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3 EUROPEAN CITIES YOU MIGHT NOT KNOW – SECOND STOPOVER

It’s time to get in your car again, and do it early so as to enjoy as much time as possible in this fabulous place. From Trieste to Ljubljana it will take you about 1h and 15 min, and it will be an awesome trip.

If you are frequent travelers as I am, you’ll appreciate a lot Slovenia roads, since they cross quiet and silent woods. Don’t forget to buy the sticker for the Slovenia Highway before crossing the border. There’s a weekly sticker which costs around $ 19. Many tobacco shops sell them in Trieste city.

http://www.slovenia.info/en/faq/Vignette-Toll-Stickers.htm?faq=199&lng=2

P1010028Once you have reached this romantic and picturesque destination, you can check-in at the hotel first. I stayed at Adora hotel, close to river and to a big city park. The rooms are very comfortable and hell, and an international hearty breakfast is served. One night will cost about $ 140 during high season. Check more information here http://www.adorahotel.si/en/

Leave there your luggage and start visiting the city. Take a walk along the charming river, where during Christmas holidays local people go down in the street and sell wool hats, souvenirs and food from their stalls.

There are two main bridges you mustn’t miss while walking along the river:

– the dragon bridge (dragon is the symbol of Ljubljana). It has four dragon statues in its 025Ljubljana-2012-016four corners. According to local legends, when a virgin crosses the bridge, the dragons will wag their tails.

There are two different versions about the origin of the symbol. According to the first, it comes from the bible story of Saint Geroge, who killed a dragon and who is the patron saint of the Ljubljana castle chapel. The second one dates the symbol back to Slavic mythology, where the dragon represents the god Veles, who was worshipped on a hill.

LTB_triple_bridge_DWedam_large

 

– The Triple Bridge is a group of three bridges across the Ljubljanica River. It connects the Ljubljana’s historical, medieval, town on one bank, and the modern city of Ljubljana, on the other. This bridge is very unusual and unique, since there are actually three bridges that create a great optical illusion if you stand in front of it.

 

 

ljubljana-sightseeingYou can easily reach the Preseren Square from the Bridge, the main square of Ljubljana, where festivals, concerts, sports, political, and protest events take place. Right on the side of the square you can visit the Franciscan Church of the Annunciation, whose red colour is symbolic of the monastic order.

Cozy restaurants and cafes can be found within walking distance to enjoy a nice typical dinner. Taste the regional Slovenian cuisine at the Špajza restaurant, located in the old town. The interior is decorated with rough-hewn tables and chairs, wooden, floors, frescoed ceilings and nostalgic bits and pieces. The terrace in summer is a delight. The cooking is traditional Slovenian, with an emphasis on less common dishes like rabbit and veal. http://www.spajza-restaurant.si/en/

7206752910_337613de63          image4-e1410417852473

image3-e1410417954677          pajza

 

Another must-to-see: the Ljubljana castle. You can go there by foot, climbing the hill on which it is located, or by using the funicular, which is a great way to enjoy the view to the city.

night-view-on-the-castle-d.-wedamMoreover, you can buy a very inexpensive package that includes the funicular round trip, the visit to the Slovenian History exhibition, to the virtual castle and the viewing tower for only $ 9.84. The first permanent exhibition features six parts along the slovenian historical timeline, from prehistory to the independent Slovenia. It includes interactive content and multimedia presentations.

The permanent exhibition in the viewing tower shows the main settlement sectors in the development of the country, and the virtual castle shows the history of the Castle, its architectural development and archaeological discoveries.

http://www.ljubljanskigrad.si/home

Take a look at this video showing the funicular way to the castle

 

As soon as you come back from the castle, stop at the nearby Vodnikov Square where the

trznica-1central market takes place in winter time from Monday to Saturday, from 6AM to 4PM.

http://www.lpt.si/en/markets

Anyway, the market is very big, and covers the whole area between the Triple Bridge and the Dragon Bridge.

Beautiful wooden stalls with white and green striped cloths on the top will wait for you, from which friendly retailers and agricultural producers will try to sell their products: ham, sausages, sauerkrauts, fresh vegetables, flowers, wooden kitchenware, stoneware, souvenirs, textiles, footwear and much more.

524771_10200335374172884_785630797_nLet me tell you what you will fall in love with in this city: Christmas lights. Ljubljana has the most amazing Christmas decorations I’ve ever seen in all my travels: you will feel like entering a winter enchanted forest. Lights have different colors and shapes: a rain of falling stars, planets hanging in the air, men flying in a bright spaceship, and of course a lot of golden and blue Christmas trees and bridges all around the city.

As you can read, this is a magical city. Cozy river walks, charming atmosphere and friendly local people are waiting for you.

 

The following video shows christmas time in Ljubljana, foretaste this experience!

 

Next stop over… Bratislava!

To be continued…

 

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