After our morning exploring the beautiful Lake Bled, we hopped back on the tour bus and made our way to Slovenia's bustling capital city, Ljubljana. Truth be told, I still can't correctly pronounce or spell Ljubljana to save my life, but what I can do is tell you how incredibly surprised we were by the gorgeousness of this city. We only had a few hours to explore on our own, but those few hours were just enough to make us realize we'd love to go back to see more of Slovenia some day.
Locals were so friendly...SO friendly...and the city was vibrantly colored, evident even on a slightly overcast day. After getting our bearings, we made our way to view a few iconic buildings (you can see Ljubljana Castle towering in the background of a few photos) and then found ourselves along the Ljubljanica River in the heart of the city. I adore cities that have rivers running through them! Restaurants with al fresco dining lined the river along with gobs of beautiful bridges and greenery climbing down the river walls. Spring was certainly alive in well in Ljubljana!
As we continued our walk around the city, we noticed a small festival and market going on close to the city center. Ladies at long tables that stretched up and down an alleyway were cutting and serving slices of some sort of delicious-looking cake roll to passers-by (a quick Google search leads me to believe this cake is called Potica--a traditional Slovenian dessert made with ground nuts and/or poppy seeds rolled in a pastry). After trying the cream cake in Lake Bled, it's easy to see Slovenians LOVE their desserts! A country after my own heart.
With only an hour left to spare, we plopped down alongside the river at a small cafe to sample a Slovenian beer (a favorite pastime of our European travels, as I'm sure you all know). Even though our day in Ljubljana was a quick one, we really enjoyed getting a taste of Slovenia and experiencing a side of Europe we'd yet to explore. More unsuspecting gems from our Adriatic cruise to come!