SLOVENIA – What’s in a Name?
Slovenia – it’s one of the most popular tourist destinations in the world….okay, that may be an alternative fact, but that doesn’t stop this wonderful country nestled between the Adriatic and the Austrian Alps from being an incredible place to visit. I recently visited Slovenia with my girlfriend, who over the course of the two weeks there, became my fiancé. Although this was the highlight, there are several other aspects of the country that I fell in love with including:
- Hospitality – Although there are only 2 million Slovenes, they are incredibly hospitable and friendly, which may be helped by the fact that there is a vineyard for every 70 people.
- Environmental – In 2016, Slovenia was named the World’s Most Sustainable Country and its capital Ljubljana (lube-lee-anna) was anointed Europe’s Greenest Capital by the EU. Given that about 60% of the country is covered in lush forest, it’s easy to see why!
- Food – Although Italy’s boot casts a large shadow over the culinary scene here, Slovenia still holds its own with fresh seafood along the coast and delicacies prepared by top chefs can be found in Ljubljana. Sliced Kranjska (similar to Polish sausage) with sauerkraut and shave horse radish is a perfect mid-afternoon snack.
- Deserts (a category of its own) – Desert options are as endless as the wineries. Gelato stands are located outside just about every restaurant, tempting you to have desert first. The layered cakes like Lake Bled Cream Cake (pictured below), is an absolute must, and of course there is the national desert, Potica, which resembles a jelly roll, but is made of thinly rolled dough spread with nut paste.
- Geographic Diversity – From the Postonia cave system encompassing 15 miles underground caves to the blue waters of the Adriatic, to Triglav mountain in the Julian Alps, this small country boasts beautifully impressive environmental diversity.
If you’re willing to take the path less traveled and visit one of Europe’s lesser-known countries, I think you’ll be pleasantly surprised by all this pint-sized country has to offer.