There’s a calm, happiness about this place.
Maybe we already felt it when we rode through the Slovenia countryside on our way journey to the Balkans.
As we began our return journey, we stopped in Slovenia for the night. There were also practical matters to take care of, i.e. the vital vet visit (we call it the VVV) so we can be allowed back into the UK.
The first indication of that was when we first arrived. After checking in at the hotel, we headed off to the vet. Dragan happily obliged and drove us there. The address was a little obscure. We had stopped by the road side scanning to see if we could see a vet. A little old lady saw us and came up to ask if we were lost. She gave us clear directions and we found the vet.
Mum’s thoughts as we entered the vet: Vet clinics smell the same all over the world!
I am not afraid of this one – I can pose with him.
Nor this one. LOL!
We were seen quickly and prescribed the deworming tablets … and then the best surprise. They charged us 91cents. Mum was handing out Euros – she thought is was 91 Euros. No, the nurse said. 0.91Euros – just for the tablet.
Evidence number 2 that the Slovenians have a good perspective on things that matters. Help others in need and a quick stamp in the passport really doesn’t take up so much time to warrant a huge fee.
Dragan, by now knows Mum is all about dogs told her there’s a pet shop across the road. Of course we went to have a look. At first glance it was the same as everywhere – the same brands as one would find in any vet clinics. And then we spotted something different.
Our travel food! Wow! Do we need to stock up?
We bought a packet of treats for Dragan’s Maltese, Pablo. Hope he likes it too.
Mission accomplished, we returned to our Hotel Cubo – which Mum is also liking a lot. A small boutique hotel with contemporary designs.
No dog bed though, which didn’t matter, but they had a doggy care pack.
The only thing in the box that we really needed was the poo bag. We are running low and Mum was happy for even just one more.
We could see the castle on the hill from our room.
There’s a nearby park …
Where I duly left my mark in the 25th country!
And saw this fab “kick breast cancer” reminder.
From here we could see the castle on the hill.
The town centre is only a short walk away. We saw lots dragon things everywhere. As we stopped at a shop to buy another fridge magnet – to add to our collection of countries I have visited, Mum asked what is the significance of the dragon.
The shop lady told us that the green dragon is the symbol of Ljubljana. That one day Jason and his Argonauts visited this area. They sailed up the Donau (Danube) River, then the Sava River till they reached the source of the River Ljubljanica. There Jason had to fight a terrible moor dragon-like monster. That is why the dragon is the symbol of Ljubljana.
And what did Mum do? She bought me a t-shirt with a dragon on it!
And we bought George and Stanley a dragon each.
As this is our last night in the Balkans – Mum asked if they could recommend a good restaurant that is dog-friendly. And I think we must have been to the best restaurant in Ljubljana – JB Restaurant.
They were welcoming and in the restaurant were also children. Nothing stuffy about it.
It’s been a long day – travelling from Serbia, through Croatia – stopped to wave at Bosnia and now in Slovenia. As we turned off the lights and went to bed in the comfort of our hotel room, looking out at the castle on the hill all lit up in the night under the moon, we snuggled up and thought about our trip.
We’ve seen so many new sights and been to countries we never had thought we would visit. This trip was completely unexpected – and probably the hardest to plan. But Mum loves a good challenge. It seemed impossible at first to think she could have taken me to Serbia. But when she found out that there are dog-friendly hotels, she had to find a way to get me there. It took days to sort out the logistics of train schedules, hotel availabilities and making sure the restaurants for the birthday celebrations are all dog-friendly.
And we did it. It’s been a trip of many new memories. Many moments to savour. We learnt new things, reminded that so many of these places were in recent years ravaged by war. We saw plenty of new sights and tried new foods. We met up with old friends. The hoomans laughed a lot, talked a whole lot more and ate continuously! All the time creating memories.
I wonder where our next adventure will take us. And I hope it will be the Trio again – that George will be coming with us.
We miss George and can’t wait to see him soon.
May’s comment: This is my second visit to Ljubljana. I first came here about nine years ago on a quick day visit. Didn’t remember much as I was focused on a man – LOL! Yes, that does happen.
Even the first glimpse of Slovenia on this Balkan journey gave us a sense of it’s beauty – and calm.
Really pleased with Hotel Cubo – small boutique hotel in the town centre. We had a fab view of the Ljubljana Castle on Castle Hill.
And dinner at JB Restaurant was such a treat.
It is one of S. Pellegrino’s Top 100 World’s Best Restaurant. The interior is elegant and comfortable – not stuffy.
We had a corner table at the far end of the restaurant – and all other patrons only smiled at us as we walked in. It is a family owned restaurant – the chef is Janez Bratovz, his wife Emma is the manager, his daughter Nina is a sommelier, and his son Tomasz is following his father’s footsteps of one day becoming the second world renowned chef in the family.
There were families there with their children and dogs are welcomed. I ate well. The starters sounded so delicious that I had two of them.
And what about finding Forthglade in Slovenia?!?!?! Our go-to food for our long travels when we cannot bring our Honey’s raw. We use the wet Forthglade which does not need refrigeration. (P.S. For some reason, both she and George did not do well on the cold-pressed.) And when opened it lasts for a couple of days. That’s perfect as Darcy consumes a pack every two days.
We woke up to this beautiful scenery …
and our journey home has begun. It’ll be a very long travel day again. Back on the trains – to Paris via Stuttgart. I am so proud of Darcy and what a brilliant traveller and companion she has been. If she hadn’t come with me, it would have been a quick flight into Belgrade and out again. But because of her, I saw so much more. Why wouldn’t I want to always try harder to take her or George with me.