We have officially arrived at our first destination! We haven’t been here long, but what we’ve seen, we’ve loved.
We didn’t get to see much our first night here. We pretty much just took our shuttle from the airport, got settled in our apartment, ordered pizza for a late dinner, and then went to sleep. When we woke up Thursday morning, we were excited and ready to explore…until we looked outside and saw the rain pouring down. Like really pouring down.
Unfortunately, we had no food so we were forced to venture out into the deluge. As we walked the ten minutes to a café for breakfast, with rain jackets but no umbrellas, the rain fell harder and harder until our pants and shoes were completely soaked. By the time we arrived at the restaurant we were laughing hysterically because what else can you do? We walked inside with water pooling out of our shoes and quickly ordered some coffee to warm us up. Though the coffee was only so-so (in my opinion), the breakfast was delicious. Mine cost €6 and included orange juice, a giant omelet, a homemade muffin, and bread that you could slather with butter, jam, and/or nuts and honey.
Matthew’s was even cheaper than mine and included two fried eggs, bacon, some very flavorful mushrooms, and toast.
Luckily, the rain had stopped, albeit temporarily, by the time we finished eating so we took the opportunity to walk around a little bit. At the top of our list was finding a place that sells coffee beans. Having coffee at home is important to us (and saves us a ton of money compared to buying it at a café every day). Matthew is traveling with his own coffee-making equipment (an aeropress, if you’re curious), as well as a small, manual coffee grinder (having freshly ground beans is apparently very important in the world of a coffee snob) so we had to find a place that would sell us whole beans. Luckily, the first place we tried, Café Cokl, was a success! The owner told us all about where these particular beans came from in Ethiopia and how they were grown and who picked them. He roasts the beans himself. And he gave us the beans in a repurposed glass jar because “bags are so wasteful.” We actually thought that was pretty cool, and when it comes time to buy more, we will bring the jar with us so it can be used again.
With our coffee acquired, we just barely made it back to the apartment before it started raining again. Since then, it has rained on and off the entire time we’ve been here. But even with gray skies, we can already tell what a wonderful city this is, and we can’t wait to see it on a really gorgeous sunny day.
Our apartment is beautiful and modern. It’s the perfect size for us and has huge windows to let in tons of light. There are two workspaces, one for each of us, a washing machine, and a balcony.
Our apartment is a bit outside of the main part of town where all of the historical sights and good restaurants are. For us it’s honestly the perfect location because it’s very peaceful and quiet but getting into the town center just requires a lovely 10-15 walk on a tree-lined path along the river.
The central part of town just oozes charm, even when it’s gray and cloudy outside. The cobblestone streets, colorful buildings, and river lined with willow trees make you feel like you’re in a fairy tale.
The entire core of the city center is car-free, which makes it all the more peaceful and lovely. Bikes are allowed though, and you have to be on the lookout for those. We saw a child get hit by one last night. (Don’t worry, she was fine.)
Looking down over everything is Ljubljana Castle, which sits atop Castle Hill. You can tour the castle, something we definitely plan to do, and I can’t wait to see the views of the city from up there!
Last night we had the opportunity to try some traditional Slovenian dishes and followed it up with delicious gelato. I will probably do a separate post about the food here because exploring new cuisines is one of Matthew’s and my favorite things to do. When we go on shorter trips, we often joke that our entire itinerary is planned around the places we want to eat. Needless to day, I’ve already got a list going of places I want to make sure we try while we are here.
Despite the rain, we both could not be happier with our choice to start our trip here in Ljubljana. It is beautiful, safe, environmentally friendly, easily walkable, and more affordable than Western European cities (like in neighboring Italy). We have barely dipped our toes into all that Ljubljana has to offer, and we look forward to sharing more as the trip progresses. We just need to get an umbrella first…