In World Geography an assignment was to draw a world map and label every country. I’m sure I got an A. Since completion of the assignment, there have been some changes. The country we are visiting did not exist until 1991. On the map from high school it would have been part of the country labeled Yugoslavia. The city of Ljubljana has been around for quite awhile, if the map assignment had occurred in 1810 then it would have been included on the map as the capital of Illyria – a title bestowed by Napolean. As for the pronunciation, we completely screw it up. the BLJ combination isn’t that easy on the tongue. It’s something like, LYOOO-blee-yah-nah – but do that with only articulating 3 syllables.
We spent the day exploring L-jub-L-janna (Brent Friend pronunciation). The city center is a hill topped by a castle. The city has gone all out to use every bit of this castle. Primarily it is a ruin that helps convey some of the history of the town. It also has two restaurants, a museum and two banquet halls that where up to 30 weddings a day are performed. More lucky ladies getting married at a castle.
Our tour was a Time Travel event. Our tour guide gave her spiel throughout the grounds. At different points there were characters from different eras important to the establishment and growth of Ljubljana. It made it very interesting and much easier to remember. Brody was very intent on figuring our which actors played more than one person.
After lunch we returned to town and were guided through the streets by our good friend Rick Steves. THe city is split by a river and has a number of fun bridges crossing it. Our favorite is the Dragon Bridge – who doesn’t love a fierce drgon protecting their city? Much like Barcelona has Gaudi, Ljubljana has Plecnik. His works aren’t as captivating as some others we have seen but it is always fun to have some interesting buildings around town.
We visited a couple of churches, markets, squares and anything else that caught our eye. Ljubljana is such an easy city to get around – it doesn’t even need a tram or subway. The river and side streets are lined with restaurants with everyone out visiting with their friends over wine and delicious looking meals. It’s a lifestyle one could get used to quite easily.
And let’s not forget about the random festival parties with shirtless lead singers. No city tour is complete without stumbling across music and dancing.