Arriving in Ljubljana

(This is the tenth post of our Croatia-Budapest Trip, June-July 2014.)
Monday June 23

Ljubljana_1

We found our way to our hotel (check the front Croatia page for hotel info) and since it was nearing dinner time, we dropped our luggage and walked toward the main part of the pedestrian downtown, walking over this poem (?) of brass script, embedded in the pavement.

Ljubljana_2 Carrying our Rick Steves guidebook, we know that this statue caused quite a stir when it was unveiled, because of the nearly nude woman at the top.  Preseren was Slovenia’s greatest poet, and the reclining figure was thought to be his muse, yet for the first few years they covered her up with a tarp each night.  Now it appears that most folks don’t pay her (or him) much notice.

Ljubljana_2a

Ljubljana (loo-blee-ana) has quite a few buildings decorated in the Viennese Art Nouveau style, and judging from our pile of photographs when we got home, we seemed to take a picture of most of them.  When Ljubljana was hit by an earthquake in 1895, the citizens took advantage of the rebuilding funds from the Austro-Hungarian Empire to remake the city, and we loved seeing all the decorative works.  I only wish we’d had a bit more sun, as a lot of the photographs are rather flat-looking in the gray (and often rainy) skies.

Ljubljana_3 Church

This church is kitty-corner from the statue, and anchors the square.  It was closed, so we kept walking along, looking for a place to eat.

Ljubljana_4 Street SurveySurvey-takers in bright green caps and green socks/shorts.

Ljubljana_5Julija Restaurant1

We made our way to Julija, or Julia Restaurant, a popular place.  Across the street is restaurant named Romeo (as in Romeo and Juliet), but we didn’t go there.  I liked their wall of cracked tiles and beautiful blue plates.

Ljubljana_6julija restaurantSalad!  It looks like a typical delicious salad, except for. . .

Ljubljana_7pumpkin seed oil. . . the pumpkin seed oil they brought to dress it, and for us to use in dunking our bread.  A regional specialty, we really enjoyed it.  It’s kind of a deep greenish-red color, if that’s possible and while the pumpkin flavor briefly checks in, it’s not ever-present.  And you can get it on Amazon!

Ljubljana_8julija restaurantDave ordered Štruklji, a kind of dumpling filled with cottage cheese, and topped with bacon and a sprig of thyme.

Ljubljana_9julija restaurantBut I had the winner of the night: pasta, asparagus and mushrooms.

Ljubljana_10 fountain We knew it was supposed to start pouring at some time this evening (having checked and rechecked our weather apps at the hotel), so we walked around that evening, enjoying the sights.  this fountain is at the edge of a large, rectangular plaza in the University District.  One of the realities of a new place though, is that you don’t have your bearings and we simply thought “nice fountain,” without recognizing how it fit into the landscape or the orientation of the map.  We simply knew that we were walking along the river, which was in the pedestrian section of town and that we’d eventually find our way home.

Ljubljana_11 bridge Ljubljana has several bridges that span the Ljublanica River; this is the Cobbler’s Bridge, and is distinguished by its pillars.

Ljubljana_12bridgeThis view is toward Preseren Square, and the Triple Bridge, which is yes, three bridges all together.  One day we saw a young female tourist doing an interpretive dance to the accordian player and his singing group, complete with belly dancing moves, backward bending-over-moves and basic I’m-having-a-great-time moves.  It’s where a lot of people gather.

Ljubljana_13 three bridges

Ljubljana_14 church and pavementI was interestested to see the lights of the zodiac on the ground, embedded in the pavement in front of the church.  A crackle of lightning marked the witching hour and the first drops of rain started falling just as we made it back to our hotel.

Weather Forecast Ljubljana

Next up: Ljubljana’s Marketplace, and the Tourists Do Their Laundry and Find a Giant Shopping Mall

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