Ljubljana (pronounced lubeliyana) is the capital of Slovenia; you know, the country that our presidents keep getting mixed up with Slovakia. It is North of Croatia, South of Austria, East of Italy, and West of Hungary. If you're still lost, get out your world map! Slovenia was part of the former Yugoslavia but in 1990 voted for independence and in 1991 became it's own sovereign entity. It was admitted to the European Union in 2004. The population of the entire country only reaches about 2 million and Ljubljana as its captial has about 276,000 people of which 50,000 are students at the university here. While the city of Ljubljana has been around for hundreds of years, an earthquake in 1895 destroyed almost the entire city. This explains why the beautiful buildings that make up the city are only a little over a hundred years old instead of hundreds of years old like many other European cities.
Enough of the geography and history lessons. Ljubljana is beautiful! There is a small river running through the city, the Ljubljanica, which sets the stage for pretty riverfront walkways, a multitude of waterside cafes and restaurants, and picturesque bridges to connect the two sides of the city on the opposite sides of the river. It has stunning architecture, greatly influced by one particular architect, Joze Plecnik, and is a very compact city perfect for walking. In fact, many of its streets are pedestrian only. While they receive many more tourists than prior to belonging to the European Union, it is still minimal compared to many European cities which makes it far less crowded. It has all the attributes of a city just on a smaller scale.
You will hear more about Ljubljana and other parts of Slovenia as we will be here for almost three weeks. For now, I will let the pictures speak for themselves.