Another day exploring the gorgeous Ljubljana, focussing on the “new city” side. But not before we take another run at the food festival. Incredibly, all of the food stalls from yesterday have gone – there are new ones today. The theme is focused: artisanal beer and burgers of every kind. That’s lunch taken care of then!
Also new to the market are the dried flower displays and autumnal wild mushrooms on offer.
“New” is a relative term for the other side of the river. Whilst there are gorgeous art nouveau buildings on this side from the late 19th/early 20th centuries,
there are also quite a number of older buildings that make up the university, arts and musuem precinct.
If the old city houses the city’s heart and soul, this side is surely the mind, devoted to cerebral pursuits.
It makes for a very pleasant Saturday stroll, seeking out buildings of note. We see the Opera House,
the American Embassy,
pass the edges of the Tivoli Gardens, and many, many other gorgeous things.
We read yesterday that an area located near the river gained its name from Roman graves excavated during its creation – we see examples of the sarcophagus found there, now housed in a display at the museum. We also see a Roman well.
It takes us a while to locate Ljubljana’s most colourful building, the Cooperative Bank, designed to reflect the colour and form of weaving the region is famous for.
Sculture is prevelant in the public areas – the most fascinating one we see is a rare communist piece in front of parliament – a utopian vision of all classes of people working together to create the future. They just all seem to have forgotten their clothes, no doubt to remind us that we’re all the same underneath.
Also most spectacular is a Serbian orthodox church of Sts Cyril and Methodius. Heavily redolent with the scent of incense, it’s so richly decorated: there’s literally not a square inch of plain surface.
Three to four hours later, I call it – I think I’ve seen all the key buildings. “Thank God for that” says Himself, exhausted. No stamina, that boy. Meanwhile, I’m just getting warmed up, ably aided by a hit of forbidden afternoon espresso and a most fabulous slice of flourless hazelnut cake.
Thus fortified we contemplate the rest of the day. The daily fresh food market has long since packed up, but the burger boys are still pumping, drawing a good crowd.
I’m so glad we landed in Ljubljana on a Friday, seeing everything in action. Compared to late Saturday afternoon, it’s very different pace.
The ligh is stunning at this time of day though.
It’s far too early for dinner, but drinks riverside are just the thing. We meet a tourist office rep and answer some questions about our stay. I wax lyrical about Ljubljana and Slovenia as she beams away. Swapping answers for a question of my own, I ask – “do you have squirrels here?”. Yes, she says. Confidently. Tivoli Park, she says. Oh!!! Much excitement. That’s tomorrow then.
I skip about happily for the rest of the day as we pop into a few shops to check out the winter fashions and generally browse. I pick up a good pastry brush for experimentation at home – we’ve been eating excellent burek in Slovenia, both cheese and meat, but the pastry is a little different to the one I make at home. I think it’s down to the way they apply the oil between the layers, hence the brush.
Meanwhile, here’s no way I’m cooking with all the glorious food on offer. We have another delicious meal riverside, goulash and dumplings for Chris, my favourite chevapchichi for me before we call it a night. I just love the food culture here – meals are an event to be celebrated daily.
Very excited to go squirreling tomorrow. Even with Chris’s threats of the required early start, I can’t wait. Also, just between you and me…I don’t want to leave. I love it here.