Monday, January 22, 2018

Three (3) Days in Slovenia

Decided to take a break in Slovenia before starting my Term 2. It was quite an impromptu trip as I only bought my ticket 5 days before flying off. As it was an off peak season and not the mainstream countries that people would normally visit, the tickets weren’t too costly. Slovenia also known as the land of the Sunny side of the Alps and would be a great place to visit for beautiful scenery and peaceful travels.

Took the first flight off on the 21st January at 6.05am. Did not sleep the night as I had to head to the coach station to take the bus to Luton Airport at 3am. I took a nap in the afternoon but that was sufficient at all. Arrived at the airport at 10am and it took us about 40 minutes before reaching the hotel. It was a real quiet town and you definitely don’t get fancy hotels and most of the hotels were family managed.

I stayed in Hotel Galleria who had really nice decorations. It was clearly a classic gallery hotel where there were photos all over. The hotel room was pretty spacious as compare to other hotels in European countries which are pretty small.




This was my home for the past 4 days. About to start documenting my trip starting now of all the places I visited...

Predjama Castle

We headed immediately to the castle which is know as the castle located in the middle of the tower cliff. As we were in a hurry we just had a look from the outside. We wanted to take a shuttle bus there from the Cave but apparently as it wasn’t a peak season so they did not have any. The lady at the counter called us a taxi for 30 euro return to head over the castle. I asked the tour guides before heading there and told me that if you do not have the time, it’s better to just head over and walk around the castle instead of having to go in. 

Most castles are the same where it’s museum and art gallery and rooms once stayed by the royalty. The weather was really good so I managed to snap a couple of beautiful photos. Here are my two best...


It look kinda different from the photos taken by the tourist brochure. Here you probably think that it’s just a building block but we all know it’s not easy to build a castle at the tower cliff. The complication of construction was indeed not easy. 
View surrounding the area. It was pretty green and with the strong sun shine it made me so much more beautiful.
Here’s me posing for the camera with the castle..

Don't be fooled by the sunshine, the weather is still at 6 - 7 degrees. 

Postojna Cave

Heads up, this was by far the most interesting and favourite place for me in this trip. I was amazed by the Cave structure, the natural beauty that was formed by drip stones with the stalagmites and stalactites. It was just beautiful and I learnt so much about the caves. They had a train ride of about 10 minutes taking you deep into the cave and a 1.5km around the cave before heading back out with the train again. 

The tour guide was really funny so it made the entire story much more interesting. The cave had so many different chambers and story in it. How the bridge in it was name the Russian bridge as it was build by the Russian prisoners. 

Also, the Italian build a route in there in line with their war strategy which was never completed. There were a lot of man made tunnels by the Italian when they were there. 

The cave consist of three levels in which the second was open to tourist. The third level has collapse so it made it dangerous for visiting but they did assure us the second level was safe. The first level was where the river flow through. The cave was initially form by the water pressure punching through the wall making holes in the mountain and hence forming the cave. Slowly the drip stones form the stalagmites and stalactites. I was surprise that one of those are million years old. A 1cm of stalagmites take about a 100 year. I hope I didn’t remember wrongly but it’s definitely that or more. 

They all come in different colours. The white one are pure limestone where as the orangy and red is due to the iron and magnesium element. There were black patches there which was due to a fire in 1844. And there were green ones which was the fungi due to the lights and those are man made. They are trying to reduce it as it was destroying Mother Nature beauty. What they are trying to do is to change the light at different angle so that it will reduce. I guess as long as it’s a tourist place, it’s something you can never avoid. 

This is probably the longest that I will type on a particular place but trust me, definitely have the passion on exploring caves now. Photos do not justify its beauty..




As the wall was diagonally slanted, the stalactites are also diagonal. These takes million of years to form. I just realized I can't even live a life to see it fully form. Need a gazillion life to live to see it form.



This two limestone tower are in the same area but they are of totally different kind where one is pure limestone and another with mixture of iron. The tour guide mention that it was special and they were completely separated and distinct despite being in the same area where the drip stones are. 

