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Driving, Europe, Travel

Dropped into a Fairy Tale in Slovenia

May 6, 2016

 

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Dropped into a Fairy Tale in SloveniaThere is only one way to describe Slovenia, like a fairy tale! From the minute I stepped out of the airport and was presented with an amazing view of a snowcapped mountain to the fields of dandelions along the highway, Slovenia never disappointed. Even though I was there for a work conference, I would have been happy just to stare at Slovenia if I didn’t get time to sightsee. Lucky me, though, as I had one day to do some sightseeing outside of the conference.

Dropped into a Fairy Tale in Slovenia

Dropped into a Fairy Tale in Slovenia

The conference was in a small town called Radenci. Radenci is a spa town located on the eastern side of Slovenia near the Austrian border. While the hotel was not great, the surrounding area was beautiful. There is a park outside the hotel, which I am still not 100% on the official name of, but if you google Radenci Park, it comes up. The park seems to be the old town center with the old spa hotels located in the park. In the summer, there are restaurants in the park and a waterpark. Winter had just left Slovenia, and the flowers and trees in the park knew it!

Dropped into a Fairy Tale in Slovenia

Dropped into a Fairy Tale in Slovenia

Dropped into a Fairy Tale in Slovenia

I have really come to love driving in a foreign country. I see small towns and get a feel for how the locals drive. Unfortunately, on this trip, I didn’t have a data connection so I couldn’t take any side trips. Each adorable town had at least one tall church steeple that I could see from the highway that made me want to exit every few minutes. Many of these towns were on the tops of hills and mountains. Slovenia was dotted with small farms and cows throughout. Next time I go to Slovenia, I will be taking a road trip with GPS!

Dropped into a Fairy Tale in Slovenia

Dropped into a Fairy Tale in Slovenia

After spending two days in Radenci at the conference and walking most of the small town, I started my drive back across the country towards Ljubljana, the country’s capital to make my way to Lake Bled. Lake Bled is the country’s most well-known sightseeing spot and is highly photogenic as is the surrounding countryside. The lake itself is a stunning shade of green turquoise with a bright green forest surrounding it. The day I was there it was sunny with a slight breeze, and it was perfect.

Dropped into a Fairy Tale in Slovenia

There is an island in the lake that houses a church, The Church of the Assumption of Mary. Due to several earthquakes, it has been rebuilt several times, and the current church was built in the 17th century. There is also a bell tower on the island that you can climb to the top of to see the inner workings of the bell and to get a higher view of the surrounding area. First, though, you have to get out there! To get to Bled Island, you can either row yourself out in a rented rowboat or take a traditional plenta rowboat to the island. The plenta is a small shallow boat that is rowed by one person and could hold about 20 people. The plenta oarsman is a coveted position in Bled and is handed down in generations in families. The boat seemed a bit unstable as I got in, but once we were under weigh it was more stable. The ride over took about 15 minutes and the boats wait for you for 50 minutes, which is plenty of time to see everything on the island and have coffee at the shop. Of course, you have to climb 99 steps to get to the church, but it is worth every stair.

Dropped into a Fairy Tale in Slovenia

The church is very small and unfortunately, was undergoing some restoration work when I was there, so I could not see the frescos that it is known for. However, I did ring the wishing bell! Legend has it that if you ring the bell three times, you will receive your wish. The sound was so beautiful; I wanted to keep ringing it. It was even better when I went outside and heard others ring it. Right outside the church is the bell tower, in which you will have to climb another set of stairs to reach the top. After all, that stair climbing you can have a rest in the coffee shop or wander around the island to take photos of the surrounding Julian Alps.

Dropped into a Fairy Tale in Slovenia

A short drive around the lake takes you to Bled Castle, which was built in 1011! The castle now showcases the history of Slovenia in the museum, print works, forge, chapel and a restaurant. There is a replica of a Gutenberg printing press and a copy of the first book ever printed in Slovenian. The location of the castle on a steep cliff gives you excellent views of the lake and valley. The museum is simple but gives you a thorough understanding of the history of Slovenia. The highlights for me were a visit to the chapel and the restaurant. I don’t think I have ever seen a chapel with painted frescos in this salmon hue. The walls were also painted in this color. The restaurant also offered an outstanding view of the lake from its full glass window in the dining room. I know Slovenia has excellent wine, so I ordered a Slovenian wine and stuffed chicken in a king prawn sauce that was melt in your mouth good. All of it was very simple but had great flavor. I owe this to the fact that it was all probably grown within 50 miles or less of Bled.

