Monday, August 13, 2012

Croatia Day 10: Ljubljana

We headed north from Senj to see Ljubljana - the capital city of Slovenia. We were lucky because we arrived in a perfect time to have a guided tour organised by the tourists office. Seeing places with a guide gives always a very different perspective than seeing them alone. One must devote more time to analyse everything, also the stories that are told enrich the memories of the places. That was also the case of Ljubljana.

The guided tour comprised of visiting the town hall, degustation of Slovenian national dishes in one of the posh restaurants in the city centre, a tour around the city with a guide and a cruise with a ship on the Ljubljanica river that cuts the city in two halves.

I really liked the ship ride on the river. The boat passed slowly, the reflexes from the water were everywhere and the angle made everything look different. We swam under all the bridges (there are so many of them and each has it's unique story and artefacts - example: shoemakers bridge has the shoes hanged over). 

After this lovely boat ride we went to a lovers bridge we had seen from the water. Many lovers come there to honour the tradition and close the padlock on the bridge barriers. Well, we limited ourselves just to a kiss.

Yes, I found the sculptures a la HR Giger art a bit distracting. Anyway, we continued our walk over the city and set off to the castle. On our way we passed by many bridges, monuments and buildings. The old part of Ljubljana is well kept so we took a lot of pretty pictures and enjoyed the walk.

 We passed by a colourful street installation - I found it ingenious and very cheerful.

The castle was pretty charming. There were ongoing preparations to some concert, we climbed the tower (the view was really nice - Alps on the one side, Ljubljana on the other), visited a museum, drank a coffee and headed to the centre for a glimpse of Ljubljana's night life.

Ljubljana at night surprised me in plus. It was amazing to see how many people went outside and chatted on the streets. All the bars, restaurants and cafes were full (we actually had problems to find a place to sit by the water). I'm not used to such situation and I like it every time I go abroad.  The city becomes vibrant, full of this specific character. It's a pity we had to get going to reach Senj at a proper hour and to get some sleep.

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