Slovenia: A country without compromise
To start with it is worth noting that in the capital Ljubljana -a must-see part of any itinerary in Slovenia- the day starts with breakfast at a bakery. Slovenians love pastries. Giant croissants and chocolate donuts are on the menu through the night at 24 hour bakeries dotted about the place. That said, Slovenian people seem to be exclusively young, slim and beautiful.
It is an ex-soviet nation that was part of the former Yugoslavia. That of course means that, though it is dilapidated and a little pitiful, your money will go far and you can do as you please. Right? No. Ljubljana still bears the cuts and bruises of its past and it wears them proudly alongside some of its finer cultural treasures such as Ljubljana Castle. Strolling down by the river you can be reminded of Amsterdam, Prague, London or a host of other countries but none quite ticks all the boxes the way that Ljubljana does. The ruins of soviet buildings are not abandoned but retro-fitted to serve as sophisticated apartments and the new Ljubljana is blended seamlessly into its older surroundings.
If you can tear yourself away, getting away from Ljubljana is easy. The roads are well-kept, the buses are on time and the trains are reliable. In choosing a next destination just put a point in the map and go. However, if you are short on time and want to experience Slovenia at its primeval best, head west to the resort town of Bovec. Here you are ringed by an impressive mountain range carpeted in lush forests and capped with ice. If you are brave enough, one route by car brings you up a narrow pass through the mountains via endless stunning hairpin bends.
Bovec is also surrounded by the Soca river, a palate of blue so alluring it is impossible not to jump in. Be warned the water is from a glacier and at most points the current is very strong. In and around the Bovec area, everything is within your reach. Hire a mountain bike and go it alone or take a tour to kayak, canyon or raft down the Soca. You can even skydive over the Julian alps.
Slovenia was almost unheard of in the UK a few years ago, but it is now easily accessible from most UK airports. It is not Prague, Amsterdam or London. If you are seeking compromise any of these will do. Slovenia does not offer compromise. It has raw beauty and a character all its own and it has to be experienced to be understood.