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Ljubljana, Slovenia

SLOVENIA | Monday, 23 May 2011 | Views [484]

      Anywhere in the world. Those four words are the only limits we have when choosing travel destinations. So why is it that I rallied my family into booking flight tickets to Slovenia this past summer? In my opinion, Slovenia seemed like the perfect hybrid of Mediterranean culture, the Alpine experience and some sprinkles of Eastern European flavor. Believe me, it was. Ljubljana [lyoo-BLYAH-nah] is the capital city of Slovenia; and, unfortunately, I realized about two days into my trip that I had been pronouncing the city's name wrong to a cringeworthy degree. Ljubljana, like most other renowned European cities, has the undeniable power to make anyone crave sipping an iced-coffee at a modern cafe along the cobblestone streets. Here is an excerpt from my journal entry after spending my first day falling completely in love with Ljubljana:
 "Today began at 3:00 a.m. when we all woke up because of a nasty combination of jet-lag and pillows as hard as limestone. Luckily, the town is so quaint and i lovelovelove it here. We walked around for a bit on our own and ventured into the castle where we sat in the courtyard and ordered delicious ice-cream drinks."
 I think that short little paragraph essentially captures the feel of Ljubljana: an enchanting city where people of all ages meander around on their bicycles, sip coffee, and rest on benches which line the scenic Ljubljanica river. Charming, now that I think of it, is another word that embodies the pleasant feel of Ljubljana. Charming also describes most Slovene boys, but I won't get into that here for the sake of any male viewers.
      "Ne razumem! Ne razumem!" ("I don't understand!") is undoubtedly a valuable phrase to memorize when conversing with people in Slovenia. Luckily, the majority of citizens in Ljubljana spoke English fluently (with a thick Slovenian accent) and communication wasn't a problem at all. "Hvala" is "Thank You" in the Slovene Language and, in my opinion, is a word which is imperative to know when traveling throughout Slovenia. I know waiters appreciate it when you give your best effort at saying a word in their language, even if it's dreadfully mispronounced. They will always smile. 
     To conclude this post on the picturesque city of Ljubljana, Slovenia, I want to discuss the differences between what "hanging out" means in America, and what "hanging out" seems to mean in Ljubljana. Where I come from, the only way to spend time with my friends is to hop in my black car and drive at least ten minutes to a location where we all meet up. Perhaps we go bowling, see a movie, or spend time relaxing at each other's houses. In Slovenia, one simply doesn't need a car to have an active social life. Youth walk around the town square of Ljubljana and maybe sit a cafe for an hour or two before wandering down the paths by the river. To me, that difference speaks volumes about our two cultures. 
**Check out this nineteen year old's travel blog at www.wanderlusted-cleo.blogspot.com**

Tags: ice-cream, slovenia, touring, walking

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