A wonderful day long trip with a driver & guide via Roundabout Travel with our destination for the day – Ljubljana, Capital of Slovenia.
Our first sight-seeing stop was at Predjama Castle in Slovenia – photo above…the Spring colours were glorious!
Very brief summary of history from our Guide & Wikipedia:
“The castle was first mentioned in the year 1274…when it was built in Gothic style. The castle was built under a natural rocky arch high in the stone wall to make access to it difficult…In 1570, the current castle was built in Renaissance style, pressed next to a vertical cliff under the original Medieval fortification. The castle has remained in this form, virtually unchanged, to the present day…After WWII it was nationalized by the Yugoslav Communist authorities and turned into a museum.” Wikipedia 2016
Our guide also told us about “the hidden passageway” which leads to an exit at the top of the cliff. It allowed the castle to be supplied with food etc. in times of siege.
We had a long day + lunch ahead of us so we chose not to go into the castle. Our guide then took us to a very pleasant restaurant in the countryside. Home style food was on offer and while we don’t normally eat such a large lunch, having a leisurely lunch in such a gorgeous setting was a memorable experience. Our guide, a young University educated woman with a good understanding of Slovenia, took this photo (below) plus joined us for lunch. The whole day trip, including us paying for her lunch, was very reasonably priced. Highly recommended! Our next stop was to see the white horses of Slovenia’s Lipica Stud Farm (see photo below).
Our guide informed us that the Lipizzan horses have a 425+ year old history which is closely associated with the Spanish Riding School of Vienna, Austria. “The breed has been endangered many times by warfare sweeping Europe, including during WWI and WWII. The rescue of the Lipizzaner during WWII by American troops was made famous by the Disney movie ‘Miracle of the White Stallions” – Wikipedia 2016
There are many ways that you can enjoy the Lipica Stud Farm (tours of stud farm; shows etc) but due to time constraints, our guide just found a quiet paddock (we were the only people there) and we were able to view these beautiful horses just a few metres from the road.
Our next stop were the famous Postojna Caves, Slovenia where we took a tour. At the time of our visit a few years ago, there were 2 different types of tours – one for those with high levels of fitness and another, which still required a reasonable level of fitness but very steep climbs could be avoided by taking a tourist type “train”. That might sound a bit kitsch but it wasn’t as the number of people is limited & the overall experience was excellent + beautiful…highly recommended as long as you’re ok to walk quite a distance as well. Due to the the wet ground/walkways in parts (it wasn’t slippery though), I took my walking poles as I didn’t want to fall & break any of my bionic bits! (From spinal surgery a few years before:). It’s worth booking ahead as tourist numbers are limited in order to protect the cave environments. Photographs are prohibited but I presume there are professional photos on the Net.
It is possible to stop for wine tasting and taste Slovenia’s famous prosciutto after the Cave tour – that sounded pleasant but after a long lunch before the caves (photo above), we were keen to get to our final destination in Ljubljana.
Our private tour guide, organised through Roundabout Travel, helped us to plan this day. At the time, the day trip was very reasonably priced but if you’re able to join another small group of people, like we did on subsequent days (on tours from Ljubljana in a small van) then the price is reduced of course.
NEXT STOP LJUBLJANA, CAPITAL OF SLOVENIA, FOR 5 NIGHTS…see next post.