Our adventures in Ljubljana
30.01.2010 - 31.01.2010 35 °F
This weekend, we decided to go on a trip arranged by CIMBA to Slovenia. Knowing nothing about it, I thought it would be a unique experience to go somewhere I really had never heard of before and may never have an opportunity to go to again. We took a big coach bus out of Paderno on Saturday morning, about 50 CIMBA students signed up for the trip. The bus ride was about 3 and a half hours long, and we were dropped off at the train station in Ljubljana (the capital). The rest of the CIMBA group booked at the same hostel, but it filled up and we decided to try a place on the other side of the city.
I traveled with Colleen and Jessica, then 3 other people from CIMBA booked at our hostel. We were shocked with the amount of snow when we got to Slovenia! It was coming down like crazy, and the snowflakes were like the size of the palm of your hand. The city was completely white and it was just breath taking. We wondered around Ljubljana trying to find our hostel. We got very lost and unfortunately were not prepared for the snow! BUT it was so beautiful we didn’t care.
When we finally got to our hostel, I couldn’t believe how nice it was! It was in this beautiful old house in a cute little neighborhood. The receptionist spoke perfect English and showed us the place. There was a common room with computers, TV, and books about Slovenia, then upstairs we stayed in the green room. It was so clean and cozy. All 6 of us stayed in a room together and there was one other guy, Heroshi, from Japan.
We decided to explore the city after dropping our stuff. Our first stop was to buy new boots and socks because ours were destroyed from trying to find the hostel! We shopped around and walked the streets of downtown. It was so peaceful and safe. People were stopping and asking us if we needed help finding anything, offering us tours of the city, and giving recommendations on where to go. I couldn’t believe how friendly everyone was.
We went to a traditional Slovenian restaurant for dinner and tried a variety of Slovenia classics. I guess they are famous for horse dishes… I gladly declined those. The wine in was very unique there, the waitress said they rarely deport it because the locals love it so much. We did too! At dinner, we were spotted by a local man who claimed he had never seen 3 more beautiful women. In his words “Damn, your face, your cheeks, your hair… on a scale of 1-10 you are a 27 and a half… damn. Thank you for coming to our city.” He persisted for the duration of our entire meal. So as I mentioned earlier, Slovenians are very kind.
Nightlife in Slovenia doesn’t start until midnight at the earliest. So we took our time getting ready at the hostel and drank some wine with Heroshi. We decided to go to Baucus, a bar, restaurant, and dance club. The night life is not what I was use to. It was just crazy! The drinks were unreal, my favorite being a snakebite with cinnamon and an orange instead of lime and salt, and the baileys shots that they lit on fire.
We had no trouble making friends with the Slovenian locals at the bar. We hung out with 3 guys who went to school there, and then made friends with the bar tenders downstairs. They actually let me bar tend, let us in the VIP room, and offered me a free birthday party if I came back in 2 weeks for my 21st. Slovenia boys aren’t hard on the eyes either ☺
Sunday morning we got up early and decided to go Ice Skating! It was so beautiful with the big snowflakes and the mountains. I literally felt I was in a dream. The thing I thought was the coolest was that we were totally outside of the touristy area and with Slovenian families, seeing how they live. I was so surprised by the amount of dads out teaching their kids to ice skate. The kids were all falling and slipping, but none of them cried or threw a tantrum. Everyone was so pleasant and upbeat, just glad to be with their families… It just is such a change from being in an American suburb. I really loved ice skating, got lapped by tons of 4 year olds, and managed to not fall!
After ice skating we went to find this castle on the top of the mountain. We ended up taking a HUGE glass lift to the top of the mountain. The view going up was UNBELIEVABLE. You could see all of Ljubljana and the mountains. Just look at the pictures because I can’t even describe it. The castle was so amazing, exploring all of the different rooms and lookout tours.
After the castle we were still looking for something to do, so we decided to go to the city museum. They had a really interesting Picasso exhibit and we got to learn about the history of the city.
I was really proud of us on this trip. We didn’t know anything about Slovenia and managed to really get a sense of the city and see some amazing landmarks while we were there. We separated from the big group and got to explore the back corners, which was really refreshing. We had such a wonderful time traveling together and cannot WAIT for 2 weeks from now for our trip to Dublin and London!