In the past Christmas bread, named poprtnik or župnik, sipling, božičnik, mižnjak, namižnjak, pomižnjak, stolnik and more, was important part of the family traditions that were going on around Christmas time all over Slovenia.
Today baking special Christmas bread is mostly present in the south part of Slovenija, like Notranjska or Dolenjska region, but people still bake it also in Štajerska region and Soča valley.
Slovenia's surface - let's be honest - with it's 20,273 km2 is not too big. But have you heard about Slovenia's underground? At the moment we have counted over 13,000 caves and the number is changing constantly as Slovenian spelunkers are discovering new caves as we speak.
Most of the underground is not easily accessed, but we have more than 20 caves that can be visited easily and a few mines that offer tourist visits as well. Of those I chose three experiences that I have experienced and are my favorites.
Let's face it, cemetery has it's own feel, not necessarily pleasant to everyone. But nevertheless, it truly can be a great revelation of understanding the country better. And not to forget a beautiful, peaceful walk through outdoor gallery.
Ljubljana's cemetery, called Žale, is a remarkable piece of work, not only there is a breathtaking Garden of All Saints designed by Jože Plečnik and under UNESCO heritage also the rest of the cemetery is beautiful to see.
One of architect Jože Plečnik's finest masterpieces is undoubtedly his realization of what is today called National and University Library, which they started building in 1937.
From outside the building looks a lot different than any of its neighbors, attracting views with its mostly orange bricks and almost natural rocks facade. On two opposite facades two big windows are places, with ionic column in the middle. Most of the smaller windows are bay windows that for many interpreters of Plečnik's heritage mean books.
Have you heard that the only preserved monument for a civilian, i.e. regular person, like you or me, with a statue on a tall column in the entire territory of the Roman Empire, that means from Spain to UK to Syria to Egypt was excavated in Ljubljana?
Ljubljana, like other cities and municipalities in Slovenia, has their own coat-of-arms which you can see in different forms around the town. It consists of a green dragon above the castle, but it hasn't been always the same.
Are you cold out there, wandering on the streets of Ljubljana? Go inside and warm up. We decided to visit Museum of Illusions where we most certainly did warm up...floating under the ceiling, wandering who is bigger,
For long it was thought that only modern human was capable of creating and/or using art. It turn's out that is not the case.
We are lucky enough that Slovene archaeologist have found what is considered to be the oldest musical instrument, flute to be exact, ever found in the World. Found in 1995 and for long under thorough examination until they've realized it has to be somewhere from 50.000 to 60.000 years old! At that time modern human, homo sapiens sapiens, haven't even existed.
Slovenia is rich with waters, we have plenty of good drinking water, some (cold) mineral waters and many hot springs as well. There are more than dozen spas in Slovenia, mostly situated on the eastern part of the country, each known for something special.
If you are looking for health resorts than browse spas according to their health specifications. Almost all of them offer medical wellness and wellness and selfness programmes, including different styles of saunas, massages, therapies etc. A few of the spas have even Thermal Water Park.
This years edition of amazing Slovenian Wine Festival is near. On 14 and 15 November at Cankarjev dom centre the 22nd will be held.
Last year was record-breaking, both by number of visitors and participating wine producers. There were over 240 exhibitors and more than 2000 visitors.
Above the city, quite typical for a Medieval European city, stands the castle. Ljubljana castle. It was built in 15th century by the Habsburgs, later renovated and in 19th century turned into a prison.
Today it hosts a few permanent exhibitions, like Slovenian History and fun Museum of Puppetry, and often changing temporary exhibitions. There are two restaurants, a cafe, wine bar, souvenir shop and during the summer many events are organized in the courtyard.
Slovenia is known to be green and what am I about to tell you is probably one of the greenest things you can do. There is a festival in the south of the country named Wild flavours of Karst where you can from 5 Apr to 5 May 2019 taste some wild flowers, herbs, spices and fruits. Deliciously and beautifully prepared.
Have you ever heard for Hadrian's wall in United Kingdom? Probably you did as it is quite famous. But have you heard that we have something similar here in Slovenia?
Some call it Amber Wine, some the White Macerated Wine but let's face it, Orange Wine has the best sound.
But be aware, this wine is not made of oranges, but of white grapes. White grapes that were processed in a style of red grapes for red wine. That is the reason that the most explanatory name, White Macerated Wine, is more preferred by the professionals.
They make orange wine from white grapes that they don't press them instantly, but leave them for some time, anything from a few hours, few days or much longer. Because of the contact with a skin of the grape the colour of liquid (soon-to-be-wine) gets darker, more orange.
Without a shadow of a doubt this delicious and quite special wine deserves attention in a form of it's own festival. The Orange Wine Festival is happening from 14:00 to 21:00 on 24 April 2018 in Izola, costal town in Slovenia.
Expect a lot of nice wine, many from Slovenia, but also from Italy, Georgia, Austria, Croatia and others. Of course it depends a bit of the Covid-19 situation. There will be wine producers ready to explain you the story of their wine. While tasting it. Festival has some guided wine tastings - but be sure to apply on it beforehand.
There is a hot meal included in the ticket, keep in mind not to be really late, and some food tastings of small, quality producers.
Let me tell you about my three favorite beer shops. There are more specialized beer shops in the city, but the one mentioned here are the one I enjoy visiting.
Very serious beer. At least so are the guys from Brewery Tektonik claiming. And when we visited them the other day we got sure about how serious they really are. They are.
We had a wonderful sunset on a warm autumn day on the top of the highest Slovenian tower named Vinarium Lendava. A clear day, such as it was when we were there, enables you to see into 4 countries, of course Slovenia than Hungary, Croatia and even Austria.
Among brandy lovers slivovitz enjoys its special admiration. It is one of the most appreciated at least in this parts of the World. And the best one to find in Slovenia is the Brkinski slivovec or Brkini slivovitz.
It has the mark of geographical origin and for this it has to be prepared in the traditional way. The secret lies in a special Brkini cauldron distillation, which has to be done only once.
These are so called gingerbread harts. Traditional gifts in Slovenia. On the upper one it says: Happiness is the only thing that doubles if we split it among others! HAPPY LUCK SPLITTING in 2018!
I love board games. Analog board games that requires good old analog company. If you like them as well, you should check out Slovenia's first #BoardGameCafe.
Dobra poteza, board game cafe, is just behind the main train station in Ljubljana and offers hours of fun
After writing a blog in Slovenian language for 10 years I have finally come to my sense and started writing one in English as well.