Slovenia: The Transition country
The last day of my job, my career as a teacher, was June 12th. I left work at around 3:00. I was on a plane by five and landing in Ljubljana, Slovenia shortly thereafter. So there I was with a blank canvas as a symbol of my new life, just hanging out in Ljubljana.
I had no expectations of Ljubljana. I didn’t have the time to research while in the midst of ending a thirty-one year career. At home I was knee deep in boxes, preparing for the movers to pack everything onto a truck. At work I was knee deep in paperwork from human resources and my classroom. Trying to find time to say goodbye to friends who were like family was as daunting a task as moving. All of this was going on while trying to battle the aches and pains from an arthritis flare-up. Ljubljana was the last thing on my mind. Other than a glowing travel report from my friend Rosa, I had no idea what to expect. I had a plane ticket and a desire to sleep longer than the suggested eight hours. It was all a blur. I can’t remember arriving at the airport or how I got to my hotel.
The three bridges may be the most popular but the Dragon Bridge was my favorite
View of the triple bridge from a boat ride on the Ljubljana River
I call Slovenia my transition country because it was where I spent the first day of my newfound freedom. When I awakened in my hotel room late Saturday morning I knew that was the beginning. Beginning of what you ask? Heck if I know. I just knew it was the beginning. I did not want to have any time between leaving my job and starting my new life. I didn’t want to head back to the United States. I was not ready for “normal” living. I never have been (to all my smart-mouthed friends you may insert a wisecrack here).
Ljubljana is the capital of Slovenia. Lake Bled was a must-see place. So with that bit of knowledge I began to explore the city. First thing to do was find food. Waking up at 2:00 in the afternoon makes finding breakfast pretty hard so I settled on a late lunch.
Initially I found the food to have a very strong German/Bavarian, or Hungarian influence. I later discovered that Slovenia had been ruled by several countries and gained its independence very recently in 1991. So finding Slovenian cuisine was not easy as their food has been strongly influenced by Germany, Hungary and Austria. I like German food and was very happy to eat schnitzel, sauerkraut, Bavarian sausage, goulash, dumplings, beans, stews, soups and a variety of potato dishes. Yes I did gain weight! I didn’t do much but eat, sleep, walk around and take a tour to Lake Bled. The city did not disappoint. I thoroughly enjoyed my time there.
The river runs through the city and the views of the three bridges are gorgeous from the river. This was my favorite part of town, only two blocks away from my hotel. The three bridges are the most popular bridges and they connect old town to the modern part of the city. Initially there was only one bridge. To ease traffic congestion (horse drawn carts and buggies) two additional bridges were built for foot traffic. Today, all three bridges are foot bridges and closed to all vehicular traffic, probably due to tourism.
One of the most unique entrances to a building I have ever seen
Lake Bled with Bled Island in the background. It is a gorgeous lake.
Slovenia, a great transition into retirement!!