Sunday, October 9, 2011


Sights & Sites
Bled Castle – 11 Cesta Svobode; 011-386-4-572-9770 or 011-386-4-572-9772;; medieval castle built on precipice above city, overlooking lake; considered oldest Slovenian castle.
Bled Island – lake center (take pletna (small boat) from Velika Zaka); 011-386-4-576-7979;; inhabited since 7th Century BCE; church reconstructed after 1511 earthquake and rebuilt in 1698 upon foundations; “Wish bell” visited by pilgrims since Middle Ages.

Pension Gasperin – 36 Ribčev Laz; 011-386-41-540-805;; pleasant guesthouse (only 250 metres away from Bohinj Lake and close to forest); apartments and rooms, with en suite bathrooms and satellite TV; 5 minute walk from resort center with cafes, restaurants, and shops.
Sights & Sites
Lake Bohinj – in Triglav National Park; covers 790 acres; largest permanent lake in Slovenia.
Savica Waterfall – 4 kilometers from Ukanc; worth special visit.
Triglav National Park – near Bohinj (Information Center is at 27 Ljubljanska cesta, Bled); 011-386-4-578-0200;; only Slovenian national park; highest mountain in its heart.

CRNICE (includes Ajdovscina, Nova Gorica, and Vipava)
Arkade – 91 Črniče; 011-386-5-364-4770; or; delightful farm-hotel accomodations.
Gostilan Pri Lojzetu – Dvorec Zemono (between Vipava and Ajdovscina, past Nova Gorica); 011-386-5-368-7007;; locally sourced, Slovenian meals in 17th Century country hunting lodge.

Nebesa – 39 Livek; 011-386-4-176-9484;; clean, lovely, and modern; ski resort.
Hisa Franko – 1 Staro Sedlo; 011-386-5-389-4120;; world-reknowned; Slovenian; lovely in summer, with outdoor seating.

