LJUBLJANA – SLOVINIA 

Saturday,July 25.

On bus and into Ljubljana to see the sites. Stopped off at tourist information to see what was on.  

  

  

  

  

  

  

  

  

  

  

  

  

  

 Purchased a city card which gets you onto all transport and entry to most attractions for free. Very economical way of sightseeing. A very clever attraction that they have in the square outside the pink Franciscan church, opposite the three bridges, is a water spray suspended about sixty feet above the ground, which runs continuously and provides relief from the heat and amusement for everyone.

Crossed the three bridges and headed for the funicular, which takes you up to Ljubljana Castle.  

  

  

  

  

 This is the highest point in the city and had magnificent views. Not long after our arrival at the castle we experienced the most amazing electrical storm.  

    
    
    
    
 The sky to the west changed from blue to dark blue and then green, with rolling clouds, and the wind swing 180 degrees in a matter of minutes. This all lasted them minutes, accompanied by a huge dump of rain. This was the first rain since we left the UK. 

Once it cleared we proceeded on our tour. The castle hosts a number of permanent and rotating exhibitions. First the torture museum, macabre but would have been very effective. Following this we looked at the puppetry exhibition, which tracked the history of puppetry in Slovenia. This was impressive as for most of the early period in their history they were under control of another country. Many of the puppets made during WWII, were characterization a if the German invaders, especially Hitler. 

 Climbing the tower was next, and this provided a 360 degrees view if the city and surrounding mountains, that do not have hills here.  

  

  

  

 After all that climbing we needed some sustenance, so lunch was in order.

Hunger pains satisfied, we looked through the chapel, amazing, and headed to the penitentiary, not the place to be accommodated. A visit to the virtual castle was next, which showed how the castle evolved through the years until the present day. The castle was only handed over to the city by the last resident in 1955.  

    
    
   
A visit to the National Geographic photo exhibition of the deep was next and this was very impressive, followed by an exhibition by local artists and sculptors. Some of these were outstanding, using a variety of media and lighting. On the way out of the exhibition there were three red fire extinguishers hanging beside each other near the door. I said to Su, ‘That’s impressive!’ 

    
   
What an experience, not only did we get to look over a castle, located in the centre of the city, but a number of exhibitions all under the one roof. 

    
   
Time to catch the funicular back down to street level. There are stairs by the way, all 1200 of them.😳😳😳 headed back to city centre and did a little rehydrating while we waited for the boat ride on the Ljubljanica River.  

  

  

  

  

  

  

  

  

  

  

  

  

  

  

  

 This was very relaxing and luckily the boyfriend of the boat captain, who is a tour guide during the day, was on the boat a gave a running commentary as we went along. 

As an aside, they were both university students, this being their summer jobs. She was studying Comparative Literature  in Ljubljana, and he had completed his first year of Medicine and was studying Ancient Chinese Medicine in Dublin. Bit Irish to me. Uni is free in most European countries, with very low drop out rates.

Back to the boat ride. We travelled around half an hour up the river and very quickly were out of the city. The boat was not that fast, but the land turns to marsh and peat bigs very quickly. The original inhabitants built their houses on stilts or piles to keep them above water and protect them from wild animals. Bears being the main culprits.

Along the way we saw many of creations by the designer Joze Pleenik, including the triple bridge, central markets, Cathedral of St Nicholas and the Dragon Bridge. He was Slovenias equivelant of Spain’s Gaudi. After an hour and a half we arrived back at the jetty after an enjoyable cruise.

Grabbed an ice cream and walked to the bus stop for ride back to Myrtle. Again we have been lucky with campsites. This one is only 4kms from the city centre in a tree lined park by the river.

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