A lifestyle expat travel blog about culture, history, Brexit, the Royal Family, travels around the world, Europe, and being British in Berlin!
Well, this summer has been something!
I mean, I met Prince William & Kate Middleton!
Where have you been?
If you’re just joining, here’s really what you missed:
And a few weeks before that, I wrote this: Fantastic news! I’m travelling to Sweden & Slovenia by bus. Now isn’t that just awesome. Eek!
I had a most fantastic time in both countries, and even though I wrote all about Sweden, I hadn’t actually got around to writing about Slovenia!
We visited Slovenia in June and it was utterly new, making the countries that I’ve visited (not that I’m counting you understand!) to be 37 countries in Europe, 12 countries in Asia, 6 countries in Africa, 2 countries in North America, 1 country in South America, 1 country in the Middle East, and 5 dependent islands! 3 countries (so far), have been new in 2017.
That makes a grand total of 64 countries and 5 continents!
From the moment we got off the bus and fell exhausted into our hotel in Ljubljana, to the time that we fell exhausted into the arms of a loving husband and father one week later, Slovenia has been nothing but an utter pleasure!
And the locals have been fantastically welcoming, friendly, and enormously helpful.
Where to start?
Slovenia, otherwise known as Slovenija or the Republic of Slovenia, is another tiny nation-state located on the northern Balkans, and described as being a country in Central Europe, Eastern Europe, and South-East Europe!
It is bordered by Italy to the west, Austria to the north, Hungary to the northeast, Croatia to the south and southeast, and the Adriatic Sea to the southwest.
It has a mass of 20,273 square kilometers or 7,827 square miles and has a population of just 2.06 million people!
Not a lot of people know much about Slovenia. In fact, most people mix it up with Slovakia!
Now since this is a five (5) minute introduction as opposed to thirty (30), it’s only right and proper that I give you the low down:
The Slovenian people are a mixture of Slavic, Germanic, Romance, and Hungarian, with most being Slovene.
Slovene or Slovenian is the official language, and Hungarian and Italian, are recognised as co-official languages too. In fact, most people are also quite able to understand Croatian and Serbian, as previously spoken languages from the former Yugoslavia!
Slovenia is a tiny, but historically old country, stemming right back from the Roman Empire, followed by the Habsburg Monarchy in Austria! In 1918, the Kingdom of Serbia was merged into the Kingdom of Serbs, Croats and Slovenes, later becoming the Kingdom of Yugoslavia in 1929!
During World War II, Slovenia was occupied and annexed by Germany, Italy, and Hungary, with a tiny area transferred to the Independent State of Croatia.
Slovenia became a founding member of the Federal People’s Republic of Yugoslavia or the Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia, and was the only communist country in the Eastern Bloc which never became a member of the Warsaw Pact!
In 1991, Slovenia split from Yugoslavia and became an independent country. In 2004, Slovenia became a member of the EU and in 2007, became the first ex-communist country to have the Euro!
Isn’t that cool?
I mean, is it any wonder that I was intrigued to be visiting Slovenia.
Oh, and just so you know, the capital city is Ljubljana!
You heard me. Lju-bl-jaaaaaaaaaana!
Because I’m weird and I like going to interesting exotic places!
Seriously though, the reason why I wanted to go to Slovenia is because I’d heard such a lot of wonderful things from practically everyone! And remember, just two years ago, I hadn’t heard of any of the Baltic or Balkan States. In fact, I couldn’t even pronounce them!
But the other reason that I wanted to visit was because of Ljubljana. I was hearing mixed messages and that some “experts” were saying that Ljubljana wasn’t worth more than a few hours!
When I hear things like this, it makes my blood boil!
The ignorance of people constantly astounds, and annoys me.
However, I am a strong supporter of Europe, and I have a weakness for tiny countries in the middle of beyond! Besides, I had such a wonderful time in Croatia, why wouldn’t I want to go to it’s “sister country” – Slovenia – too!
We spent a jam-packed week in Slovenia, and not once did we get anywhere near bored!
Oh, and we did all this by travelling from Germany to Slovenia by FlixBus – the bus-coach company!
You might have noticed that there’s an image of a FlixBus on the side of the panel. I’m so convinced that it’s one of the best ways to travel through Europe on the cheap, that I’ve joined their affiliate programme so that you can share in the fun too!
As usual, if you book your journey via my link, there is no extra cost to you, and I get a little percentage for my trouble.
