Back in 2015 I visited Ljubljana for the very first time. I was in love for the city as soon as I woke up the first morning at my hostel, and I knew I would be back one day.
So this year, as traveled for a month in Europe, I went back to a few countries I had already been, and it was one of the best decisions I could have made. When you revisit a city that you loved, you automatically feel that your heart is full again. You look back to the fear you once had, and you realize how far you’ve come. The fear is gone and now you can really enjoy the place and do all those things you didn’t do before, because you were too scared to even get out of the hostel. Going back to Slovenia felt exactly like that.
Returning to Ljubljana, from Lake Bled, was heart warming. Everything seemed to be wrong until then, but while I was on that bus (that only cost me 3€ after I bought my ticket half price to a girl at my hostel), I kept feeling everything was going to be better from then on. The amazing green landscapes, hidden by a dense fog may have helped me remember how beautiful Slovenia’s countryside is. I was just where I needed to be! And when I arrived in Ljubljana it was like being home. Everything felt familiar!
I stayed at Hostel Tresor during my first two nights. This hostel is now my new favorite, with the best location I could have asked for and fantastic facilities. Who knew having a dorm with a pink wall would conquer my heart? I was right next to the Three Bridges, which was perfect for my morning strolls by the river, and there’s nothing like returning to the hostel after an entire day exploring, and having the most adorable little girl singing just outside my window. Everything seemed to make me happy. All I kept thinking was that Ljubljana was even better than I remember, and I didn’t want to leave.
Having two sponsored stays in two different hostels, on my third day I had to carry my backpacks a kilometer away from the city center. I was sincerely sad to leave Hostel Tresor, but work is work and I was off to a totally different accommodation. Honestly, when people say they don’t care where they stay, as long as it’s cheap, I think it’s a bunch of crap. The hostel you stay at will define half of your experience and I believe that staying in an incredible hostel, that makes you feel at home, will give you memories to treasure for the rest of your life. So, don’t be so cheap and pay those three or four euros extra to stay in a better place. It will be worth it.
As usual, I lost track of time and left too many things to see on my last day. When I got out of my hostel it was raining and way colder than what my Spring clothes could protect me from. I knew my plans had gone down the drain. So, I had to improvise. I let go of all those sights I wanted to revisit, like going up the Castle, and I decided to look for a great place to have some amazing food. I had been eating kebabs and fast food for too long!
I stopped at this adorable restaurant, in a hidden narrow street, next to the river. I sat outside, with a little blanket and I was ready for some yummy food. I chose a daily menu, in which I got a soup, main dish, and desert for as little as 8€. I was in food Heaven! Why don’t I eat like this more often? I couldn’t think of a better way to say goodbye to such a beautiful country than by leaving with a happy tummy.
The next morning I had to get to Split, in Croatia, and things almost went very wrong. I guess I didn’t realize how far my hostel was from the bus station, and it took me almost one hour walking there. Then, I couldn’t find my platform, and five minutes before my departure I was running the station from top to bottom, crying, believing I was going to miss my bus. That morning no one seemed to speak English and I was in total despair. Lucky for me, my bus was late and I found the right platform just in time to hop on my first bus of the day. Everything was going to be alright.
Ljubljana is one of my favorite hidden gems in Europe. I love how there’s so little tourists and you can actually enjoy the city being surrounded by locals, instead of dozens of selfie sticks in your face when you try to snap some photos. I love how organized everything is and how clean the streets are. I love the cheap and fantastic food you can find every corner. Plus, Ljubljana is really environment friendly, with all the green zones and the fact most people either walk or ride a bike. And if I had to stay something bad, I would only complain about the cold, but that’s only because I’m Portuguese and everything less than 10ºC will be freezing dead cold to me.
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