I suppose you could visit Ljubljana without knowing the name Jože Plečnik, but come on, you’re not paying attention. Plečnik is a Slovene architect “who had a major impact on the modern architecture of Vienna, Prague and of Ljubljana” (wikipedia). However, I visited Prague and Vienna and never heard his name so maybe I wasn’t paying attention. Ljubljana’s UNESCO site is titled “The works of Jože Plečnik in Ljubljana – Human Centred Urban Design”.
Ferda and my Plečnik tour started before we even got to Ljubljana. We made a small detour to Črna vas to visit the church Plečnik designed and built there, Church of St. Michael. The inside is supposed to be quite interesting, but it was locked up.
From there before we made it into the center of the city and our funky but comfortable capsule-like hotel, the Fuzzy Log, we passed one of Plečnik’s bridges, Plečnikov most.
I wish I had written this post just after our first week in Slovenia. It’d be a bit more of “first impressions” post. As it is (spoiler), my opinion of Slovenia gets better every week (we’re into our 4th week here now).
I read over my notes so I’ll try to describe things as I felt then, as we rode from Ormož, on the Croatia border, west, south, and west through eastern Slovenia; without too much exaggeration, I hope.
The scenery was fairly flat, rolling farmland, “pretty but not incredible”.
From my hotel with Jeff in Dubrovnik to a campsite near Zagreb took 14 hours — 11 hours of that were on the bus. Croatia isn’t such a small country. I went from the Balkans to Central Europe. The biggest change, however, was leaving Jeff behind in Dubrovnik. I met Ferda the next evening at the Zagreb airport. Here she is at Biciklopopravljaona in Zagreb.
Zagreb is on the large Hungarian plain which includes most (all?) of Hungary, Serbia’s Vojvodina, Romania’s Transylvania (“another country“, I said, leaving the Carpathians into Transylvania), northern Croatia, and extends into Slovenia as well. Culturally these areas are influenced by the Austro-Hungarians rather than the Ottomans. It’s obvious in the architecture.
Jeff and I spent five weeks in seven countries for our Balkans adventure. In one word: fantastic. Like I said after my first Balkans trip, I want to come back. We split up in Dubrovnik, but first we quickly crossed southern Bosnia and Hercegovina (Republika Srpska), spending one night in Trebinje.
Corfu, Gjirokastër, Ohrid, Prizren — in each country Jeff and I had been to before Montenegro we had an exciting cultural destination as well as good scenery. Montenegro ended up being all about the mountains. We crossed the border at Kulla Pass and descended into Rožaje.