Find out more next week!
Just because Slovenia is a small nation, doesn’t mean that it’s “small!”
And I aim to prove it.
This article is part – sponsored, and even though I’m working in partnership with Ljubljana Tourism absolutely all opinions, and the fantastic time that we had, are my very own!
I’ll be spending the summer in Germany!
Watch this space!
Note! I never travel without insurance as you never know what might happen.
I learnt my lesson in Spain. And obviously, in countries like Qatar, where technically the risk is higher, I can’t imagine going that far beyond, WITHOUT INSURANCE. No siree! You can get yours here, at World Nomads!
Please note that there are now affiliate links (for the very first time) connected to this post. Please consider using the links, because every time some sort of accommodation or travel insurance is booked via my links I get a little percentage, but at no extra cost to yourself!
A win-win for all!
Thanks a million!
I have never been to Slovenia, it is certainly on my wish list. Very interesting history, for such a small country it does have a lot of interesting things to see. Although I can’t pronounce the capital name, it sounds like you can easily spend at least a week there exploring? Lovely photo of you with the yellow top and purple skirt. I also loved the photo of Lake Bled, it looks so romantic 🙂
Thanks so much Gilda!
Slovenia is remarkably small, but really fascinating. We were there for a week, and we were no where like satisfied. We wanted to do so much more! Lake Bled is lovely and I’ll be writing about it in the next few weeks too!
p.s. Thanks for commenting on my dress. You’re awfully sweet. I like it very much ‘cos of the lovely colours, and the fact that you can hardly tell it’s a dress at all. Very versatile. 😀
I would love to visit Lake Bled!
I also love your dress. It’s so stylish!
Thanks so much Natasha!
Lake Bled is sooooo beautiful. You really should visit it, if you get the chance to go to Slovenia!
p.s. I love your comment about my dress. I bought it an Italian fashion house called Max Mara. Thaaaaaank you! 😀
Seeing your pix of Ljubljana bought back memories of my trip there in 2014! 🙂 You definitely need to give yourself time to explore. I bought a local souvenir book of Ljubljana (in English) so I can remember my time there.
A 1,180 foot high chimney? Enough height to be a local landmark!
Thanks so much Elisa!
Ljubljana was wonderful, and I’ll be writing more about it in the next few weeks. Keep a lookout!
p.s. Yep! The chimney of the Trbovlje Power Station at 360 metres high is indeed, a world wonder! 😀
Well I do think you missed the most beautiful part of Slovenia – just half an hour ride from Bled – it’s called Lake Bohinj. <3 🙂
Thank you Tanja!
I wish I could have been able to visit Lake Bohinj too, but there really just wasn’t enough time. If you live in Slovenia, you know exactly what I mean. Beauty everywhere, but what to leave out! 😀
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Great intro, we’re definitely visiting Slovenia in November for about a week and I’m really looking forward to it. I don’t know why people think you can explore any city/country in just a few hours, there’s always so much to see and learn in any destination.
Thanks so much Amy!
I don’t understand why they think they can do it either! I remember, someone on FB asking if they could do Vienna, Budapest, and Bratislava in a day. IN A DAY! We tried to gently dissuade her from that thought. Yes, these cities are quite close to each other. Yes, Europe is nowhere as large as the USA. No, you won’t see a single thing if you try to do three (3) international countries in 24 hours!
Slovenia in November? You’ll love it! 😀
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I’m glad you enjoyed my country of origin and my birthtown Ljubljana. 🙂 While I moved to Tuscany five years ago, more and more people are finding their way to Slovenia. I hope it gets to preserve its character for a long time and succumb to only providing what tourists want. And I hope you return one day and find it as real as it is now.
Thanks very much Manja!
I absolutely loved Slovenia, and enjoyed our visit very much! I don’t think you have to worry. Slovenia is still too “far away” to be bombarded, and even though the American First Lady is from Slovenia, many people still don’t know where Slovenia is!
In fact, I remember reading that Ljubljana wasn’t worth more than a few hours! I found that incredulous, and that was why I wanted to visit it myself. It’s totally not true. It’s a wonderful city.
‘Sorry, if I’ve put Slovenia back on the map again! 😀
Hahha, it is quite all right. 😀 I like it that you get upset by such wording and choose to see it for yourself. And that you tell it like it is, even when it’s not all spectacular.
Thank you Manja! 😀
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