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Phespirit goes to Slovenia
Bled     May/June 2000


Map of Slovenia

1 Lake Bled

Although Bled has its looks and charm there is not much to do away from the lake. Fortunately it is well situated in the region, with coaches running hourly to the nearby towns and cities.

The place heats up quite nicely when warm Adriatic air catches between the Julian Alps and the Karavanke Mountians. Phespirit recommends a freshly scooped 100SIT lemon ice cream from the stall opposite the Park Hotel as the perfect cooler on a roasting hot day.

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2 Radovljica

At the heart of Radovljica is Linhartov Trg, a narrow 16th century square with brightly painted houses with frescoes decorating the exterior walls.

The star attraction in this little town is its Apicultural Museum. Against all expectation this museum is actually very interesting, not least of all for the display of painted beehive box panels - a distinctive and frequently surreal form of folk art. Motifs include:

"Women Making Trouser Soup"
"The Devil Wheeling A Woman's Knickers"
"Snail Chasing Tailors"

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3 Kranj

Slovenia's fourth largest and most industrialised city, situated by the foot of the Kamnik-Savinja Alps at the confluence of the rivers Sava and Kokra.

On a swelteringly hot day, Phespirit visited for a mooch around the fine, uncompromised old town characterised by quiet streets and quaint old buildings, with the ubiquitous forests, mountains and clear flowing rivers all around.

Not much in the way of specific attractions, however.

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4 Ljubljana

This should be the coolest city on earth.

It has all the ingredients. The old town is modest, uncluttered and laidback; the architecture excellent without being overwhelming. The natives are young and trendy, and there is a sound tradition of hard-gigging local bands out on the contemporary fringes.

Literature, art, free thinking, political awareness are all here .....

..... so why does Ljubljana not enjoy the same international reputation as, say, Paris or Prague?

Maybe this is the coolest city on earth.
Maybe earth just hasn't realised yet.

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5 Postojna

Site of a vast and spectacular karstic cave system. These caves were regarded as having such profound international significance that, in 1849, they had electric lighting installed a full year before the capital city, Ljubljana.

As a some-time collector of crystals, Phespirit was fascinated by all he saw here, although the steady 8°C temperature began to bite after the first hour underground.

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6 Lipica

Phespirit had no idea that the world famous Lipizzaner horses of the Spanish Riding School were first bred here in Slovenia.
(Probably never really thought about it before).

Trivial information, item one:
Young Lipizzaners are dark charcoal grey or (rarely) chestnut in colour. The hair turns white after about five or six years but the skin remains grey, hence they remain classified as greys.

Trivial information, item two:
When standing still, Lipizzaners cannot visually be distinguished from Portugese Lusitano or Spanish Andalusian horses. It is the high stepping gait and soft, smooth riding which reveals them to the expert.

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7 Lake Bohinj

Alighting from his bus at the eastern end of the lake, Phespirit trekked the full 4.5km along the northern shore of Lake Bohinj, followed by a further 3km to Slap Savica (a most spectacular waterfall), then another 3km to get back to the lake, plus one more kilometre to the nearest bus stop.

The setting may have been glorious but Phespirit was utterly, utterly shagged out.

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  1. Lake Bled
  2. Radovljica
  3. Kranj
  4. Ljubljana
  5. Postojna
  6. Lipica
  7. Lake Bohinj
images 1
images 2
Lake Bled Radovljica Kranj Ljubljana Postojna Lipica Lake Bohinj