The ceiling are called the Spagetti Stalactites where it is strand of spagettis dangling from the ceiling.  

They named this the Russian Bridge which is to cross over to the beautiful chambers where all the limestones were pure white.





























So much to see in the cave and I did not even get bored over as they are pretty much different. Also, there are a lot of cave animals and the most distinct one is the dragon salamander who only can live under darkness so no picture taken. It look like a lizard but longer and without eyes. They hibernate a lot and will still live 10 years without food.

Bled

This town is popular for the lake which gives a scenic view of an mini island, the lake and mountains surrounding the area. If you are lucky enough to get clear skies, you probably experience an amazing view of sunrise. The day I went there was pretty much cloudy and it was raining all over. The view was still pretty but I had high expectations for it.



Using my imagination to picture the perfect weather with this view. Even without the sunshine, you already have such a view. 

The tourist area apart from the lake was the Bled island as seen in the photo above and the Bled Castle. We took a boat to the island and spend about an hour just wondering around. There was a bell tower, gallery and cafe there for us to explore.






Climbed up this bell tower to see what view it can offer and since the stairs were pretty much refurbish it was well structured. 




We spend about an hour and took the boat back to the town and head over to Bled Castle. This was by far the most challenging part for me as I am not much of a hiker. I lack exercise and have phobia of staircase after my great fall in December'16. Took me an hour plus which I normally think would have been 30-40 minutes for a normal person to get up there. My thoughts all the way was the view better be worth it and reminded me of the time when I was in Prague climbing the hill.
My overly exhausted face which i find it so hard to give a proper smile and trust me, the thick jacket there was so heavy and I was sweating mad. 
So, my prize was this view and it was amazing. Most town would always have their very special hill to get a view like this but I always find that different ones have different views to appreciate. Photo really don't do justice when it comes to view like this.




There is this original cream cake in the town that must be tried apparently. Headed to the cafe nearby where the deco was so pretty like a typical high tea area but only in purple.




One thing about the cakes in the European countries are that they are so fluffy even if it is just cream cake. It was pretty good and something different to try when you are in a new town.

My attempt to get a sunset photos of the lake, castle and town. As usual, I try imagining with it was a pink orangy sky matching with the view and how the lake colour would reflect that sky colour.


We headed back to Ljubljana after and had a good dinner before taking a rest. I was super exhausted from all the climb and just wanted a good rest before heading off to another city the next day.

Skoja Loka

This is one of the oldest city in Slovenia and was an impromptu visit as there were no buses to Piran. I was quite disappointed but wasn't gonna let that stop my tour around the country so we took the bus to a nearer city. This city was a real quiet city and I felt like everything was close on the Saturday. We just took a walk around the city and enjoy the quiet moment and view. This was by far one of the oldest European city that I came across. The building paint were beyond faded and there were broken windows as well. Even that, it has its own beauty. I'll let the picture to do the talking.









Ljubljana 

Last but not least, the city I stayed in for the 4 days there. Along the days we spend mornings exploring part of it and then when we are back from other cities to explore the night views.

This city was quite similar to Vienna except on a smaller scale and a bit of Salzburg for me. It wasn't a large cities and hence, it didn't take long to explore the area.














Pretty much concluded by entire short break before the new term starts.

We wanted to head over to Piran on our third day only to find out that there was no buses heading there. It was a city located at the coastal area. It was a different view. So we ended up in Skoja Loka. Oh well.. lesson learnt. Make sure to plan and find out before hand so that you would not miss out opportunity.

It’s amazing how 3 days pass so quickly and we took off to London early morning on the last day. When we arrived at Luton, it was snowing heavily. Every time when I am in Luton (although just twice), it will snow. I had the phobia of being stuck there again so took the earliest bus home. Didn’t want the same thing to happen in my trip to Austria. 

It was a good trip as it wasn’t crowded and you don’t have to rush with other tourist. A good refresher trip to begin my second term for Masters.


"Pleasant memories fade after an hour of pain but the way that you lived is made clear by how you die"

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1 comment:

  1. That cakes looks amazing! How do they get it so perfectly straight?

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