Fun and Odd New Year’s Facts:
The Danes are said to be the happiest people in the world! One Danish custom: They relish a melee of dish-throwing to celebrate the holidays. For New Year’s in Denmark: At the stroke of midnight when the revelry is at its height, Danes jump off their chairs to leap into the New Year. (No word as to the number of resulting injuries and whether it curtails the rest of the dancing!)
Fun Holiday Solo Travel Destination:
Looking for new solo travel destinations, I followed a friend’s suggestion to try Slovenia. Having been to former Yugoslavia’s Croatia, Montenegro and Serbia, Slovenia made sense as the next step.
It was well worth the trip. The capital, Ljubljana, looked more like Vienna than the Balkans. My Art Nouveau choice, the Grand Hotel Union Executive, was elegant and a few minutes walk to the Dragon Bridge, Old Town and fabled Triple Bridge with lots of bistros and beautiful architecture. It is perfect for a White Christmas while providing warm hospitality.
There is shopping for fashionistas at reasonable prices and lots of history from the Ljubljana Castle that defended itself against the Ottomans and served as a prison during the Austrian Empire and World War II.
Nearby Bled is accessible by bus or train. Popular since the 19th century with the ruling dynasty and later Yugoslav’s Tito, it is ideal for hiking, golfing and fishing. Two top sights are: (i) Bled Castle that predates William the Conqueror in England and (ii) the Church of the Assumption nestled on the small Bled Island only accessible when the icebergs melt!
Skiers may want to visit Kranjska Gora in the Julian Alps on the Austrian border.
Whether you head out to Slovenia for the holidays, for a casual summer hike or bike trip, Slovenia is great for solo travelers for its:
- Affordable prices
- Welcoming residents and safe environment
- Multiple sports options
- Historical sites to see
- Easily available local public transportation
- Close to the rest of Europe but somewhat off the usual tourist route.