Slovenia

Slovenia... Like visiting the Smokey mountains, except the flight is 7 hours shorter, I understand their English more clearly and no matter how hard I try, I never see a bear!

What a beautiful country it is though.

We visited the old towns of Radovljic & Bejunje and took a cable car from Lake Bohin up to the snow drenched mountains for an afternoon of sledging at the Vogel ski center. A few bruises later, I came to the conclusion sledging is far more exhausting than skiing but we didn't have enough time for that, we were only in Slovenia for a total of three days. With a flight just under two hours, our stunning luxurious spa hotel twenty minutes from the airport and so much to do on our doorstep, Slovenia was a very pleasant surprise. We didn't really know what to expect but out Google search had revealed some stunning locations, none of them disappointed.

There are two habits I have when travelling: 1. Carry my camera everywhere. & 2. Find the highest spot.

I've tried not taking a camera but it makes me angry, I've tried taking a compact camera, that too makes me angry, so I take my full sized professional SLR and test my muscles lugging it around up mountains, on rowing boats and pretty much anywhere we go, it follows!

Highest peak reached: Vogel cable car - 1,535 metres with views of Komna and the Triglav mountains.

I also trekked Jessica (against her will) to St Peter's church, a mountain top church that looks over the village of Bejunje and beyond. I think she was more annoyed because we didn't take any drinks, snacks and when we finally got to the top, visibility was well.... MIST! The last trek, I was completely abandoned for: The views looking over lake bled - Although to get to the view, you're made to pay $10 for the pleasure of entering the grounds of Bled Castle. I would like to conclude that to reach the best views in Slovenia, find a church!

Our most eventful moment in Slovenia has to be rowing a boat. I couldn't get in (I'm clumsy) ...or out, I turned a gentle row across the stunning lake into a full body workout that started with 360 spins as i tried to work out which oar did what. That was all before we got to the island that Bled church is on.

Apparently, you can participate in bear watching. I was very excited to hear this until they reminded me that the Bears were sleeping. (I also spent two weeks searching the Smokey Mountains for one, with no luck at all. In the end, I resorted to buying one of the soft cuddly types.)

An evening trip to the centre of Ljubljana was filled with food! There were restaurants, bars, ice cream shops and bakeries lining the waters edge of the Ljubljanica River that runs through the heart of the city.
We tried a cone of fries with multiple dipping sauces attached to it followed by a to-die-for ice cream, cake and pint of local beer!

The roads are so quiet, it was great to hop in the car and explore the local villages, try out their specialitiy cream cakes that they sell in all the cafes, and they are a taste of creamy heaven on a flaky pastry base. Not only was the food great but also the people were too, so very friendly and willing to help.

Slovenia is a beautiful country, full of tradition, surrounding by greenery, mountains and filled with great food, passion and plenty to do! Definitely a return visit is on the to do list!

Next Stop... Budapest.