Behold Europe’s “Best Kept Secret” (and I’m proud to say, my Homeland)…the Stunning Beauty of Slovenia!
(photo courtesy of Operation World)
The Best of Slovenia
But don’t just take my word for it because I’m from there…when Rick Steves says that Slovenia is “one of Europe’s most unexpectedly delightful destinations…” then you know it must be true! ;-)
Rick Steves’ vid gives a great overview of Slovenia…then if you’d like to get some TIPS from a Slovenian/American who partly grew up there (starting back when it was still part of Yugoslavia), then check out my Personal Slovenia HotSpot Recommendations below…
Triglavski Narodni Park
Translation…”Triglav National Park”
Triglav (translated means “three heads”) is the highest majestic peak in Slovenia at 2,864 meters…it looks like it has three heads, hence the name. I actually climbed to its summit in 1992 (or maybe 1994?) with some of my relatives…what an incredible experience!
Triglav National Park includes Triglav and a vast array of other alpine peaks and pristine forest area that is heaven on earth for nature and hiking enthusiasts.
I have had the good fortune of hiking to the peaks of many of the mountains in Triglav National Park with my Grandfather, who was a native to the area, and this video truly does justice to the beauty of the area as I remember it. Perhaps I may translate it someday, but in the meantime, the images are worth a thousand words in any language, so enjoy!
Be sure to check out Vintgar, which is a stretch of wooden “decks” built into a cliff-face that winds along and above a rushing river gorge.
And if you are planning to trek in the Park, plan to stay in one of the public mountain cabins overnight (one of them is the Trenta Lodge) where you will find a cozy bunk, hot food, and plenty of both local and visiting mountain-loving camaraderie to swap hiking stories with!
Lipica – The Cradle of the Lipizzaner
Being a horse fanatic and student of the classical riding style known as “dressage”, Lipica is another heaven on earth spot for me when I make visits back to my Homeland, and I suspect for any other horse enthusiast as well!
COOL (and kinda WIERD) FACT…Lipizzaners are a unique breed of horse that are born dark and then their coats gradually start to speckle and lighten up through the years, eventually turning completely white!
Although Lipizzaners are most often associated with the Spanish Riding School in Vienna, they actually originated in this Lipica village of Slovenia, hence how they got their name. More Slovenian Pride!
The dressage riding demo show is OUTSTANDING and I think would appeal to even “non-horsey” folk, but if you ARE a rider, definitely bring your riding boots and the rest of your gear and reserve your spot for one of the trail rides that takes you walking, trotting, cantering, and even to full gallops in small groups through gorgeous meadows and wooded areas! A true thrill!
Slovenia In Your Pocket – Postojna Cave (Postojnska Jama)
The video and description says it all…so all I can add is that the Postojna Cave is a MUST-SEE if you visit Slovenia!
Postojna is in the same general area as Lipica, so if you plan well, you may be able to visit both in a day (altho that general area tends to be warm as it is near the coast, it can get quite chilly in the cave, so be sure to bring layers!).
Unless you are a rider, in which case you will probably want to spend a whole day or more in Lipica! And then you can always send the rest of your non-horsey party to check out the Postojna Cave while your are riding the fine and noble Lipizzaners, and everyone will be happy (but don’t neglect making your own trip to the Cave)!
Ljubljana, Slovenia: Happy Hodgepodge
Being a nature-lover myself, my preference is usually to hang out in the natural settings I recommended above. But I do also enjoy a trip to the city, and few are as quaint and charming as Ljubljana.
Be sure to pronounce the “j” as a “y” so you don’t completely butcher the pronunciation when you attempt to say the name of this beautiful city…you may not sound completely like a local, but they’ll appreciate your effort to properly pronounce the challenging name of their city!
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When I'm not out training dogs as a Dog Obedience Specialist, I spend my time building multiple streams of income online...and I LOVE blogging about the discoveries I make in my work and play lives, which often overlap!
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