Ljubljana is the capital of Slovenia with a population of 280 000 people. It is a small, friendly city on the Ljubljana River. Slovenia was formally a part of the old Yugoslavia. It has borders with Austria, Italy, Croatia and Hungary. It was the first country to declare its independence in 1991.
This building is now the US Embassy.
The symbol of Ljubljana is the dragon, it is on the tower of the Ljubljana Castle and on the Dragon Bridge across the river. The stories refer back to Jason and the Golden Fleece and also to St George slaying the dragon. St George is the patron saint of the castle chapel.
Once again I am confused, Batumi, the Black Sea town in Georgia has a statue of Jason and the Golden Fleece and is also named after St George. There are links everywhere.
The old part of the city has pedestrian streets with cafe and markets. Ljubljana has a vegetable market, meat and fish markets and because it is summer Open Kitchen on Fridays where restaurants cook their dishes.
It is a city of parks and squares
One interesting initiative for summer is Library under the TreesTops 2013. A librarian sets up deck chairs and a couple of shelves of books in various locations around the city. This one was at the castle, but I saw one being set up on the banks of the river and another in a park surrounded by blocks of apartments.
Metelkova and Rog
A Ljubljana equivalent of the Copenhagen’s Freetown Christiania,
a self-proclaimed autonomous Metelkova neighbourhood, was set up in a former Austro-Hungarian barracks that were built in 1882. It is now a centre for galleries, artist studios and nightclubs.
I really enjoyed my 3 days in Ljubljana.
I wondered how a country which seemed so different ethnically, economically from the countries of the south such as Serbia, Macedonia and Bosnia had stayed part of one country for so long.
I asked a woman who said she was 70, who shared my table at the castle. she said ‘Tito was my idol’.