Bakeries, Coffee, Ice Cream, Juice & Tea
Gujzina – 19 Mestni Trg; 011-386-8-380-6446;; Prekmurje (region abutting Hungary) dishes; check out pastries in window, such as 3' tall gibanica (apple, poppy seed, raisin, and walnut layer cake).
Kavarna Union – 1 Miklosiceva Cesta; 011-386-1-308-1270;; atmospheric, fin-de-siecle coffeehouse with crystal chandeliers and aristocrat portraits.
Nobel Burek – 30 Miklosiceva Cesta; 011-386-1-232-3392;; for flaky, cheese-filled burek.
Bars & Nightclubs
Bar Makalonca – Hribarjevo Nabrezje (on Ljubljanica River banks); 011-386-41-723-484;; cool place to hang out by day, bright and lively; in evening, candlelight creates intimate, romantic atmosphere with stunning Ljubljana castle and Old Town views.
Cupiterija – 4 Mestni Trg; 011-386-5-971-2368; favorite student hangout; feels like literary den.
Dvorni Bar – 2 Dvorni Trg; 011-386-1-251-1257;; wine bar specializing in Slovenian wines, which are comparable to Italian; caricatures sketched on wall and jazz music.
Vinoteka Movia – 2 Mestni Trg; 011-386-1-425-5448;; cozy affair in baroque Town Hall; local wines.
Antiq Palace Hotel & Spa – 3 Gornji Trg; 011-386-1-421-3560;; in 16th Century mansion with 13 suites, patio bar, and spa.
Hotel Cubo – 15 Slovenska Cesta; 011-386-1-425-6000;; fun, 26-room boutique hotel in pre-Cubist, 19th Century building that was once Yugoslav police headquarters; ask for room 303 (round bed in turreted window with blackout shades).
Lesar Hotel Angel – 7 Gornji Trg; 011-386-1-425-5089;; built in Old City’s center; large medieval house, where classic look and tradition join modern trends; 500 m2 private garden ascends Castle Hill’s slope; garden has exit to Cat’s Path, popular route to Ljubljana Castle; 12 rooms.
Hotel Slon – 34 Slovenska Cesta; 011-386-1-470-1131;; ideally located, with 168 rooms, 24-hour gym, Finnish sauna, fast & free WiFi, and luxurious breakfast buffet; Best Western chain member.
Vander Urbani Resort – 6-8 Krojaska Ulica; 011-386-1-430-7900;; Soho House-style amenities, like rooftop pool and yoga studio.
Cupiterija – 4 Mestni Trg; 011-386-5-971-2368; favorite student hangout; try chestnut torte.
Golstilna na Gradu – 1 Grajska Planota (in Ljubljana Castle); 011-386-8-205-1930;; “neo-Slovenian” food.
Gujzina – 19 Mestni Trg; 011-386-8-380-6446;; Prekmurje (region abutting Hungary) dishes; house specialities include Prekmurje bograc (traditional spiced beef and venison goulash) and bujta repa (pickled turnip and pork hotpot).
Hot Horse – Tivoli Park; 011-386-1-521-1427;; for horse (not joking) burgers.
Julija – 9 Stari Trg; 011-386-1-425-6463;; high, mirrored bar dominates room’s front; cozy dining area; traditional goulash and bread dumplings.
Kavarna Rog – 67 Petkovskovo Nabrezje; 011-386-1-620-0260;; breakfast cafe with bicycles drawn on walls; try pancakes with sour cherries and vanilla cream or eggs baked with emmantaler cheese.
Restavracija JB – 17 Miklošičeva cesta; 011-386-1-433-1358;; Mediterranean with global influences.
Spajza – 28 Gornji Trg; 011-386-1-425-3094; sophisticated Slovenian comfort food.
Valentin – 5 Vodnikov Trg; 011-386-5-904-1111; fish and seafood; wooden tables and arched brick ceiling.
Akultura – 5 Tavcarjeva Ulica; 011-386-1-432-1075;; lambskin coats in unusual colors.
Flea Market – Cankarjevo Nabrezje; Sundays; from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m.
Galerija Equrna – 3a Gregorciceva; 011-386-1-252-7123;; private, avant garde art gallery.
Honey House – 7 Mestni Trg; 011-386-40-477-473; honey, as well as mead, propolis, and royal jelly.
Koda 386 – 4 Tavcarjeva Ulica; 011-386-5-903-3350;; accessories and clothing by 3 inventive Slovenian designers.
Krasevka – 10 Ciril-Metodov Trg; 011-386-1-232-1445;; handmade, mostly organic, farmhouse products.
Marjeta Groselj – 4 Tavcarjeva Ulica; 011-386-1-231-8984; colorful and stylish handmade purses for over 45 years.
Niti Niti – 4 Breg; 011-386-1-426-4078;; women’s wear boutique.
Piranske Soline – 19 Mestni Trg; 011-386-1-425-0760;; salt products from Piran’s salt pans.
SKUC Cultural Center – 21 Stari Trg; 011-386-1-251-6540;; often has live music; check website.
Tanja Pak Design – 6 Precna; 011-386-1-431-5246;; artist-designer showcases her award-winning glass creations.
Torbice Groselj – 6 Tavcarjeva Ulica; 011-386-1-231-8984; Marjeta Groselj has been making custom handbags since 1966; they are now considered collectors’ items.
Sights & Sites
Butcher’s Bridge – Petkovsek River Bank & Ljubljana Central Market (also called Mesarski Most); glass and granite flooring and elaborate bronze sculptures.
Glavna Trznica – Old City; open-air market.
Kinodvor – 13 Kolodvorska; 011-386-1-239-2213;; former erotic theater transformed into entertainment space, with bookstore, café, exhibitions, and theater.
Kino Siska Centre for Urban Culture – 3 Trg Prekomorskih Brigad; 011-386-3-031-0110;; former cinema transformed into performance hall.
Ljubljana Castle – 1 Grajska Planota; 011-386-1-232-9994;; take funicular at night for meal in courtyard at Gostilna na Gradu.
Metelkova City Autonomous Cultural Center – 24 Masarykova Ulica;; autonomous social center in former military barracks (former Slovenian headquarters of Yugoslav National Army); 7 buildings; named after 19th Century Slovenian Roman Catholic philologist, priest, and unsuccessful language reformer Fran Metelko; arts, bars, cafes, and shopping in 1990s squat.
Museum of Contemporary Art – 3 Maistrova Ulica; 011-386-1-241-6800 or 011-386-1-241-6834;
Path of Remembrance & Comradeship – 10 Krekov Trg (Slovenian Tourist Information Center); 011-386-1-306-4576;; circular, 20-mile recreational path with remarkable history; in WWII, Ljubljana spent more than 3 years behind wire fences installed by occupying Italian fascists; later, 7.5K trees planted where fences once stood; now memorial circuit around city; most scenic portion is from points 6-26.
Slovenian National Theater, Opera & Ballet Ljubljana – 1 Zupanciceva Ulica; 011-386-1-241-5959;; recently renovated massively; 120 year-old cherub- and fresco-laden building with pink neo-Renaissance façade; copious marble sculptures.
Tivoli–Rožnik Hill–Šiška Hill Landscape Park – Center District’s northern outskirts, stretching north to Šiška District, south to Vič District, and west to Rožnik District; several notable art works and buildings; home to various bird species; Tivoli Castle is at Jakopič Promenade terminus; built in 17th Century atop previous Renaissance-period castle ruins; renovated 1766-1858 in Neoclassical style; Deček z Ribo (Boy with Fish) fountain in front is 1989 replica of 1970 Baroque fountain; castle guarded by 4 cast-iron dogs, created by Anton Dominik Fernkorn (1813-1878); Swissery (Švicarija, formerly Hotel Tivoli) is alpine-style building behind Tivoli Castle; Jesenko educational trail leads past it; Cekin Mansion is on Tivoli Park northern edge; houses Museum of Contemporary History of Slovenia (Muzej Novejše Zgodovine Slovenije); built in 1720; Tivoli Hall is 2 multi-purpose indoor sport arenas next to Cekin Mansion, opened in 1965; larger, ice hockey arena has 7K seating capacity; larger one is HDD Olimpija Ljubljana professional ice hockey club home rink; at Park’s southwest end is Tivoli Pond (Tivolski Ribnik); shallow, rectangle-shaped flood-control reservoir for fishing and recreation; small bronze called Ribe (Fish) in pond, as well as depiction of 2 vertically standing fish, created in 1935 by expressionist sculptor France Kralj and erected in 1994; Greenhouse filled with tropical plants, operated by Ljubljana Botanical Gardens, stands near pond’s northwest end; next to Greenhouse, Rose Garden, with over 160 rose types, including 1st Slovenian cultivar, Prešeren; playground, Children’s Paradise; near pond’s northern end, atop staircase leading to Tivoli Castle, stands bronze sculpture by Zdenko Kalin, Pastirček (Shepherd) or Deček s Piščalko (Boy with Whistle); in 2000, Bosnian sculptor Slobodan Pejić transformed 300-year old oak tree that fell in storm into sculpture, Sožitje (Coexistence); this began Sculpture Garden; also, check out Library Under Treetops, printed material available out-of-doors weather permitting and in Greenhouse for other times.

