50 shades of sLOVEnia
as a local I am everyday amazed by how extremely impressive our country Slovenia is. In all 4 seasons. In winter time it is colored in magical white while in the spring time the first shades of green appear. Birds are singing and people start cultivating their piece of garden. Summer time is full of happenings. Autumn/fall shades remind us that we are living in colorful paradise.
The travelers who are visiting Slovenia are saying that there is so much things to do and see in such a small country. Once you visit Slovenia, you keep coming. Why?
1. Ljubljana, our beloved capital, is a European green capital of 2016. It lies just in the center of Slovenia. It takes only 1 hour from Ljubljana to reach the Julian Alps and 1 hour to the Adriatic Sea. And, we even have heart-shaped road in Slovenia.
2. On almost every hill you will see a church. There are approximately 3000 of them!
3. We are proud of hayracks, unique Slovenian heritage so as on the oldest flute instrument in the world and the oldest wooden wheel in the world were found in Slovenia.
4. Slovene language has dual. There is a difference in verbs when there are two women (midve) or two men (midva) or woman and a man (midva).
5. Slovenia is the only country in the world that has a love in its name. What is more, our capital, Ljubljana means beloved. Love is all around us!
6. Trnič cheese (hard cheese that exemplifies women breasts) was once made by herdsmen. They gave it to their beloved as a proof of love. This long lasting tradition of making trnič cheese can be found on Velika planina. Easter eggs called pisanka/pisanica/remenka/remenica represent a rich folk art heritage. An Easter egg was a gift from a girl to a boy.
7. Most of the foreigners moved to Slovenia because they found love here or because they love the country. Ooooo, iiiii!
8. All Slovenian cities are pedestrians and bikers friendly cities. Everyone owns a bike. We are crazy on biking. There are many very well-developed biking trails all around Slovenia.
9. We do have very well-organized carpooling system throughout Slovenia and even abroad. Did I tell you how much does it cost from Ljubljana to Piran (125 km)? 5-6 EUR. Cheap isn’t it?
10. Slovenians are polyglots. Especially younger generation speaks at least 2 foreign languages while there is no problem with using body language when speaking with elder generation. They love talking and you should know at least Dober dan!/Hello! to start the conversation with them. Easy, isn’t it?
12. You will be even more surprised how colorful our balconies are. Despite living in a city or in a small village, our balconies are full of colorful flowers, some people even plant vegetables in the pots. In May and June you can be amazed by plenty of herbal jars that are absorbing sun on the window sills. We love making our own healing syrups and spruce syrup is one of them.
13. There are plenty of accommodation offers all around Slovenia. But here are some of unique sleeping options which you should try: former prison, former bank, vineyard cottages, herbal rooms, tourist farms, glamping tents, houses of tradition just to mention few of them.
14. When you enter into somebody’s home, you take off your shoes. And you get slippers.
15. We love meeting friends in Tivoli park, making picnic, walking on slackline, dancing all night long.
16. We do not make friends easily (Facebook doesn’t count!) but when we make friends these friends stay forever.
17. We know how to enjoy our lives to the fullest! And, Slovenians are very hospitable people.
18. Due to its position at the crossroads of the Alps, the Mediterranean, the Pannonia plain and the Karst, Slovenia has rich culture, food, heritage and tradition.
19. During hot summer time we enjoy reading books and magazines in the library under the treetops.
20. Gardening is our very popular past time activity. Almost every house has a neat garden. Urban gardening is getting popular as well.
21. We are proud to be Slovenians. We are proud of our land Slovenia.
22. Hiking is a mass recreation. In Slovenia there are more than 10.000 kilometers of marked and well-maintained hiking trails. Guess where you will see majority of Slovenians on a sunny Sunday? Somewhere in the mountains 🙂
23. If you look on a map of Slovenia, you will see that Slovenia is in a shape of a chicken.
24. Slovenian nature (mountains, forests, lakes, rivers, streams, sea, caves) is lush and gorgeous.
25. We are proud of 3 UNESCO Heritage sites: Škocjan caves, Idrija Mercury Mine and Prehistoric pile-dwellings settlements.
26. Slovenia is one of the most forested countries in Europe. 58 % of Slovenia is covered with forests. Here you will be embraced with forests! I am sure you will fall in love with green scenery. Green color is everywhere.
27. We do have our Slovenian California which is a region that lies on the western side of Slovenia and it is called Goriška region.
