sleep. The city might not have world-famous attractions but Ljubljana has not shortage of charm – I would have loved to have spend more time here.
11:00 I arrive at Stansted Airport, the usual two hours ahead of the flight. It’s nice to be early and organised, especially when the bus or airline decides to screw you over. But I’m in luck, everything is running on time, although the airport remains just as busy in the afternoon.
11:50 To kill time I have a catch up call with mum, and indulge in an egg and salad sandwich from Pret. I miss the egg and cress sandwich they used to do. I top up my water bottle and away we go.
Landed in Ljubljana
16:00 I am here! And on time still, what luck! I’ve got to make the most of my half a day here. I was going to take the bus, but that doesn’t arrive for some time and there’s shuttles about. The price is reasonable so I end up going for that. There’s some friendly folk who make some conversation, I already feel relaxed. It’s not long until I get to my stop near Dragon bridge – which is pretty close to the hotel.
17:00 The check-in is all easy enough and I’m loving the room. It’s basically a little attic but quiet, cool and I get a feeling I get some good rest here. I’m trying to figure out the bus to Bohinj and Bled is another mission. Oh yeah, Bohinj is a last minute addition. I posted on Reddit Travel Partners and someone mentioned to make sure I make it out to that one too, as “Bled is a bit more touristy and not so good”. I’m more than happy to take the advice of a complete stranger. I also prod the stuff at the hotel for some tips and ideas, and they’re mega helpful trying to book a shuttle back for tomorrow.
17:30 I am low in cash. Normally that’s not an usual but because I don’t know the bus/ shuttle situation I’ll need to get some from an ATM. For one touristy thing to do in this city I head up to Ljubljana castle. With a student card it comes down to €8,40 (including funicular rides) and it gives a lovely view of the city.
18:30 My time in the castle is no doubt rushed, but it’s reasonably compact and easy to cover it off. A few exhibits, towers to climb and some fun interactive displays. Some of the castle is free to enter, but all the good stuff requires the ticket. The views are superb and the 1.5 hour was sufficient to see the things I wanted.
19:45 I don’t think there’s anything else major to check out in Ljubljana so I spend the rest of my evening doing a stroll and exploring the place. I’m loving these long sunlight hours. The town itself is compact with plenty going on this (summer) weekend. There’s live music, a wine festival, lots of riverside dining, and lots of people doing lots of fun things.
20:30 Dinner is Burger Bar, and it’s real good. I know tomorrow I might not have many chances for snacks and drinks so I stock up at one of the grocery stores here. And a magnet and a postcard, because I think I’m gonna like the place enough to want to remember it.
21:00 Food followed by the indulgence for the day: more food. I get a few scoops from Cacao, an ice-cream shop I remember fondly from Prague, with good flavours and good-sized scoops. There’s a few other options littered about the city. I feel tired enough for sleep, which is perfect as I’ve resigned to an early start to make the most of my Sunday. Nighty night.
22:00 Can’t sleep. Who sleeps at this hour even? More planning. I need to set a few alarms so I can get an early bus + not freeze to death and I need to have my bag packed ready to go. Since I haven’t decided how I’m getting back to the airport all my stuff is coming along with me.
Tomorrow’s plan is somewhat ambitious with two regions and getting back to London. I’ve made a general map on Google Maps with spots to check out and stops I’ll need to be at. So, let’s see how we go for the big day, and Part Two.