Google Slovenia… Now
Sometimes I hear someone talking about a country and it occurs to me that I know nothing about it.
I’m not being self-deprecating here, I like to think I know a bit about the world and have seen a fair amount of it.
But someone mentioned Slovenia to me recently and asked whether or not they should go.
For a moment I considered making something up and putting on my confident face, so as to seem convincing and not appear like a schoolchild who has just been handed an exam having spent the whole term looking out of the window.
Sadly I know so little about Slovenia I couldn’t even fictionalise a vague sentence to bluff with.
“Not a clue,” I said, “but I’ll get back to you.”
So I did what one always does these days when a gaping knowledge blind spot appears and googled it.
Have you ever googled Slovenia? The chances are you haven’t and I’d like to change that today. Specifically pop it in Google images and prepare your mind for a shock.
It looks like the best bits of Italy, France and Switzerland rolled into one ridiculously pretty supermodel of a country.
The tourist board’s slogan is ‘I Feel Slovenia’. I feel you Slovenia. And I intend on having a damn good feel as soon as I possibly can.
Having ‘discovered’ this extraordinary place I called my friends at SLH immediately to tell them they really must go there and find some lovely hotels because it’s going to be MASSIVE.
Predictably (remind me to do a modicum of homework before dialing in future) SLH already has a couple of hotels in Slovenia and knew all about it ages ago. I haven’t felt that silly for a while. Not so silly that I didn’t continue to ask potentially embarrassing questions.
What’s the capital city?
Ljubljana. Which sits on the narrow Ljubljanica river and is characterised by Jože Plečnik’s innovative architecture. Apparently there’s a menagerie of great restaurants that serve truffle-laced specialties. And on Sundays the river is decked in stalls selling art, jewellery and authentically retro bric-a-brac.
Is this city the place to go?
Yes you should visit but it’s a small country and easy to get around. The countryside is a must especially Lake Bled which is a very exclusive 19th Century health resort set around a glacial lake with its own island overlooked by a medieval castle. The backdrop is the snowy peaks of the Julian Alps and Triglav national park has chamois, ibex and brown bears while the nearby lakeside Bohinj is a magnet for skiers, snowboarders, skaters and ice-climbers.
So there’s great mountains, lakes and countryside… can I go to the beach?
Yes. There’s a fair few options along Slovenia’s 47km of Adriatic coast.
The best spot is Piran which is a medieval town of tightly packed streets and baroque churches reflecting 500 years of Venetian rule.
So now I know. I also know I’ve got to go. And while there I am going to ski, sunbathe, sail, waterski, go to Ljubljana’s International Film Festival and eat in as many restaurants as possible.
Now it’s time to Google Slovenia. Off you go. And make sure you’re sat down.