Hello from Ljubljana, Slovenia. We left home six weeks ago, June 29. It took us nearly a month to get back into our travel groove. It’s a very different lifestyle, and mindset, traveling long term. It most assuredly takes time to adjust from home to being on the road and don’t get me started on the challenge of the re-entry mindset once we return to the US. Now that takes some adjusting!
We started our journey in Lagos, the Algarve region, in Portugal where we basically did nothing except take long walks, eat gelato and watch the world pass by. Heaven. From Lagos we hopped a local train to Lisbon where we spent a few days before we winged our way to Brussels and very quickly pulled out our sweaters and rain jackets. We spent five days in the chill and drizzle. Had we known a global heatwave was building up in the weeks ahead of us, we would have more willingly embraced the gray days. Aside from the weather though, we thoroughly enjoyed Brussels and it was a good jumping off point for our eight weeks of riding the rails with Eurail.
Having boarded our first train in Brussels, we traveled from Brussels to Berlin, to Dresden, to Vienna, to Budapest, to Zagreb, and to Ljubliana, which is where we are now. What a journey! We’ve had a grand time of it. Well, except for that little hiccup as we entered Croatia, but all in all it’s been quite the adventure thus far.
I’ve been saying for years if only some brainiac would find a way to construct a transatlantic rail crossing, I’d never fly again. I wonder how long that would take, to cross the Atlantic by train. It took seven hours flying time, how much longer could it be?! A girl can dream. Ask anyone who loves train travel and they’ll tell you there is just something so special about riding the rails. Think about the classics such as the Orient Express or the Rocky Mountaineer, or the Danube Express. It’s an era gone by, seeing the world through the window of a train carriage. And, there’s something so exhilarating when that intense Whoosh! of another train passes by seemingly within arm’s length. It takes my breath away, every time.
Crossing the Border to Slovenia
As we crossed the border from Croatia to Slovenia, the picture perfect scenery beckoned us out of our compartment seats to stand next to the open windows to watch in awe as Slovenia presented itself.
You know those Eurail videos that you just drool over because it’s your dream to travel across Europe by train? Well, I have to admit we’re pretty much living the dream. There are days when I have to stop and just be grateful in the moment for where we are. We must have stood at the open train windows for at least an hour, just letting the wind blow through our hair while we pointed out picture perfect spots. Slovenia is green and lush and just so pretty.
Living in Ljubljana
So here we are in Ljubljana. The city is wonderfully charming with beautiful historic architecture and a river flows through it. What more could you ask for? Oh, wait, it has a castle on the hill. And gelato. And dragons. We were highly encouraged by our two most favorite people to #1 get to Slovenia on this trip and #2 spend some time just living in Ljubljana and that’s exactly what we’re doing. Just living in Ljubljana. We’re back to taking long walks, exploring the city and eating way too much gelato. Is that possible? Is there such a thing as too much gelato?
We’ve rented an apartment on the edge of the town center, an easy 5 minute walk to the heart of the city where life is bursting at the seams. Street musicians abound, some better than others, some really quite good. Outdoor cafes line every street and if one wants to just sit and sip for an hour, or two, no one cares. Every day in Ljubljana is market day. Rows and rows of farm fresh produce and vegetables line the market square, and there are bees aplenty, because you know it’s summer and they like fruit too. And they sting. This, sadly, I know from first hand experience. I can’t remember the last time I was stung by a bee. It was not pleasant.
When we once again board a train we will be bound for Salzburg, a city we’ve long-wanted to visit. From Salzburg we’ll make our way to Basel, Switzerland; Dijon and Lyon, France; and Seville, Spain. Seville will be our last destination with Eurail, but from there we will continue on to Malaga, Spain to meet up with friends.
In the meantime, we’ve got another full week to just live in Ljubljana and possibly explore beyond the city. We’re planning a trip to Lake Bled and the Vintgar Gorge and possibly to the city of Piran on the coast. Or, we may just continue to do nothing but take long walks and eat too much gelato, simply because we can.
Riding the rails along the Sava River in Slovenia
Our train travel is sponsored by Eurail.