Rick Steves takes a cultural voyage through this charming, former Yugoslavian country, starting at its lively capital then heading toward the Julian Alps and to the Slovenian … Thanks for joining us. Valleys that just a generation ago were industrial wastelands are green and getting greener. Uh-oh, little Anže's more interested in bedtime than us. These days, Piran's walls are inviting rather than defensive, and the town is simply an enjoyable place in which to relax. All the bridges are crowded, you know. Tito, a larger-than-life, strong-arm dictator, was the only leader who could hold that troubled union together. Get inspired with Rick Steves’ recommended places to go and things to do, with tips, photos, videos, and travel information on Slovenia. Half a kilo — it's just right. The bridge seems almost Venetian. 57 Slovenia holiday packages with 82 reviews View Map. Condition is "Pre-owned". Afterwards you will enjoy the view of the lake from the top of Bled castle.On to Lake Bohinj where a cable car will take us to the top of Mt. He left such a strong mark, not only in Vienna and Prague, but definitely in Ljubljana, because all the land accesses and river accesses are designed by Plečnik. During most of the 20th century, Yugoslavia was on the other side of what was called the "Iron Curtain." This version dates from the 16th century. Rick: Whoa. Like the more famous Alps of Austria and Switzerland, the Julian Alps are busy with nature-lovers, both winter and summer. In Slovenia, so small and so laced with modern freeways, virtually every sight is within an hour or two of the capital city. Ljubljana feels small. The main attraction is a guided two-mile hike through the caves. The "Third Way," we called it, and it was a lot different — like, we could travel, we had free-market economy, and there were jobs for everybody. Rick: In Slovene? Mostar and the stay in the Historic Bay's house was a great travel experience. How do you say "half-kilo"? Locals still build their pletnas by hand with larch wood from a design passed down from father to son for centuries. Terms of Service | Privacy, Lake Bled, Slovenia: Exploring a Dictator's Villa, Slovenia: Julian Alps and Soča River Valley. Sašo: That's the usual thing around here. Vendor: Yes. The traffic-free harborfront — lined with Slovenes enjoying fresh seafood — is made-to-order for a stroll. Ninety-nine steps lead from the dock up to the summit — and the Church of the Assumption. Rick: This is very comfortable and very spacious, really. Vastly outgunned, they fought back valiantly, eventually defeating the German invaders. And guests can use Tito's personal desk for something I bet he never imagined: sending an email. I really wish I had more time in Slovenia. They converted the attic of Tina's childhood home — creating plenty of space for their growing family. Prolific Plečnik essentially remodeled his hometown with his distinctive classical-meets-modern style. Crowded onto the tip of its peninsula, Piran can't grow. Located where the Germanic, Mediterranean, and Slavic worlds come together, Slovenia has a unique appeal. Since the limestone upon which everything around here sits is easily dissolved by water, the Karst is honeycombed with a vast network of caves and underground rivers. The decadent kremšnita artfully sandwiches layers of cream and vanilla custard between sheets of delicate crust. Sašo: Alright, and this is the little kid's room… On summer Saturdays, a steady procession of brides and grooms, cheered on by their entourages, heads for the island. The first half of the experience is the "Silent Caves" (so called for the lack of running water), with a wide array of wondrous formations and what seem like large caverns. Rick: Anže! 100% Nylon, nice lightweight day bag. Vendor: Pol kilo. The most dramatic cave to tour is Škocjan. Rick: In four months? Chiseled into the wall, the scant remains of century-old trails evoke the early days of tourism here. Little Slovenia is the least visited and most underrated of Europe's alpine countries. There's really no better way to get to know a place than a meal with a local family. Hi, I'm Rick Steves, back with more of the best of Europe. A colorful mix of work and pleasure boats fill today's harbor. Rick: This is very interesting to me, because this is food I would think about in Germany or Austria or in the north. When I’m working on a guidebook, I can barely scribble fast enough to capture all of the insights that tumble out of Marijan… The riverfront market is a hive of activity, where big-city Slovenes enjoy buying directly from the farmer. We begin in the capital city, Ljubljana. While the two families live separately, they share lots of dinners. You can email Rick at rick… Rick: What would you tell me? We're headed north, into Slovenia's Julian Alps. This northwestern corner of Slovenia — within yodeling distance of both Austria and Italy — is crowned by the Julian Alps. But year-round it teems with Croatian locals living life to the fullest. Rick: Dober dan. Rick: Anže. In 1915, neighboring Italy declared war on the empire. It is, with only about a quarter-million people. But it's by far the country's largest city, cultural capital, and a charming place to kick off any Slovenian trip. I can see how it would make people just want to wave a flag. Locals claim that you're not a true Slovene until you've climbed Triglav. Dec 22, 2014 - Slovenia & Croatia Itinerary: Where to Go in Slovenia and Croatia by Rick Steves | ricksteves.com Rick: And his heritage lives on today as the people enjoy his city. The experience builds and builds as you go into ever-more-impressive grottoes, until you reach the truly colossal final cavern and its thundering river. It looks just like a loft. The Soča continues to cut its way deeper and deeper into this gorge. Sašo: …Anže is his name. Visitors begin by seeing a multitude of formations in a series of large caverns. We’ve been playing host to an invasion of more than a hundred tour guides from all over Europe and beyond, in town for our annual guide summit and reunion — 10 solid days of strategy sessions, business meetings, reconnecting with tour members, and, of course, parties. Slovenes are particularly fond of their famous local pastries. Rick: Sašo. We booked an 8AM departure but found out on arrival that was changed to 6:30AM. That's why, unlike his Eastern European neighbors, Tito could and did chart his own course — independent from the USSR. Rick’s Best Two-Week Croatia/Slovenia Trip (by Car) Day 1: Arrive at Ljubljana's airport, go to Lake Bled (sleep in Lake Bled) Day 2: Relax at Lake Bled (sleep in Lake Bled) Day 3: Pick up car, drive through Julian Alps, end in Ljubljana (sleep in Ljubljana) Day 4: Ljubljana (sleep in Ljubljana) They are fresh. It memorializes 7,000 Italian soldiers — victims of just one battle. This was unimaginably difficult warfare — waged in the harshest of conditions. Rick Steves, Cameron Hewitt. Natalija: No, he was married to the architecture. Rick took his first trip to Europe in 1969, visiting piano factories with his father, a piano importer. ▲ Logarska Dolina and the Northern Valleys Remote mountain valleys with grand vistas and traditional farming lifestyles. In this high-end suite, you can actually sleep in the dictator's bed. Ljubljana is laid back — the kind of place where crumbling buildings seem elegantly atmospheric, rather than shoddy. 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