Ljubljana is a totally charming small city—though it is capital of Slovenia and its largest city at under 300,000 residents.  The whole country’s population is only 2 million but of the former Yugoslavia countries, it was the 1st to leave and is the most successful.  We enjoyed this city a great deal, especially because we had perhaps our best meals there as well as a wonderful private food tour (details below) with a delightful young man from whom we learned a lot about day to day life in the city and country .

Our visit to Lake Bled (“blayd”) and the surrounding Julian Alps was amazing.  Lake Bled is a gorgeous lake which is emerald-colored due to copper in the soil that slides into the water. It is lovely to walk around, take a boat to the island or just contemplate nature. Surrounded by forests and nearby mountains, this is a must-see if you are in or close to Slovenia. In the middle is fairy-tale pretty Bled Islandgreat to look at from the distance but barely worth a brief boat trip. We also stopped briefly at nearby Bled Castle, up

on a promontory, which had its 1,000-year anniversary in 2011.  Our next stops were lovely Lake Bohinj, with gorgeous mountains plunging to the edge of this stunning alpine lake and the cable ride to the top of the Mount Vogel ski area, with its dramatic views of the lake and surrounding Julian Alps.

We thoroughly enjoyed our Ljubljana food tour AND guide, Danijel Osmanagić, for a several-hour dining experience.  We wandered to several locations including: Ljubljana Green Market; food shops; and several traditional restaurants that showcased many of the notable types of food in Ljubljana. We ate a wide variety of foods and drank lots of wine and beer at 6 wonderful restaurants. We also stopped at Honey House and a salt shop with salt mined/processed in nearby Piran (chocolate with sea salt, yum). Danijel himself was a highlight. In his excellent English, he gave us insight into the food and drink; his understanding of his city and region; and the difficulty of an educated young person to find work and live in Slovenia.