On our way to and from Bled, Dora planned out a couple of nice stops in some of the cities and villages along the way. It was a nice way to break up the drive for the kids and also to see some different parts of the country. Our first stop was in the small city of Maribor on the northeastern side of Slovenia. Maribor is actually the second largest city in the country, with just under 100,000 inhabitants. We stopped for a lunch of some traditional Balkan cuisine: Pljeskavica and Ćevapčići (very filling and very delicious) and then walked through the center of town a bit. It has a nice town square, lots of old walking streets winding through the city, and a nice riverfront.
One the return trip, we planned two stops, one in the village of Skofja Loka and another in the capitol city, Ljubljana. The forecast was for rain, and rain it did for much of the day. Miraculously, the clouds parted briefly for each of our stops and we were able to enjoy both places. In fact, it was pouring as we first drove through Skofja Loka. We thought we would just do a driving tour and continue on our way, but just after we turned around in the village the rains came to a sudden halt. We found some parking and then walked through the old part of the village, though we don’t have much to show for it, as our camera battery finally chose to give up midway through.
We continued from Skofja Loka to Ljubljana, and Dora managed to get the camera battery changed. Ljubljana also has a lovely old riverfront with lots of walking streets. Rising on the hill just above the city stands a castle; we rode an incline to have a look at the castle and a view of the city. The city is fairly large (~400,000 people, which is large when you consider the mountinous country only has a population of 2 million), but seemed very nice and livable.
We also were in the city at lunchtime, and Daniel and I identified our target restaurant –Surf and Fries — in a free brochure at our hotel in Bled. Just as we reached the restaurant, another heavy rain began; fortunately they had a dry pavilion long with their 40 different flavors of fries to choose from. Even more amazingly Dora agreed to go let us go there for lunch — so a huge bowl of fries it was (with a few chicken nuggets on the side). And on the side, a small order of the chocolate fries (which I’m holding in the first picture). We for the most part agreed that the two should not mix, though Matthew was a big fan.