Dropped into a Fairy Tale in Slovenia

Dropped into a Fairy Tale in Slovenia

Dropped into a Fairy Tale in Slovenia

Dropped into a Fairy Tale in Slovenia

Sadly, I didn’t have time for much else at this point and decided to drive to my hotel for the night. Since my flight was early the next morning, I opted to stay close to the airport instead of in Ljubljana. While the evening was quiet, the scenery was worth it. The tiny village that the hotel was located in was basically a large farm. The house across the street had a barn with cows in it that I could hear. The view from my room was of the breathtaking Julian Alps and even had a small balcony. I spent the evening walking through the town to admire the views and enjoying the fresh air.

Dropped into a Fairy Tale in Slovenia

Dropped into a Fairy Tale in Slovenia

Getting there: Flights to Slovenia will fly into the Ljubljana airport, which is outside the city by about 25 miles. If you want to go to Lake Bled, there is a shuttle from the airport that can also take you into Ljubljana. If you want to go to the eastern side of the country, you can take a train, but I recommend renting a car as the timings are your own and you can see more.

On this short trip of four days, I took over 200 photos. I will post more of them on my Instagram account. Please go have a look for more Slovenia pictures that I have already started to share! 

This park was located right outside my hotel in Radenci, Slovenia. Such a quiet beautiful place! #slovenia

A photo posted by Tiffany (@agirlandherpassport) on

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Blog, Travel

Friday Favorites

September 18, 2015

Friday Favorites

This post may contain affiliate links. If you click on the link and make a purchase, I may earn a commission at no additional cost to you.

Changes are coming! The first evidence is that the graphic for Friday Favorites has changed, if you didn’t notice. I know some of you won’t like this, but I am going to sell some ad space and do some affiliate links. A Girl and Her Passport takes a lot of time and effort to produce, and I need to pay for hosting the site and this will enable me to do that. I will always tell you when I am paid for something or gifted something. If you do see things, you don’t, like please send me a note using the Contact Me form. I would love to hear from you! Now on to Friday Favorites!

Confessions of a New Flight Attendant – This article really made me think about the flight attendants on my flights. I always try to be very nice to them as I know many people are not doing so, but I never have thought about whether or not they are new. A new flight attendant must be so nervous on their first couple of flights. We all have bad days, but I try to remember that they are trying to wait on 100 to 400 people at a time.

Geographically Correct London Tube Map – Time Out London shared with us Mapping London’s geographically correct tube map. It allows you to see how far the next tube station actually is! Very helpful when trip planning from your hotel to the airport.

Year Long Visas for Americans in Vietnam – Are you looking for a cheap place to hang your hat for a while? Are you from the U.S.? Then get thyself to Vietnam! There is no timeframe, but they seem to think it will happen quickly.

5 Thrilling Adventures in Brazil – If you are planning on going to Brazil, take a look at some of these cool activities you can have while in Brazil. Apparently, you can go on safari in Brazil!

Dogs Are a Camper’s Best Friend – There is a whole Instagram account dedicated to pictures of people camping with their dogs! I don’t really want to camp, but this looks so fun, it makes me want to get a dog and go camping. Okay, not going to happen, but maybe I can borrow a friend’s dog?

Weekly Post Wrap-Up

Museo Fortuny in Venice – experience the Proportio Exhibit at this amazing museum in Venice.

Souq Waqif in Qatar – step back into Qatar’s past by visiting the souq.

Sleeper Giveaway – Yes, this was the week before, but I don’t want you to miss out on entering to win a Sleeper Mask!

Don’t forget you can find me on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and Bloglovin’. You can also subscribe to receive posts via email in the top part of the sidebar. Stay tuned for next week’s Friday Favorites! Have a great weekend.

Blog, Travel

Friday Favorites

September 11, 2015

Friday Favorites

This post may contain affiliate links. If you click on the link and make a purchase, I may earn a commission at no additional cost to you.

