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Friday, September 3, 2010

Introducing Slovenia

and introducing our Sloveniatrip 2010


Finally I get to blog about  Slovenia. I'm wondering what to say and what not, because I could write whole novels, but I'll try to stick to the basics here. I'm sure there is so much info online about this lovely small country, it's just a search away from you. But I want to share some of the things I feel are noteworthy about Slovenia. Here is a list of the things that I consider interesting and important and it will help you to understand this country better, before you start reading my posts about the "Slovenia trip 2010":

✰ Some important facts about Slovenia

- Slovenia is a central European country and partly in southern Europe.
- Slovenia has around 2 million inhabitants, which is less than Singapore.
- Slovenia with 20273 km2 is very small, Switzerland is two times bigger.
- The capital city and also the biggest city of Slovenia is Ljubljana (small photo above).
- Slovenia is a member of the European Union and NATO since 2004.
- Slovenian currency is the Euro since 2007, former was Tolar (1991-2007).
- Slovenian living standard can be compared to the one in Portugal, Greece and Taiwan.
- Slovenia is an independent and democratic country since June 25, 1991.
- Slovenia, although very small, has a very diverse culture and nature.
- Slovenia has high mountains, famous caves, mountain lakes and a small coast.
- Slovenia has no big cities over 1 million inhabitants, the biggest has 270.000.
- Slovenia is famous for excellent bee honey and wine.
- Slovenia has excellent sportsmen, especially skiers, soccer and basket ball players.
- In Slovenia most people are Caucasian. Most foreigners come from Southern Europe.
- Slovenians are part of the Slavic peoples, such as Russians, Czechs, Poles and Serbs.
- Slovenia and Slovakia are two different countries
- Slovenian people love nature. Hiking is our national sport.
- Our highest mountain Triglav is 2864m tall. Slovenia is full of hiking trails.
- Most Slovenians are friendly and welcoming to foreigners.

Slovenia is a member of the EU since 2004.

Although Slovenia is really small, there is so much to see here. Foreigners, who visit for the first time are amazed how diverse my country is. From high mountains with scenic lakes to the hot Mediterranean sea to amazingly impressive caves, Slovenia is full of nature's hidden treasures. The reason to come to Slovenia would be to enjoy nature, but you can also discover many historic sights and learn about the rich culture of this small nation. You will be surprised, how much was going on in this part of the world since stone age.

The Slovenian Flag (white, blue, red) and has a Coat of Arms which features Triglav, our highest mountain. If you're curious about the Chinese girl, read here>>

✰ More facts about Slovenia

Slovenia is a small and young, but proud nation. Slovenians hate it, when foreigners mistake them for Slovakians or say that Slovenia is part of Eastern Europe or Balkans. Slovenians are very conscious about the history, because it influenced our nation and identity a lot. For centuries we were under Austrian rule and some parts of Slovenia were under Italy and Hungary. Especially the two World wars still influence the politics in Slovenia today. Because of our small size, we were force to learn languages and many Slovenians speak English, those near borders also the languages of our neighbors (Italian, German, Hungarian and Croatian). If you travel to Slovenia, you probably won't have communication problems, unless you get stuck in some small villages. The basic formal phrases are Dober dan ('doh-bear dahn', Good Day), Hvala ('hwa-lah', Thank you) and Nasvidenje ('nah-swee-dan-yeh', Bye).

Slovenia is located in the southern part of Central Europe, between Vienna and Venice.

✰ About the Slovenia trip 2010

After I returned from Taiwan a while ago, it was obvious, that I needed some time to make it back to that beautiful country. Saving money for a trip to the Far east takes some time. So my girlfriend and I decided that she could visit me in Slovenia during summer and not only, because we miss each other so much, but also because I wanted her to see where I come from and to make her meet my family. That's when I started to plan our Sloveniatrip 2010.

Photo of Koper in the morning, our biggest port.

In the next weeks I will thoroughly introduce Slovenia and write about our trip, which lasted several days. We mostly focused on Eastern Slovenia, because it's the furthest away from my home town Maribor and because I think the best and most beautiful places in Slovenia are located there. Besides, I wanted to bring her to Italy, since it's so close. Here is a map of our tours:

My Slovenia Map (via Google Maps). Click on the map to enlarge.

