After an exhausting drive all the way through Austria in a day, we arrived in a dark Slovenia. It was silent except for some crickets. The owner of glamping mountain fairy tale arrived quickly and warmly welcomed us with a bag of fresh cookies for the dogs and a (strong) drink before we got all info about the place, our house * and breakfast. We were of course very curious and had so much desire to explore Slovenia but we were totally exhausted and almost immediately went to bed for a good night sleep.
* I would like to share the smell of the house but unfortunately that’s not possible. It smelled like a mix of wood and freshly washed sheets, very fresh.
The first morning we mostly wanted to sleep and wake up quietly with the breakfast they delivered at our cabin. YEAH! We got fresh bread, pastries, yogurt, tea/coffee, juices, fresh fruit and a bowl with toppings. Every day was a bit different but the concept was similar. We could just pick herbs such as basil from the little gardens and raspberries also grew enthusiastically on the property. Even the apples and grapes came from the owners’ gardens.
And we always have enough food for lunch and fika.
From the owners, we received maps of the area and tips for walks that were not in super busy tourist areas. Although we certainly wanted to visit a few attractions, we also always forward to those more subtle routes where we often can let the dogs run and play.
A Camera Obscura at a waterfall? Hell yes.
This camera is not like a fancy Nikon or something but rather a bunker-shaped room, shielded with a thick black sheet as a door and a small hole of an inch in one of the walls. When you enter through the curtain, you initially see nothing but total darkness. Then, when your eyes gradually make the transition from the bright sunlight outside to the dark room, you begin to see it: the river, the trees, … and then it looks like you are swimming in a forest jar.
We went out before sunrise. Into the forest, to the waterfall, to Bled or Bohinj to take advantage of the cool hours of the day. When our stomachs started to growl from the hunger, we returned home where breakfast was waiting for us. After a brisk walk and new adventures, such a breakfast tastes all the more divine, doesn’t it? After a good breakfast and a tea to finish, we sat outside for a while as the sun climbed higher and higher. A sort of early siesta. Short break.
Lizzie’s favorite place in the cottage. Only at night, I had to make clear to her that she should not warn us every time a cat was passing by 🙂
“Bled isn’t that special,” many told me. And I think it depends on what you are looking for. The first time we drove by it was a sunny afternoon. Beautiful light on the green lake and the island was glowing in the sun. Yet I do not have photos of it. Why? We toured around the lake but everywhere it was crowded. It looked like the Meir (big shopping street in Antwerp) but with water. Either we heard Dutch people argue, or there was a group of Asians taking selfies on every square meter. A little further on I suddenly thought I saw a refugee camp – ok politically incorrect but it was such a mess with tents and sails in the forest and so many people close together that that was the connotation that first came to mind until I a big sign with ‘Camping’.
So we returned on a morning before sunrise because I still wanted to take a walk. The air was fresh this time and except for a few photographers and sporadic joggers, there was no one to be seen. By the time we left people from the hotels flocked to the lake or travel buses. That second time, I thought it was beautiful. It seemed like now, without the crowds, we got to see the place itself.
Obviously, what I call an overwhelming crowd of people may just mean fun and liveliness for you. I am not a fan of crowded places such as shopping streets, shopping centers, tourist spots, … (but I like certain liveliness in a city) and that is one of the main reasons why we moved to a god-forgotten town in central Sweden. In addition, Oona is not an easy dog in a busy environment. She barks quickly to strange dogs and then loses all focus, so that’s no fun. When we walk around in a city and occasionally walk into a quiet street or have a break for a drink, things are much better.
At Bohinj I felt completely in my element: fresh air and fog haha. Yes, really, despite the fact that I couldn’t photograph much of Bohinj, it was a pleasure to walk around on this early morning.
If I wanted to meet, Anja asked me. Hell yeah! I have been following Anja and Vicky for years and always look forward to her beautiful photos on Instagram. I let Anja choose a spot so that I would get somewhere where the tourist maps would not bring us. And indeed! We started by a pizzeria, walked through the village, through someone’s garden up the hill and through the forest to a large pond which was super welcome because of the burning sun. Mogwai immediately played with Vicky’s ball and Lizzie was fond of puppy Tuvalu (who went rolling into something dirty twice).
All three doggies also received a drying coat from Ruff & Tumble that came in handy during this holiday. Mogwai loves to swim but the Slovenian water was remarkably cold, Oona splashes around and Lizzie plays cheerfully but then shivers herself almost inside out. So it’s handy to get them dry and warm faster and also to limit the number of splashes in the cabin.
Their harnasses are from DOG Copenhagen:
And this andana is part of a set from Hiro & Wolf:
Someone on Instagram gave us tips to cross the border to Italy for some beautiful lakes. And a yes. WOW! An emerald green lake, high mountain peaks, and sunlight that made those colors sparkle. Some places seem almost surreal.
Kranjska Gora was undoubtedly a favorite and super pity that we could not spend more time because suddenly it started to rumble in the distance. “Ah,” I thought, “it will stay in the mountains.”
Not so. Suddenly the heavens were opened wide and Thor’s tears poured down so heavily on us that it hurt on my skin. We ran towards a group of trees for shelter, but then the storm started to come closer too. Damn! Joeri ran to the car to pick us up on another path because we were careful with causing much stress for Lizzie (we had no idea how she would react to thunder).
Soon it was pitch dark and it started to rain harder with lightning and thunder. Joeri could only get out by himself to buy dinner, but of course, we had to leave the car to get into the cabin… The rain poured over the windshield and we even saw a few hail beads mixed between the drops. Over the car seats, I crawled to the back looking for our raincoats. Joeri took Lizzie in his coat and I ran ahead with Mogwai and Oona with the key of the house. Once warm inside, with dry clothes and a warm soup, it was actually super cozy with that thunderstorm outside. And Lizzie? She was a bit impressed by the stormy rain but did not react at all to the thunderstorm. Good girl!
Ljubljana was an experience in itself. We arrived in the morning, apparently looked like locals because people asked us the way, I was photographed by Asian tourists with the doggies and we looked for as many small side streets with graffiti or beautiful structures as possible.
The highlight for me was a walk through Metelkova, a special place in the capital that has been occupied for years by squatters, but which is also a feast for the eyes thanks to the many creative details and a wild mix of colors.
The colorful anarchy and atmosphere stand in stark contrast to the charming main streets of Ljubljana where beautiful buildings in soft colors get your attention and where even until late in the evening people visit the restaurants and bars and where even after sunset street musicians or artists perform.
In addition, Ljubljana (and Slovenia in general perhaps) is, in my opinion, the most dog-friendly city I have visited. So many dogs and friendly reactions we received from people. It is, of course, difficult to say after 1 day, so maybe we were just very lucky, but also in other places, it was noticed that people are remarkably tolerant of dogs.
We also met with Monika and her puppy Yumbi (a brother of Tuvalu), a meet-up also with thanks to Instagram :-). Unfortunately, the GoPro did something strange with the pictures and there was only one that looked normal instead of Grinch- green?! We took a walk along a river to chat to a clearing in the sun. Very nice and super fun to get to know the person and dogs behind the accounts. And best of luck with your plans Monika!
We stayed at the left cabin 🙂
In short: Slovenia was fantastic!
Initially, we only wanted to stay in Slovenia for a few days and then travel to Croatia, but we’re glad we took it easy and could see so much more of this beautiful country. I read everywhere that it is a small country, but there is so much beauty to see and explore that even a week gave me the feeling that I had only a hint of what Slovenia has to offer.
Even more travel inspiration: