Ljubljana

After a good night’s sleep in a real bed, we made our breakfast and headed out into the streets of Ljubljana. It was a little bit cloudy and cool. First stop was the office of the Slovenian Alpine Association, where we did all the paperwork for taking out memberships. (Being members lets you stay in the mountain huts for about half price.) Then we went over to the grocery store to stock up on lunch-making supplies.

We stopped by the hostel to drop off the food, then headed out for a day in the town. The most interesting parts are along the Ljubljanica river where it loops through the town and around the hill where the castle stands. On our way up to the castle we passed by the public market, where everything from fruitsPublic marketPublic market and vegetables to blue jeans to basketware was on sale.

The funicular railway up to the castle was right behind the market, so up the hill we went. Our ticket included a visit to the tower and to the Virtual Museum. The Virtual Museum was a 3-D movie presentation which talked about the history of the castle and of the town, from Roman times right down to today.

From the tower we could see all around the city and off into the distance where there were some bigger hills. You can’t see the Alps from Ljubljana though.

Compared to the old castles we had seen in England and Wales, this one seemed much more modern.

Spiral staircase

Double spiral staircase in the castle tower

There was a restaurant in the courtyard featuring traditional Slovenian food, so we decided to have lunch. Both of us had fried chicken wings with potato salad. The wings were very meaty, compared to the ones we get at home. We had to follow it up with traditional Slovenian desserts, which were very good too.

View from the castle

As with most castles, there was a chapel. This one dates back several centuries but it is still in use today.

Chapel ceiling

Ceiling of St. George's Chapel

With a final look back at the castle we decided to walk down the path to the town, rather than taking the funicular railway.

Ljubljana Castle

Ljubljana Castle

Once back in the old town, we followed the path along the river into the outskirts, where there was a bit of old Roman wall still preserved. It wasn’t much to look at but it was interesting to think it was 2,000 years old.

From there we walked back through the new part of the town, which is just like any other city. We found that the jet lag was catching up to us so we went back to the hostel for an afternoon nap.
By the time we woke up from the nap and puttered around reorganizing our packs, it was time for dinner. We walked back down to the Old Town and along the river for a bit. We heard announcements from down river, which turned out to be kayak-racing on a slalom course. So we stayed to watch the racing for a while.

Kayak racing

Finally it was time to go for dinner. We sat at a table by the river and enjoyed another fine meal — Rosemary had chicken and Paul had fish. No dessert this time, too much food!

Ljubljanica river

Tomorrow we are off to Trieste at the crack of dawn. We are starting our walk from there, into the back woods of Slovenia. They may or may not have Internet there, but wireless Internet is unlikely, so it might be a while before our next post.

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