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Top Deals for Solo Travelers Eastern Europe Slovenia: Bargains still exist in this great mix of Old Europe and 21st-century vitality.
- Always looking for new solo travel destinations, I followed a friend’s suggestion to try Slovenia.
- Traveling alone, the prices were good. In addition, Slovenia provides multiple options for hiking in the summer, and skiing in the winter.
- Looking for a history/cultural tour? You will also find that well-priced in Slovenia!
- Having been to former Yugoslavia’s Croatia, Montenegro and Serbia, Slovenia made sense as the next step.
After arriving in Zurich, I discovered my flight to the capital city, Ljubljana, had been cancelled.
- However, I was quickly accommodated and dispatched to Germany for a connecting flight. On arrival, a fellow passenger and I watched forlornly> The door on our flight closed leaving us behind. Not to worry, I was reticketed on a flight to Austria. I arrived hours before the next scheduled flight to Slovenia. I waited to make it to my fifth country in 18 hours. However, I kept my eyes glued to the jet way. I was afraid I would fall asleep, miss the flight and be sent to a 6th country!
- It was well worth the journey. Ljubljana’s historic area was a surprise. It looked more like Vienna than the Balkans.
- My Art Nouveau choice, the Grand Hotel Union Executive, combined style with convenience. It was walking distance to the Old Town and its multiple restaurants . Fortunately, they were still serving at 10 PM. Eating alone was no problem. After a lively conversation with the table next to me, I could almost say I felt like I was solo no more!
- The next day I was struck by how similar the architecture along the Gallus Embankment was to parts of St. Petersburg.
- The Ljubljana Castle had a colorful history. It had defended against the Ottomans. It also had served as a prison in the Austrian Empire and again was a prison during World War II.
- Afterwards, I strolled back through the Old Town and the Plaza. A Triple Bridge leads out of the Old Town. It is made for pedestrians but has enchanting Old World style. My favorite though was the Dragon Bridge. It is topped by a fierce creature keeping watch over the city. It would put any mere gargoyle to shame!
Top Deals for Solo Travelers Eastern Europe Slovenia: Bled:
- Having felt so at home, I was almost sorry that it was time to move on the next day.
- I was off via public bus for another three day adventure.
- My next stop was the enchanting, historic town of Bled. I had read about the town of Bled for years. It is a famous tourist haven since the nineteenth century. It has been popular also with the ruling dynasty and later Yugoslav’s Tito.
- In the current day it is also a great spot for hiking, golf and fishing.
- I had two chief objectives: (i) visiting Bled Castle and (ii) exploring the small island of Bled and its Church of the Assumption. I was surprised to see there was no pedestrian bridge to the church. Access was by boat only. That was not possible in the dead of winter when “icebergs“ predominated.
- Undaunted, I struck out for my second destination. To reach Bled Castle, my faithful guidebook described a comfortable hike. Unfortunately, they failed to mention anything about trying this mid-winter without shoeshoes or cleats!
- Its history even antedates William the Conqueror’s Conquest of England. Of course, castles, as fortresses, are always atop very high hills. As I approached the hill, it looked like a snow-capped Mt. Everest crowned at the top with ice-covered boulders. When I somehow made it to the entrance, I realized getting down would be even more challenging. After my tour, no taxis were available. In a moment of desperation which I DO NOT recommend, I accepted a ride with a stranger. A kindly, elderly gentleman who found me stumbling down the hillside in the ice. A safer alternative to hitchhiking would have been to sit down and slide down like a human luge.
Top Deals for Solo Travelers Eastern Europe Slovenia: Julian Alps:
- Next I headed out to my last destination, Kranjska Gora on the Austrian border.
- My goal was to ski the Julian Alps.
- By then, I thought I was an old pro at mastering local buses. However, I discovered a large difference between the English words “bus stop” and “bus station”. The bus stopped suddenly on a two-lane road and opened the door. Without knowing a word of Slovenian, I quickly understood this was the end of the line for me! I jumped out into the snow with my suitcase. Across the way, I saw the village with a path through the snowdrifts. Guided by welcoming local residents, I located my hotel. Fortunately, it was painted a very bright yellow and conspicuous from a distance.
- My first day on the slopes I skipped my usual routine: a private or semi-private lesson to get the lay of the land.
- That was a mistake. My rental skis had been set by height and weight but apparently not by ability. As an infrequent intermediate skier, there was more ice than I could handle. The result? At the top of the slope, the one ski that came off would not go back on. The second ski would not come off at all. Glad there were no witnesses, I was rescued by snowmobile. I was sent down the lift with my skis then firmly in my lap. As I approached the bottom of the lift, loud shouts began instructing me exactly(?)what to do. Not understanding a word of Slovenian, I just waited for the lift to stop. When that never happened, I took a wild leap on the still moving lift. Luckily, the next day with a private lesson went much more smoothly.
- Then it was back to Ljubljana for a little shopping and a much shorter flight home! I was confess this was a more successful
Top Deals for Solo Travelers Eastern Europe Slovenia: In Conclusion:
Looking back on it, Slovenia was a great choice for a solo traveler because of:
- Attractive prices even when traveling alone
- Friendly people and safe environment
- Active sports options summer and winter
- Multiple historic and cultural sites to explore
- Available local public transportation
- Proximity to the crossroads of Europe for combining vacations
- The benefit of still being off the usual tourist route.