Slovenia has no more secrets for me. Ha. However, I knew the rural area of Bela Krajina lesser than other regions. Except for a few times when I drove across it heading to Zagreb, I hadn’t been in Novo Mesto and its surroundings since Rock Otočec 2008. And even if I still hang on truly, madly, dearly to the memories of that crazy weekend, nine years later I’m trading mud wrestling for the charm of a landscape resort –Big Berry– nestled into this unspoilt corner of Slovenia.
When I was living in Slovenia, the beer scene was made up of merely the two pale, weak, national lagers: Union, brewed in Ljubljana, and Laško, named after the town near Celje where it is produced. As I was from the Celje area as well, I was for the ‘team Laško’, which implied believing in the Slovene saying ‘you drink Laško and you pee Union’.
…which unfortunately, this year, I will miss! :-(
(but I won’t miss the opportunity to ramble about how much I love Slovenia, and so… here we go!)
Kurentovanje is the traditional Carnival festival taking place in Ptuj, the oldest city in Slovenia, located in the North-Eastern area of the country. When I was living in Slovenia, Ptuj was one of my favourite day-trip destinations: next to a beautiful lake (Ptujsko Jezero), Ptuj has many interesting churches and monasteries, a Castle, Slovenia’s oldest wine cellar, a great thermal spa (Terme Ptuj), lots of storks nesting on its red roofs and, during this time of the year, the coolest carnival ever!
Each time I’m back I play this odd mind game I used to play when I was living in Slovenia: I watch myself from the outside doing the grocery at the historical Ljubljana’s farm market on Pogačarjev Trg, reading a book at the open-air libraries, having a coffee on the Ljubljanica banks or dancing the night out at Metelkova Mesto.
The best way to explore Ljubljana on and off the beaten track is by renting a bike and going around.