In the 6 days we toured around Slovenia (plus Italy and Austria), we saw:

Day 1: Postojna, Predjama castle, Koper, Izola, Sečovlje salt works, Portorož, Piran (overnight)
Day 2: Koper, Trieste, Gorizia (Italy), N. Gorica, Solkan bridge, Kanal, Ljubljana (overnight)
Day 3: Ljubljana sightseeing (overnight)
Day 4: Škofja Loka, Kranj, Bled, Bohinj, Maribor (overnight)
Day 5: Maribor sightseeing (overnight)
Day 6: Graz (Austria)

We spent a whole day in Slovenia's capital city Ljubljana.

You can imagine that such extensive tour is very exhausting and if you remembered, we toured Vienna and Bratislava few days ago. I've been driving over 900km during our trips and we walked around so many towns and cities for many many hours every day. And it was usually over 30oC every day, which added to the exhaustion big time. Parts of me got sunburned a lot, while my Taiwanese girlfriend (in the typical Far eastern manner) usually carried an parasol umbrella to protect her from getting tanned. With that said, we really had the best time of our lives. It was just me and her and the beautiful scenery. It was a road trip, many funny and not so funny things happened, but the ride was smooth, the car didn't give up, although it struggled at some parts. We returned home safe and sound and with precious memories. And I'm happy my girlfriend loved Slovenia :-)

✰ Slovenia in foreign blogs and press

Eslovènia, el paíz de l'iztok [A blog about Slovenia in Catalan language]

[My SLOVENIA page][All photos by MKL, 2010 except where otherwise noted]

15 COMMENTS:

It looks beautiful! Looking forward to more :) So, now you "hate" me because I commented Easter'n European the other day?? lol Which part do you think you belong to? West??

@Carina: Thanks. And no, I don't hate you for that. And as I wrote above, most people here will say Slovenia belongs to Central Europe along with Austria, Germany, Switzerland and possibly Slovakia, Czech republic and Poland. We never say we're Western or Eastern. Either Central or sometimes Southern :) We're really not that East to be Eastern Europe :)

It's such a scenic place. Would love to tour around that part of the world some day.

(Such a coincidence, I had to label the whole of Europe yesterday in class. Got only half right. Wish you'd put the map up earlier! hahaha.)

am gonna stay tuned for this! looks interesting! :)

I know you're not that far east really... Still, here we tend to just divide into north, west, south and east. Sometimes, we even say we're west and skip north all together.. lol. That's why I think here a lot of people think of it as east.. Although including central in the division is a better idea, because by out definition the east is getting to be a pretty BIG area.

I can't wait to see more photos. Like, seriously!

Oh my.... I love it. I truly do!
Wow... this is so romantic... not only the story about you and Lilly but also the pictures, the atmosphere! I definitely have to come and visit your country!!!

oh man!!! i was supposed to visit you a while back. now i need to start planning again.... it's a beautiful place!

Wow, look at that beautiful turquoise coloured lake! I see what you mean now about the lakes and mountains...although I'm pretty sure your mountains are quite lower than the Canadian rockies that I am in love with. Well, I guess I could google it but I'm a bit lazy hehe
I love how you include large maps showing where places are relative to other countries, cities closeby. My geography is TERRIBLE.

Brother, the first thing I was thinking when I saw the map that plotted with a lot of dots was "OH MY GOD, it looks like the great wall of China.". Glad that you had great time with Lily, it must be a memorable one. She looks gorgeous and energetic in every photos too, sure very happy la. :D

@Nashe: Always welcome here :)

@kyh: Thank you. Hope I won't bore you :)

@Carina: Indeed! Too big, if you ask me :)

@Gnetch: Thanks.

@Daisy: Thanks. I'm a tad romantic, you knoe :P

@Ejann: And now you're in Meelayzha! =.0

@Karen: You'll see that lake soon, it's so scenic :)

@Stephanie: Lily and I had a blast, sis. You need to join us on some trip, hehe..

I love your country and I have a blog for my photos and comments about Slovenia.
http://beautifulslovenia.blogspot.com/
Greetings from Barcelona.

@J. Oliver-Bonjoch: Thanks for sharing your link (i added you on the list) and thanks for loving my country. Always welcome here and hope you can explore more of Slovenia in the future :)

Great introduction to your homeland! I'd love to visit there one day... take care.

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