Review: 2014 Balkans Highlights with Tucan Travel, Part 4

Farewell Croatia. Hello Slovenia!

Before the trip, Ljubljana was somewhere I hadn’t heard of. When researching places to visit in Europe I discovered Lake Bled, but that was all of Slovenia I had seen. After the ‘meh’ of Zagreb, I wasn’t expecting much from Ljubljana, but what I discovered was beautiful and amazing and has meant of all the places on this trip, Slovenia is the one I wouldn’t hesitate to return to and show off to my friends.

Ljubljana, Padlock Bridge, Slovenia


We caught the train to Ljubljana from Zagreb, and arrived in the morning. We stayed at Emonec Hotel in the heart of Ljubljana which made a difference after staying so far from the action in Zagreb and Split.

Dragon Bridge Ljubljana

Th Dragon Bridge in Ljubljana

We started the day with a fantastic included walking tour which included so much history about Slovenia and Ljubljana that I knew nothing about. Slovenia was right on the edge of Yugoslavia, sharing a border with Italy, but it did not share many of the views of Yugoslavia. It was the first country to break out of Yugoslavia, and was the first formerly communist country to become part of the European Union.

Ljubljana shoes

Looking up you can see shoes hooked over telephone lines. They’re thrown up there by university students at the end of term

Ljubljana today is a magical place. There were singers on street corners and the buildings were all so brightly coloured. It reminded me a little of Disneyland (Paris is the only one I’ve been to) – a really happy place where everyone is welcome. Everywhere was also so old and reminded me of Beamish, an open air museum in the North East of England where lots of old buildings have been relocated to build an old town; though Ljubljana is all original.

Ljubljana Castle

The view of Ljubljana castle from below

Following the walking tour, two of us went up Ljubljana Castle via the funicular. We paid the basic entrance fee to look round the castle and walk up the tower for some spectacular views over the city.

Ljubljana from Ljubljana Castle

The view back down to Ljubljana (see the fountain from the previous photo in the bottom right)

To end the day we found the Open Kitchen Food Market which offered lots of different foods on little stalls. It was a great opportunity to try something different, and the atmosphere was incredible!

The following day we caught the public bus to Lake Bled (included in the tour), the second must-see destination on my trip. And it didn’t disappoint.

Lake Bled, Bled Castle and the Church of the Assumption

The view from the far end of Lake Bled with the Castle on the left and the Church of the Assumption in the middle

We walked the whole way around the lake, taking pictures each minute as the view ever so slightly changed. The lake view was simply stunning. There are small boats available to access the church, and it is possible to walk up to the castle as well, but after walking around the whole lake we were too tired and hungry to attempt that climb! Instead, I got myself a slice of traditional Bled Cake. Nom!

Bled cake, kremna rezina

Mmmmmm, cake!

Next (Part 5)

I hope you enjoyed my Slovenia review. If you want to read the rest of the journey you can start with part one here.

Part 5 will be a short interlude of place reviews, and instead will be the story of the longest day of my life – travelling to Budapest. Sounds simple? You’d think so!

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