You might have noticed by now that we don’t do loads of research about a place before we arrive. Sometimes we don’t even know how to pronounce its name. (Lyoob-lyee-AH-na, for the record.) Sometimes this ends up biting us, and sometimes it just means our lives are full of good surprises.
We spent one day in Ljubljana in between graffiti hunting in Zagreb and renovating a house in the Julian Alps, and we instantly knew that we wanted to come back before we left Slovenia. Firstly, there was a Georgian restaurant in town (remember that Georgian food from Tbilisi?), but it was closed the day we were there.
Ljubljana is a small city filled with a mix of Baroque and Viennese architecture, interesting sculptures and tons of cafes, all cut down the center by a small river and joined by all sorts of bridges. Add to that the fact that it’s highly walkable and bikeable, and you have all the great components of a laid back European city in one easy-to-embrace package.
One day, we saw a young guy with marker on his face and assumed he passed out at a party with people he thought were his friends. Then we saw another person with even more scribbles. Then we saw others carrying around markers. Later, we found out that it was a freshman hazing tradition for the first day of school.
Our favorite day was when we rented bikes and pedaled through Tivoli park and across the bridges and even through the tunnel that goes under the castle hill. The city is full of bike lanes and bike traffic signals and the motorists are aware of and considerate to cyclists, so the usual fear of getting run over just wasn’t there. It seemed like everyone biked, even middle-aged ladies with perfect hair, nice jewelry and designer clothes. The type that would probably be driving a new Escalade if they were in the States.
We had seen many places by this point, and the quality of life in Ljubljana made us think that it was one of the few places we could actually imagine living in. Also, not gonna lie. There might have been some ice cream.