Today has been very simple.  Walking tour in the morning.  Castle in the afternoon.  Magnificent steak for tea.

And I have to say, combined with beautiful weather and an uncrowded town it’s made for a perfect day.

The free walking tour kicked off at 11am and lasted two hours.  I resisted the temptation to melt away at the end and dropped €10 into the tip box.  It was worth every penny.

Without wishing to replicate the whole tour it basically provided a potted history of Slovenia and the capital.  And while Ljubljana has been knocking around for over 5,000 years the nation state of Slovenia is only 26 years old.  Indeed, independence rather upset the Serbs who started a war.  It only lasted ten days before a peace accord freed things up for Slovenia to prosper and Serbs to have their own fun for a few years in Bosnia.  A pretty close call!

A poignant comment about people spending their whole life living in the same town being born Austrian, being educated Italian, working as a Yugoslav and retiring a Slovenian.  I think it’s a pretty extraordinary example of how this part of Europe has changed over the decades.

They like their dragon in Ljubljana.  I assumed St George had made an impact in these parts but my assumption was wrong.  Legend has it that Jason and the Argonauts wandered into these parts and killed the big bad dragon.  I shit you not!  They still have bears in the forests …

One area not visited by the tour was the castle.  I did this solo, resisting the temptation to pay €4 for the funicular railway and somehow staggering up the hill.  Suffice to say it was worth it for the views alone.  The Alps, the forests, the old town and the new laid out before me.  Highly recommended.

So you should come.  Planes fly in from Stanstead and Luton.  But you could easily get a train from Zagreb and do a day trip.  I might head out of town tomorrow hoping to see a bit more of what, so far, is proving to be a magnificent country.

The Very Real Risk of Spinal Compression