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Slovenia & Croatia

Lake Bled

2018-09-05-bled-lake
Lake Bled is one of the major tourist destinations in Slovenia.
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Bled itself is a village with the lake, a castle (center), and a church (background right).
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We walk around the lake twice, and learn how fish are caught there.
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The church on the island is a pilgrimage site, and dedicated to the Assumption of Mary.
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A pretty strong assumption, I must say, given the limited evidence.
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Bled is in the Julian Alps, and this shows in the architecture and the cuisine. The local speciality is “kremšnita” (Cremeschnitte).

Vintar Gorge

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The Vintar Gorge is drawn by the river Radovna. The Radovna leads into the Sava river, which, ...
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... after passing by Ljubljana, Zagreb, and Belgrade, discharges into the Danube.
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The gorge can be followed by a path, which is indeed... gorgeous.

Ljubljana

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Ljubljana is the capital of Slovenia, with 300k inhabitants. The picture shows the Ljubljana castle on top of the hill.
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Much like the entire country, the city lies at the crossroads of 3 cultures: germanic (Austria), latin (Italy), and slavic (Croatia).
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Slovenia belonged to Austria/Habsburg during centuries, and this shows in the architecture.
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Slovenia became independent in 1991, after 10 days of war with Yugoslavia. Communism did leave its marks...
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...but most of the city is just lovely.
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It is maybe not surprising then that the name “Ljubljana” sounds like “ljubljena”, which means “the beloved” in Slovenian.
2018-09-07-upward
The city has similarities to Sibiu/Hermannstadt in Romania.
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The Franciscan church is at the triple bridge, which has 3 paths over the river.
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While some corners of the city remain pittoresque,...
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...the country overall is modern. Here are different bins for different types of garbages.
2018-09-06-lj-passport
Here is our landlord who scans our passports with an app that transmits the data automatically to the local police for registration.
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Metelkova City is a self-declared “autonomous culture place” in Ljubljana.
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We leave the city two days later.

Plitvice Lakes National Park

2018-09-08-travel
We are on the way to Croatia. The country has half the GDP per person of Slovenia.
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This shows in the many more unfinished houses, and the generally less well organized landscape.
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Splendidly organized, in contrast, is the Plitvice Lakes National Park.
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The park consists of 16 lakes....
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... that discharge into each other.
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The colors are determined by the amount of minerals and plants...
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...and lead to stunning shades (this is the lake in the background).
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The park is criss-crossed by wooden paths...
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...that pass by deep and clear waters.
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We share the pleasure with quite a number of other people...
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...but everything is very neat and clean.

Rovinj

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Rovinj is a city in Istria/Croatia that lies on a peninsula.
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The entire place is dominated by the iconic Church of St. Euphemia. The city was Venetian during centuries...
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... and still looks very Italian. It became part of Austria-Hungary in 1797,...
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...before becoming Italian again in 1918, and then Yugoslav in 1947, and thus Croatian today. The city is officially bilingual, and both Italian and Croatian are spoken.
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What a nice place to end our journey.
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