Bars & Nightclubs
Old Vine House – 8 Vojasniska; 011-386-2-251-5100;; wine bar.
Vinag – 3 Trg Svobode; 011-386-2-220-8111;; wine boutique with massive cellar that visitors can tour.
Hotel Orel – 7 Volkmerjev Prehod; 011-386-2-250-6700;; 71 good-size rooms in old city center.
Rozmarin – 8 Gosposka Ulica; 011-386-2-234-3180;; international and Slovenian food; try lamb carpaccio with dandelion pesto and/or red mullet baked in paper bag.
Sights & Sites
Old Vine House – 8 Vojasniska; 011-386-2-251-5100;; museum that houses world’s oldest wine vine.

PIRAN (just over border from Italy, at its most southeasterly point; once Venetian Empire part; well-preserved, Medieval town)
Bars & Nightclubs
Café Teater – 1 Stienkova; 011-386-417-118-88;; Irish-themed pub stuffed with antique chaise longues; alcove terrace that overlooks Adriatic Sea and from which Trieste can be seen.
Kempinski Palace – 45 Obala; 011-386-5-692-7000;; art nouveau goliath, recently opened, with 183 rooms, spa, and several restaurants overlooking sea.
Miracolo di Mare – 23 Tomsiceva; 011-386-5-921-7660;; friendly and quaint, 12-room bed-and-breakfast in old town.
Pavel – 1 Kosovelova Ulica; 011-386-567-471-02; seafood; family-style fish restaurant with lobster-filled aquarium and glassed garden.
Pizzeria Riva – 6 Presernovo Nabrezje; 011-386-5-673-2225; everything from pizza to seafood; not great but not many alternatives, either.
Sights & Sites
Casa Tartini – 12 Kajuhova; 011-386-5-671-0040;; in composer and virtuoso violinist Giuseppe Tartini’s (1692-1770) former residence; dates to 1384 as Gothic Casa Pizagrua, and among oldest standing on square at former inner harbour; Italian Community’s center; on 1st floor, permanent exhibition (important objects and documents from Tartini’s legacy, including manuscripts, his last will, portraits, his death mask, and Amati violin.
Chiesa di San Giorgio – Tartini Square; 011-386-5-673-3440.
Church of St. Francis of Assisi – 20 Bolniska Ulica; 011-386-5-673-4417; includes wonderful cloister and Minorite Monastery.
Koper Regional Museum – 19 Kidriceva; 011-386-5-663-3570;; in spacious early 17th Century Belgramoni Tacco Palace; permanent exhibition (Serenissima, Napoleon, and Habsburgs); archaeological collection and collections covering Istra’s art, culture, and history.
Our Lady of Consolation Church – 25 Ulica IX Korpusa; 011-386-5-673-3440;
Secovlje Salina Nature Park – Secovlje (near Croatian border); 011-386-5-672-1330;; working salt pans.
Sergej Masera Maritime Museum – 3 Cankarjevo Nabrezje; 011-1-386-5-671-0040;; worth special trip.

Sights & Sites
Postojna Caves – half-mile from city center; 011-386-5-700-0100;; worth special trip.

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