The definitive horizon of Ljubljana is undoubtedly the Castle, which stands, domineering, atop a dazzling green hillside overlooking the city below. Cool, cosmopolitan and cultural in generously equal amounts, Ljubljana shyly flourishes its selling points from every angle.
Thrillingly uncovering the many layers and dimensions of Ljubljana is comparable to finally being able to unwrap the mystery-doused presents under the Christmas tree.
We took the glass funicular railway up to the Castle. Our view of Ljubljana faded into a mere toy-town as we climbed higher and higher up the hillside. (Side note: I am the biggest wimp ever and even get vertigo looking down the stairs, but I found the funicular to be a short, smooth ride. A few seconds of swallowing your fear of heights is well worth it for the views at the top.)
The view of the city from the Castle was outstanding. From above, the city’s divisions were obvious: the towering mountain range marking the horizon, the orange roofs of the Old Town, and the vast spillage of shrubbery and trees. The merge was magnificent. The best of both worlds; city and countryside, with the added bonus of a shared location.
The city could almost be described as romantic from above, and a more picture-perfect outlook you will struggle to seek in Ljubljana. It is no wonder happy couples adorn the city bridges with love-locks after being captivated by their setting.
Back in the town, we replenished ourselves at one of the riverside cafes. What could be better than the sun, an ice-cold drink, and a cake? Ah yes - sun, an ice-cold drink, and a cake in Ljubljana, of course! We basked in our fairytale surroundings, savouring every mouthful of the best cake I have ever eaten, relishing the feel of the sun on our legs.
Time appears to stand still in Ljubljana, in a way that gently enforces its heavenly serenity on all in its company.
A 45-minute drive down the road from Ljubljana will take one to Lake Bled, via yet more spine-tingling scenery en route. I can now confirm that no amount of professional photography and editing can do this spot justice.
The city and the natural beauty collide in ferocious fashion, showcasing the elements that have since seen Slovenia rocket up in my list of favourite countries.
The glistening jade surface waltzes away from the eye-line, fringed by luscious forests. Grab an ice-cream at the lakeside, daringly dip your toes in the cool water amongst the fish, or hike up to the castle; the memories you will make at Lake Bled will only shape and enhance your ever-growing Slovenian love affair.
To me, Ljubljana wasn’t just a place, it was a feeling. There is something incredibly soothing about walking beneath the tree-lined riverside pathways, the Old Town on one side, the New Town on the other. Very rarely have I beheld the privilege to visit a city that dances so effortlessly with history and innovation in a single heartbeat.