Our new home throughout summer is in the small country of Slovenia — in its capital city Ljubljana, pronounced something like lyoo-BLYAH-nah. The place is located in central Slovenia, and it is the largest city in the country, albeit it is actually quite small, and there isn’t too much going on.
Chill and laid-back, Ljubljana is also clean and green. Sitting in a valley surrounded by mountains filled with evergreen beech trees, it is nature lover’s paradise to the max, with the Julian Alps in the distance. Most of the country is in this setting, though its coast on the Adriatic Sea is something else.
City center is a pedestrian zone. Cars are not allowed within a set perimeter. Ljubljana is a bike-friendly city and provides lanes on sidewalks for bikes, so cars and bikes don’t have to share the road. This is something that we really like. Besides biking, we see some people rollerblading as well.
The charming architecture in the center was created by Jože Plečnik. The famous architect tried to model Ljubljana on ancient Athens but with modern approaches. He also left his mark in Prague and Vienna.
The dragon is the city’s symbol and is part of the city’s legend. And a popular landmark is the Dragon Bridge, where dragons stand, symbolizing courage, grandeur and power.
Ljubljana can be explored in a day and makes a great base to explore the rest of the country. So far, Slovenia is the most foreign place we’ve lived in. Our interactions with people here have been most different from other countries we’ve visited. It’s the one place where we have difficulties translating the language, where we feel out of place all the time. It’s been an unusual experience for us, but we do look forward to seeing more of this interesting country.