I am currently sitting on an Adria Airlines flight from Ljubljana bound for Paris with a lavender and neon green dragon overseeing my process. The cute little dragon is a gift for my niece, Allie. Next to me sits my NOW husband, whom I swear is oftentimes the age of a child, as he scarfs down his “Cloud Hoppers” place snack, and makes the little airplane shaped crackers fly in front of me. What have I gotten myself into? I suppose I’m stuck with this goof now.
Anyway, this whirlwind of a trip started just ten short days ago, as my Mom, Chris and I departed for Europe. By the time we boarded the plane in Virginia, I had already been awake for 24 hours. While that would not be a problem for most people since they sleep on the plane for overnight flights, I have learned that I am incapable of sleeping soundly on planes. I got a maximum of an hour and a half of not-so-sound-sleep before landing in Europe. The absurdly packed Air France flight ferried us to Paris Charles De Gaulle Airport, which I am certainly not a fan of. As per usual, we cleared customs and security once, but then the less-than-efficient building engineers made us depart the secure terminal just force us back through security a second time. Not looking forward to a repeat in about an hour. Anywho, our connecting flight brought us to Ljubljana. That tiny airport was easy to navigate (though small in size, it still pales in comparison to either Cusco or Puerto Maldonado in Peru). We picked up our rental car from SIXT, and set off on our journey. A Renault Captur mini SUV crossover would serve as our made mode of transportation over the next 10 days.
I shall begin the narrative about our recent jaunt in Slovenia with Ljubljana, the capital.
I wish I had known how dreadful driving in Ljubljana would be. Our memories of Ljubljana included far less construction and closed roads, as the city center had been turned primarily into a pedestrian area. It made parking anywhere in the vicinity of our hotel impossible. After attempting (and failing) to get near Hotel Emonec via car, we eventually relented after multiple circles of the very walk able downtown area, and parked our rental in a gravel lot. Thankfully, that lot was one of the cheapest in the area, and overnight parking wasn’t an issue. Our little trio then lugged all of our baggage to the hotel.
Hotel Emonec was a hidden little place, but nicely appointed. Our room consisted of three rooms – two bedrooms separated by a pocket door, and a bathroom. It was clad in neon green, but huge. The only downfall for the place was the showerhead – the handheld unit could not be attached to the wall two feet above the ground. Apparently, only baths were allowed, and we aren’t bath people. We made due.
I had planned a foodwalk on our night in Ljubljana through LjubljanaYum prior to coming. Had I had a little sleep, it would have been better. Alas, my sleepiness caught up to me towards the end of the tour. I’ll explain that later.
https://ljubljananjam.si/food-walks/ LjubljanaYum offers a walk through the capital with an experienced guide to sample multiple dishes and drinks at a good price. Ours commenced on a rainy afternoon after meeting at the tourist center near the Three Bridges, where we met our guide, Tjasa, at 16:30. Our first stop was Moji Struklji Slovenjie, which is part of the market along the river. Our starved little trio scarfed down homemade carrot soup, traditional struklji with cottage cheese (otherwise known as dumplings), and sausage. After only living off of airplane food for the previous 36 hours, I inhaled the food. Partially, because it was in front of me, and partially because it was delicious.
Another delightful little spot was also in the market, and is known as Nisa. The quiet joint was half café, half gallery. Local artists display their work on the walls and in display cabinets. This was our first introduction to pumpkin seed oil. A deconstructed sandwich with pumpkin seed oil and a tasty Carnoila lager beer were consumed in a small room off of the gallery.
Partway to the next place, the rain decided to make an appearance in the form of a downpour. We made a pit stop by a government building to escape some of it, but alas, we were all drenched by the time we arrived at Altroke for a main meal of the evening. Contrary to what my demeanor and attitude portrayed, the meal was amazing, and consisted of Nonna Lidija’s tortellini with wild garlic, mushrooms and sun dried tomatoes, homemade gnocchi with Istrian beef Boskarin with a side of Refosco, a common red wine in Slovenia. Unfortunately, my sleeplessness completely caught up to me by that point, as I had been awake for over 48 hours. I was falling asleep at the table, not a normal thing for me, by any means. I made a valiant effort to keep it together, walking around to remain conscious.
There were supposed to be three stops left on the tour, but alas, I only made it to one more before I finally admitted defeat. We crossed back over the river and entered Suklje Wine Bar. A Slovenian tartare and Modra Frankinja red wine were on the menu. Shortly after finishing, we departed the tour bound for our hotel. We sadly missed the coffee bar and the dessert trip. I am quite sad, and fully intend on taking another tour in the future and completing the entire thing! Thank you, LjubljanaYum, for the great experience and sharing your knowledge of fantastic Slovenian foods!
I strolled into our hotel room, only partially undressing before collapsing on the bed. I am told I was out cold within seconds, and slept over 11 hours.
I awoke refreshed in the morning, and fiancé and I showered and dressed for our appointment at the US Embassy to retrieve our “free to marry” certificates. A short walk later, we arrived and encountered the insanely strict security, all locals. I was robbed of my FitBit, my bag, my phone, keys, and every other item in my possession except my some of the contents of my wallet and a passport. I was sure one of the unarmed security guards was going to have a conniption fit when I informed him I could NOT turn off my FitBit.
Anyway, after signing our lives away for the FIRST time of the trip, we left with our Free to Marry certificates. I have absolutely no clue what I signed since all of our documents were required to be in Slovenian, and I certainly cannot read the language. However, I haven’t been scooped up and given to the slave trade…. So far so good!
We packed back up, retrieved the rental car, and headed towards Bled.
Unfortunately, this post contains far fewer photos than usual, as my exhaustion made taking pictures a luxury I did not possess the energy for. Dear Sleep… I completely took you for granted these two days! Sincerely, Rubes