24 August 2008

Lovely Ljubljana

A spectacular train ride through the Austrian Alps brought me to Ljubljana, Slovenia where my friend Aljonka lives. As I had visited in 2007, I knew already how lovely Ljubljana is and was eagerly looking forward to another visit.

For such a small country, Solvenia is blessed with lots of variety--four major geographic regions. Dramatic alpine regions, Pannonian plains, forests that still are homes to the dimishing bear populations in eastern Europe, and the sun-drenched Adriatic coast.

Two earthquakes about 400 years apart resulted in the architectural mix one finds in the Ljubljana--Baroque that emerged after the first quake and the Art Nouveau style that followed the second quake.

They boast a 1,000 year old Medieval castle which is under reconstruction, so much is not open. However, the view from the hill it is perched on is fantastic.

The symbol of the city is the Dragon and I am particularly fond of the Dragon Bridge over the river. I am a Dragon by birth on the Chinese astrological scale, so I feel a kinship with all things related.

My first visit to Slovenia, my friend introduced me to a vast range of the country, from the shores of Lake Bled, to the Dolomite Alps and the limited but lovely coastal area. During this visit the pace was a little slower, but did include both mountains and sea.
As with my visit last year, it ended on the coast. Two glorious days enjoying the fresh Adriatic breeze. One day was spent sailing with friends on a Catamaran, and then it was time to head out south for Greece and my eventual return to Thailand.

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