The value of trying out new things can never be emphasised enough. I’m not sure how many people would put the cities or Graz and Ljubljana on their itinerary when visiting Europe, let alone even knowing they exist and if it wasn’t for Expat Explore programme we most definitely would not have considered these hidden gems.
Even though we spent a brief lunch stop in Graz on the way to Ljubljana it was an afternoon well spent. Whilst most of us probably have never heard of it, Graz is intact the second largest city in Austria, after Vienna. It’s kind of like the Stellenbosch or Grahamstown of Austria with no less than 6 varsities in the cities. Because we weren’t staying long, we just focused on the one attraction which is the Schloßberg which stands for Castle Hill. In case you haven’t caught on to the routine by now, yes there’s a castle at the top. One of the main reason we climbed the 260 steps however was for the spectacular views of the city from the clock tower.
After a delicious fish & chip duo, washed down with some ice cream in the town square, we hopped back onto the bus towards Ljubljana where we spent the night. (AM)
Upon seeing this name, I figured it was a bit of a spelling mistake. I didn’t bother doing any research because I thought we’d only be there for a day, so we’ll just wing it and take it easy.
However, the moment we arrived in Ljubljana I felt the need to cancel the rest of the trip and spend at least a week here! This is why doing homework is important ☺
This little city is the capital of Slovenia and is described as the hidden gem of Europe and it really is that! It has more to offer than anyone can even begin to imagine. We’re talking a historic city in a beautiful setting, with a river running through the centre of it, with castles, café’s and museums surrounding it. There are loads and loads of people because it’s a beautiful place and definitely the place to be, as it has so much to offer ito nightlife as well.
Picture yourself sitting next to this emerald green river at a lovey café. To the left is a very cute, dressed-up brass band playing folk music. After a while they take a break and a dj starts playing very modern music to your right. When the dj stops, the brass band continues with their music again. So very different, yet it all gels together marvelously!
This city is that cool older uncle of yours who has sworn to remain an eternal bachelor. He’s got lots of stories to tell, is laidback, but he still has a lot of energy and he wants to share his experiences with you. He carefully guides you while you comfortably discover the city on foot, walking on cobblestones and watching bubbles soar passed you (everywhere in Europe there are people blowing bubbles). He knows all the places to go, the castle, the café, he even knows the dragon’s name on the Dragon Bridge. It’s the older uncle you can share all your secrets with, who you know you can trust and he can guide you with his wisdom, but he isn’t overprotective enough to not let you discover and experience things.
This city is exactly that. Not daunting. Warm. Kind. Fun. Beautiful. Inclusive. Protective. Easy. And it makes you feel like you’re extremely important. It gives you time to breathe, relax and take everything in while you watch the boats pass by on the river. Safe is how I felt here and this is a place I’d recommend to anybody and everybody! (TL)