After we left Verona, we hopped on a very early plane to our final European destination: Ljublijana, Slovenia!When Anthony and I were booking our travels we decided to include one city that neither of us had never been to. We read about Ljublijana as an “undiscovered” destination and thought: why not?
We looked at a number of hotels and ended up choosing the Slamic B&B because it was .25 miles from the city’s largest park. I had a feeling that at this point in the trip we’d be craving a good run — and sure enough, that was the first thing we did when we landed. Tivoli Park is full of green space for frolicking. I want to pick up the whole park and take it with me to Nashville.Should have packed my selfie stick.We only had time for a quick 5k because we had to get back and get ready for a tour of the city. A FOOD tour of the city, that is We booked a “Ljubljana Essentials” food tour with local guide Iva and had a blast tasting the different flavors of the city.
We walked for a couple hours and checked out eight different restaurants, market stands, and specialty food shops.The city’s open market is huge! So much fresh produce. We sampled tomatoes, grapes, and figs. Yum.Ljubljana also has these strange milk machines that spout out fresh, unpasteurized milk. Iva gave us a sample! Bizarre concept, but better than soda machines I guess!We headed to a number of Iva’s favorite local spots to nibble on all sorts of tasty things. These vegetarian stuffed peppers were one of our favorite dishes of the day!Local goats’ milk cheese, smoky sundried tomatoes, and watermelon chunks enhanced with grated ginger. Plus fresh bread slathered with an olive paste. After weeks of eating white Italian bread, the dense, nutty flavors of Slovenian bread tasted divine. I can’t wait to get home and get out my bread maker to try recreating some of these! We quickly learned that Slovenians love their pumpkin seeds. Pumpkin seed oil was on almost everything we tried — including this creamy cottage cheese spread!As the evening went on, the bars started filling up with people getting off work (note that it was about 4:30 pm — does anyone else want to open an office with me in this city?). Iva helped us snag a table at a local hot spot for some snacks & vino. Slovenia actually produces a fair amount of its own local wine — I had no idea!The tour included dessert, as well. Gelato #37 of our trip? Or maybe 38. Or 1,038.And finally: a piece of Ljubljana cake! This is the city’s official cake (every city should have an official cake, BTW) and includes pumpkin seeds and buckwheat flour. It looks rich, but was surprisingly light and only a tad sweet.Food tour was fun! Not only did Iva fill us up with lots of delicious dishes, but she also helped fill us in on what to do and where to go during our stay in the city. If you’re visiting Ljubljana, I’d highly recommend taking this tour!
We were way too stuffed from our tour to eat anything else on our first day in the city, but during the next couple days we worked up quite an appetite! Here’s what was on the menu:^^ Hot soup at the start of almost every meal. Soup is a big deal in Slovenia — and given the brisk temps during our stay, we were grateful to find soup at almost every restaurant!^^ One of my favorite meals from our entire trip. We went to a small cafe for fresh salad topped with an eggplant bake.
One night we strolled over to Pivovarna Union, the city’s largest brewery, for a tour and tasting.We were the only ones on the tour and got to ask our guide plenty of questions. By far one of the most informative beer tours we’ve ever been on! (And we’ve been on a lot, haha)After the tour we ended up staying at the brewery restaurant for dinner. After a week of salami and prosciutto, a big old burger sounded darn good. #muricaAnd after a week of wine, beer sounded good too!If you couldn’t tell, Ljubljana was a yummy place. And it was perfect for running! More on that in the next post