Maps are fun. They come in all shapes and sizes – from those scribbled on a piece of paper to the ones important people use when they plot their important plots.
For us, the map on the picture will do just fine, I hope. What the hell is that? I hear you say. Looks a bit like a chicken, doesn’t it. I’ll grant you, it’s not readily apparent and I’ll forgive you for not having a clue what you’re looking at.
To get to the point, which you’re surely wishing to get to – it’s Slovenia, the small country from the title and the place I love to call my home. With about 2 million inhabitants and a size which no one boasts about, you won’t easily find it on a large scale map. In the olden days, they used to say that Slovenia sits between Venice and Vienna, and they weren’t wrong. You’ll find Venice just to the west, over the Italian border. To the south, there’s Croatia. Everyone goes there over the summer for a couple of days to relax at the beach, because our measly 40-something kilometers of coastline isn’t enough, it seems. When the summer ends, there’s not much left for us there other than political bickerings, but we’ll leave those out for now. Hungary’s next if we move to “the head of the chicken,” and then Austria to the north. We like to compare our little country to Austria, especially when it comes to salaries, general living standards and how everything is much better there. As a consequence, there’s a lot of people who go there looking for work – if they’re better off I couldn’t say.
Culturally, Slovenia has been closely tied to it’s different neighbours. From the Austro-Hungarian Empire, to the Italians and then after WWII as a part of Yugoslavia. Influences from all of these can still be found in many aspects, be it food, architecture or simply people’s way of thinking.
Now chances are, you’re reading this from half a world away, the internet is a big place after all. You might never have heard of Slovenia, and that’s a good thing. By the time you’re done reading, you’ll hopefully learn something new and amazing and be looking for even more info and before you know it, you’ll be sitting on a plane, jetting your way over to see all the wonderful sites Slovenia has to offer. To give you an appetizer, here’s what we’ve got, just looking at that sketched out map above:
Lake Bled, an alpine lake up in the mountain region. One of the major tourist areas in Slovenia, it’s a great place to cool off on hot summer days. It’s also a great starting point for active holiday-goers and nature enthusiasts.
A number of grapevine-laden hills and wine roads. Wine is held in high regard here and the grape harvest season is a special time in Slovenia. This being in big part a cycling blog, I must say that warm autumn days make for great riding along these roads, even if they are a bit hilly.
But that’s not nearly all there is. If at this point you’re still reading and want to continue to do so, feel free to look around the site, leave a comment or get in touch. I’d love to hear your stories or comments.
Also, click here to see what Lonely Planet has to say about it all. You can also surf over to the Useful links page where you’ll find connections to other great sites, ready for your curious indulgence.