28. Slovenia DOES have a coastline. Well, only 46 kilometers but still, we have. And we have our own Moon Bay. Check it yourself in the summer time 😉
29. Slovenian famous animal is called human fish. It is an animal with snake-like body and pale color that can be found in the caves. The others call it Proteus or olm. It can live up to 100 years.
30. More than 1/3 of Slovenia is protected. Slovenia is one of the most bio-diverse countries in the world.
31. You can drink tap water everywhere in the public places, restaurants and at home.
32. Did you know that the Karst plateau in Slovenia gave a name to karst phenomena and karst landscape all around the world?! Words as dolina and polje are Slovenian words used internationally in karstology.
33. Beekeeping in Slovenia has a long lasting tradition. Carniola bee is a Slovenian national bee while the art of beehives paintings with rich folk motifs is unique to Slovenia. Bee tourism is a truly travel trend. What is more, our capital Ljubljana is a bee-friendly municipality.
34. Slovenia has long tradition of natural spas. We love going to healthy retreats at least one time per year. Most of the Slovenian spas and healthy resorts can be found on the eastern part of Slovenia.
35. Our forests and meadows are full of medicinal plants, mushrooms, forest fruit and other wild food. You are allowed to pick only 2 kilos of mushrooms/person/day, 2 kilos of wild strawberries/person/day, 2 kilos of chestnut/person/day, 1 kilo of wild asparagus/person/day and 1 kilo of the ramsons/person/day.
36. Slovenia is a green paradise with 1 national park (Triglav National Park), 3 regional parks, more than 40 nature parks and nature reserves.
PARADISE FOR FOODIES
38. Slovenia has 24 gastronomic regions which means that almost every valley has its own typical delights that you should taste. We love good food. A Slovenian proverb says that the way to somebody’s heart is through the stomach.
39. Our vegetables and fruits taste like REAL vegetables and fruits. During summer and autumn/fall time we are busy canning our food for the winter time (cherries, cucumbers, mushrooms, olives, etc.).
40. Our Sunday’s meal (beef soup with home-made noodles, mashed potatoes with sauerkraut, Kranjska sausage and a dessert – potica, Slovenian traditional festive dessert) that is served at noon is accompanied with Slovenian folk music (singer’s charming voice, accordion, trumpet, clarinet, bass, guitar) on the radio such as „Slovenija, od kod lepote tvoje“/”Slovenia, oh where does your beauty come from”. If you want to deepen your knowledge of Slovenian folk music, you should definitely attend vaška veselica/village festival.
41. We love making home-made schnapps/žganje from fruits, herbs, walnuts, etc. It is widespread past-time activity.
42. Almost every Slovene knows somebody from the countryside and brings bags full of home-grown vegetables, juicy fruits and meat to the city where s/he lives and works.
43. We love shopping. In almost every town there are at least 4 main supermarket chains. Especially before Christmas and Eastern you can hardly find a parking place. It is a common Sunday’s activity to spend time in the supermarket. But even though supermarkets offer more than 17 different sorts of cheese, we love buying cheese directly from a cheese maker.
44. Craftbeer movement is developing very fast. And I guess there is less fighting between reds (Union) and greens (Laško) 🙂 Some people mix beer with Cockta, our first soft drink in Yugoslavia. Read the whole story of Yugoslavian Coca-Cola.
45. We use quite a lot of salt in our cuisine. The purest and whites salt in Europe called Piranska sol is coming from 700 years-old Piran salt pans which is northernmost salt pans in the Mediterranean.
46. When it comes to wine, we have the oldest grapevine (400-years old) in the world! Grape harvesting is one of the nicest experiences during autumn/fall. Hand-picking of grapes together with the cheerful locals, singing in the vineyard and tasting home-prepared lunch.
47. When we say: „Let’s go for a coffee!“, it means „Let’s meet!“ and you can drink whatever you want.
48. Potica is our national festive dessert eaten mainly for Christmas and Easter. But Potica with tarragon is the most distinctly Slovenian specialty. We use tarragon in our sweet festive dessert! Read it in the blog post how to make Walnut potica.
49. In autumn/fall, winter and spring you should attend osmica (eights) in Karst region and Vipava valley when wine-growing farmers are selling their surplus of their last year’s wine. Of course, you will taste home-made delicacies as well.
50. Buckwheat is quite commonly used in our cuisine. One of the famous dishes is ajdovi žganci z ocvirki/buckwheat mush with cracklings.
Do you feel sLOVEnia?! Hope you found this post interesting.
When are you planning to visit Slovenia?! Drop me an email to email@example.com, if you need some help with an itinerary about our lovely Slovenia.