WHERE WE STAYED: Just outside of the resort town of Bled, at B&B Prešeren in the village of Zasip. A quiet place with a big balcony and mountain view. Friendly hosts too.
BEST MEAL: Grilled octopus salad at a beach bar, overlooking Bled lake. The meal just about lived up to the view, no small task. Closely followed by a sugary street-style crepe in Ljubljana.
NATURAL HIGH: The Postojna Cave is one of the most amazing places I’ve ever seen—dark, cold and cathedral-like. It is also an incredibly well-oiled tourist machine, ushering thousands of people through each day, without taking (too much) away from the experience. A speedy train takes you deep down, more than a hundred meters below the surface. Its is a cross between an amusement park roller coaster (skimming dangerously close to the rock walls) and a haunted house ride drilling ever deeper into the dark crevices of the cave. Exhilarating. The other half of the tour is made on foot (this is quite tedious and slowed by crowds) but the views are worth every step, culminating at the large Concert Hall space, whose exceptional acoustics actually draw symphony orchestra performances.
A close second: Driving past Triglav, the highest peek of the Julian Alps.
WILDLIFE ENCOUNTERS: In the Postojna Cave lives a mysterious, blind being known as the “human fish” (proteus anguinus). It’s called that because of it’s skin colour, although to me it looks more like a creature that’s been skinned alive. A rare and awful, but fascinating little beast.
DON’T MISS: An afternoon discovering the charms of Ljubljana, Slovenia’s capital. It’s a small city (with under 300,000 inhabitants) but you’d never know it by the quality of its galleries, bookshops, cafes and fashionable residents.
SORRY WE SKIPPED: A tour of Blejski Grad (built around the infamous Bled Castle) including a peek into the renowned castle wine cellar. Sadly, not enough time.