Jersey Girl in the Land of Dragons
I decided to visit Slovenia on a whim for the long Easter Holiday Weekend. I didn’t know what quite to expect of Slovenia and its capital city. All I knew of Slovenia was that it is a small country with mega-attractive soccer players. That was a good enough reason for me to visit.
Arriving at the airport, I was greeted by a landscape of magnificent mountains in the distance. Being a city girl I admired them, appreciating their beauty but having no desire to scale them, or belay off them, or whatever outdoorsy people do to mountains. I was city bound!
The 30-minute drive from the airport to the city center can be an expensive endeavor if you don’t research all your options. My hotel offered hotel transfer for 40 Euros one way, and taxis typically cost at least 30 Euros. Luckily a local friend, a fellow cheap-a-nista, advised me of a minivan transport service, simply called ‘Transfer,’ which offered drop off anywhere in the center for 9 €.
Once at the Antiq Palace Hotel and Spa (easily confused with the Antiq Hotel which is just across the bridge) I was greeted by hotel staff, fluent in English and hospitality. The Antiq Palace, a fromer residence of Slovenian nobility, was almost labyrinth-like. The entire 2,500 sqm complex had been refurbished, and rooms were converted to luxiorious suites of various sizes. My favorite part of the hotel outside of my room was the private sauna which was complimentary to hotel guest. I spent one afternoon melting away in the infrared sauna and then pruning in the jacuzzi.
The hotel was located right in the heart of Slovenia. It was perfect for walking along the Ljubljanica River, and very close to Prešeren Square. Looking up from almost any point in the city you could see the Ljubljana Castle with the Ljubljana city flag waving from its highest tower. The city, perfect for walking, was totally magical, rich with bridges and statues and mediaeval style buildings.
My diet in Ljublana mostly consisted of cake, ice cream ,and various caffeinated beverages. I fell in love with an amazing cake shop called Zvezda which was very close to my hotel. It was a great spot for people-watching and resting your tired feet after exploring vast Tivola Park.
All in all it was a relaxing city break. I would have taken permanent residence in my hotel if it was more affordable, but unfortunately I had to return back to the hustle and bustle of my real life. If I ever return to Slovenia again, I think I will take a bit more time and travel by train, explore outside of the city, and get a wee bit closer to one of those mountains.