If you caught Wednesday’s post, then you know last week was really hard on me. This week has slowly gotten better. I even managed to get my tickets and hotel booked for Thailand in October. I am going to a travel bloggers conference there and I cannot wait. I have never been to Thailand, so if you have any suggestions, I would happily take them. Here is this week’s Friday Favorites.

Best U.S. Travel Destinations by Month – Business Insider brings us their suggestions for places to visit in the U.S. based on airfare prices, hotel rates, weather and activities for each month. This list looks great and includes a few places I have never been. I definitely agree on visiting Chicago and San Francisco in the summer. Although, I think the best month for New York City is October, but I have no idea what the prices are like at that time of year.

Exploring the South of Thailand – Since I booked my ticket to Bangkok, I am now intrigued by the rest of Thailand. Hopefully, I will get to visit some of these places on my next trip to Thailand.

Sweden’s Icehotel – Every time I see one of these, I think why would you want to sleep in a freezing cold place!? It does look like an interesting place to visit, but I don’t think I would want to sleep there.

Fall Foliage Hunting in Japan – What is it about the changing color of leaves that we all find so fascinating and beautiful? Just like in the U.S., Japan has beautiful fall foliage to admire. Travel and Leisure have given us some ideas on how to see the foliage.

Visit Venice Museums – Do a little armchair traveling by watching this great video tour of 11 museums in Venice. I loved all the museums I visited in July and many of them are included in this video.

Weekly Post Wrap-Up

Sleeper Giveaway! Don’t miss out on entering my first giveaway for a Sleeper Mask. This mask will help you sleep while traveling without your neck hurting the next day.

My Original Travel Buddy: A Remembrance Looking back on my fond memories of my cat, Sophie, who passed away last week.

Don’t forget you can find me on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and Bloglovin’. You can also subscribe to receive posts via email in the top part of the sidebar. Stay tuned for next week’s Friday Favorites! Have a great weekend.

Blog, Travel

Friday Favorites

September 4, 2015

Friday FavoritesI hope you all have had a great week. The second week of classes moved by as quickly as the first at my work. Before I know it, Christmas break will be here! I am already ready for a vacation, so it is a good thing my trip to India is in 16 days! If you are new to the blog, I am going to Goa for a beach vacation. In October, I am headed to Thailand for TBEX Asia. TBEX is a travel blogging conference. Hopefully, I will learn more about how to be a better blogger and you will benefit! Okay, on to Friday Favorites.

This post may contain affiliate links. If you click on the link and make a purchase, I may earn a commission at no additional cost to you.

European Twin Beds in Hotels – This article about twin beds in European Hotel rooms cracked me up. Most of the ones I have seen are like this, very close together. They are also sometimes a strange size. When I went to Dubai in the spring the room had “twin” beds, but they were bigger than a twin, but not quite a full-size bed. I think my Australian friend called them King Twins. Even if I am traveling with good friends, I don’t want to sleep that close to you. If I am able, I push them apart.

How To Avoid a Crappy Seat on Your Next Flight – If you fly a lot, you know how important having a good seat is on a plane. I always check seatguru.com before picking a seat. There are some other great tips for scoring a good seat in this article.

Kyoto Travel Tips – Apparently foreign visitors to Kyoto, Japan are not behaving well. Kyoto has released some cute, colorful graphics to help visitors understand the rules and customs of Japan. These actually have some great tips, like tipping is not a Japanese custom. The English on them is quite good too.

10 Unique Places to Stay in Berlin – So many fellow travel bloggers have been to Berlin recently; I feel as though it must be a travel trend. In case you are planning a trip to Berlin here is World of Wanderlust’s recommended unique places to stay. One of your options includes sleeping in a coffin!

10 Up and Coming Wine Regions – A great list of place to go on a wine tour and see some amazing sites as well! Moldova looks amazing.

Weekly Post Wrap-Up

Capturing Venice – A photo essay of my favorite photos from my trip to Venice.

My Dream Trips – This is part of a travel link-up that takes place monthly. This month’s topic was places you can’t get out of your head. My post includes my trip to Petra and my dream trips I haven’t been on yet.

Don’t forget you can find me on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and Bloglovin’. Stay tuned for next week’s Friday Favorites! Have a great weekend.