Slovenia's capital is pronounced a whole lot easier than it looks! Try, Lube-Lee-Anna. That wasn't too bad was it.
I had a rough idea of what to expect upon visiting here as a travel blogger I follow rates this as her favourite city in all of Europe! Having spent just a few hours walking around, I would undergo quite a transformation from thinking 'No-way' into 'I can totally see why'. Still, if you'd have told me a few nights ago that I would stay in this capital city as long as I am currently envisaging staying, I would not have believed you. This is my third day and I am considering staying here for a few more nights yet. Admittedly part of my disbelieve will have been to do with where I was (am) staying. Having come from the super-awesome and wonderfully atmospheric 'Swanky Mint' in Zagreb, I've ended up at the complete opposite in a place lacking any life or soul. I had to think back hard as to why I chose here (although granted there aren't endless choices here in Ljubljana) and then I remembered it offered free breakfast - buffet style! :-)
I don't normally go into picture detail of my hostels but I've made an exception. Take a scan of my surroundings - do they remind you of anything or anywhere?
Upon inquiring, I've been informed this place is a boarding school! As in IT IS, not was. As soon as September comes the kids are back and the holiday-makers are of course no longer allowed. Well well, how bizarre. Mother - does this bring back any memories or nightmares for you?
So then...Ljubljana, another ancient Roman city. Well as far as capital cities go, I'd be surprised if there were many more beautiful and picturesque. Quite a statement, hey. Contrast that to my stay in Zagreb where finding photo-worthy scenery was somewhat difficult.
The Ljubljanica river flows through the city and so unsurprisingly there are numerous bridges, including: The Triple Bridge, The Trnovo Bridge, The Butcher's Bridge and the Dragon Bridge. Some of these are shown below:
A lot of the city is actually quite heavily gratified but depending on your view of graffiti, a lot of it (not photographed) was more impressive than vulgar. Furthermore, it isn't delicate, historic structures that have been gratified but rather insignificant or surplus walls and areas generally out of the way. Mindful graffiti artists - that's what we like. Curiously, I wonder what gets your focal point - the foreground or the background? (Not that the grafiiti here is good but certainly the larger image below stopped me in my tracks for a moment).
The Ljubljana dragon is part of the cities coat of arms. It symbolises strength, courage and might.
More images of this beautiful town:
The other thing to mention is that I currently share a room with just one guy. He didn't quite manage a vocal hello when I entered but he managed to grant me the big hand (a static hand wave). Whilst a little discouraging, especially coming from the hostel I had recently departed, I remembered my laundrette experience and so I was careful to not cast aspersions or assumptions. Once we got speaking I excused his initial lack of vocal salutation once I discovered he was a writer. Y'know, the type who is always thinking, always plotting and therefore most of his day to day conversations go on inside his head. I don't mean that disrespectfully - just think how cerebrally intense that must be!
Anyhow get this, he has been travelling for over six months and is currently unemployed but his trying to write his own material with a view to coming to Europe to launch it - if he can find a backer. Up until a couple of years ago he was one of several writers for Home and Away! He willingly revealed he was fired after four years which somehow makes the story more credible in my mind - and you gotta appreciate honestly like that. I know I do. After some online detective work I found him on IMDB. How cool is that. Anyhow he spoke highly of "Alf Stewart" and "Irene". Can any of you old-school Home and Away fans picture those characters? I managed to.
So from a small, solemn dormitory in Slovenia, whilst staying in a boarding school, I am listening to stories from an ex Home and Away writer.
Just another day in the strange existence of The Unlikely Traveller.