Monday, August 16, 2010

So Many Consonants

Ah Slovenia- so nice! But still so rainy :-(

Ljubljana (Lube-e-ana), the capital of Slovenia, is another really cute town with a castle atop a hill and a river running through it (the city was named after the river). They pride themselves on being just the right size, not too big or too small for their 250,000 residents.

The city's symbol is the Dragon, which symbolises power, courage and greatness and is pretty much everywhere: on top of the castle tower, in the coat-of-arms and on the Zmajski most (Dragon Bridge). As the Greek legend goes, Jason, the leader of the Argonauts, slayed a dragon after returning home from having taken the Golden Fleece.

Sadly all these former Yugoslavian towns are starting to look alike-- I am a little over them, and their churches and castles- good thing, cause this is my last stop.
However, Ljubljana did have a gourmet restaurant that I never wanted to leave. Ah, a healthy salad and soup, which wasn't super salty, and a yummy glass of Slovenian wine. We don't get Slovenian wine in the States since they don't produce enough for export (beyond their neighbors I guess, since I got some in Austria later), which is too bad since it was damn good.

Revived after my meal, I followed the tourist information's 'tourist route', which didn't take too long since the city is mini. It had all the standard stuff- the castle, veggie/fruit market, churches, bridges (one that went in 3 directions) and Austrian architecture, with a little Art Deco and graffiti mixed in for flavor. Ljubljana has a lively youth community where music, graffiti and other art are taken seriously, for example graffiti was displayed as art along the embankment walls.

Sadly, before I could find a wine bar to ply me with more Slovenian wine it started to thunder and the sky turned pitch black. I scrambled, but failed, getting absolutely SOAKED before I got back to my room (even with my REI umbrella).

The bulk of time in Ljubljana was spent hibernating (and planning the next few days) until it appeared to clear up for a few hours the next day, in fact only enough for a quick walk in Tivoli Park and a tour of the newer sites, including the US Embassy which looks about as un-American as you can imagine (I can't show you since they yelled when I attempted to photograph).

More cold rain. It was so bad I was forced to see "Knight and Day" with Tom Cruise and Cameron Diaz and actually didn't think it was SO bad- believe me, nothing else was playing! I told you, I am getting soft without my daily dose of NYC! Ljubljana was so mini, the movie actually started 15 minutes late because the projectionist was stuck in traffic due to the weather- this is a capital city??

On a separate note, I know I was talking smack about Nutella in the Zagreb post, but I also discovered in Ljubljana that it is actually pretty delish! Uh oh, now I am going to be eating chocolate for breakfast too. :-(

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