It gained independence on January 15, 1992. There is one vineyard or winery for every 70 people. It has the most religious buildings per capita in Europe, with more than 3,000 of them. It’s the home of the world’s oldest grapevine, in the city of Maribor, a staggering 440-years-old. The most common names are Franc and Marija, for men and women respectively. The capital city, Ljubljana, translates as ‘The Loved One’. And, standing at a whopping 393 yards tall, this county is the home of Europe’s tallest chimney, at Trbovlje Power Station. Today, we’re on the Sunny Side of the Alps, Slovenia.
The Republic of Slovenia is a strong, stable and safe country in southern central Europe, bordered by Austria, Croatia, Hungary and Italy, plus the Adriatic Sea. It is the 150th largest country on Earth at 7,827 square miles, with the 143rd largest population with just over two million people. The colours of the flag come from the coat of arms of the Duchy of Carniola. It contains a shield with Slovenia’s highest peak, Mount Triglav, with the wavy blue lines representing the Adriatic Sea and the gold stars taken from the coat of arms of the Counts of Celje. The name of the country originates from the Slavic people of Carinthia and Styria.
This is a hilly and mountainous land, heavily forested and with an abundance of caves and valleys, but also with plenty of plateaus. It’s a diverse place, spotted with many rivers and many historic baroque and Roman cities. Slovenes are friendly, courteous and conscientious, plus hardworking and industrious. They enjoy their festivals and sports, in particular, skiing and football. These individualistic, quiet and calm locals also enjoy good food and drink, in particular wine, in good company, a reserved people prone to a good old-fashioned singsong.
This gem has it all. There are sights to see such as Solkan Bridge, a striking grey stone bridge surrounded rather dramatically by a sea of green hills, standing guard over the raging blue waters of the gentle Soča River. An impressive 721-foot arch bridge with a span of 279-feet, opening in 1906, destroyed during the First World War, and rebuilt exactly the same in 1927. A testament to the timeless passion of great design. There’s also the curious Predjama Castle, 742-years-old, built high off the ground into the side of a rock face, cocooned and nestled into the rock like a young child in the arms of its mother. Simple yet elegant, graceful and watchful over the luscious green land it surveys, loving and wise. Then there’s Lake Bohinj, the largest permanent lake in Slovenia, covering an impressive 790 acres. A supremely boscaresque and ageless lake, voiceful with a beauty isangelous.
And then there’s the gorgeous Triglav National Park, Slovenia’s only national park, established in 1981, covering a vast area of 340 square miles. An unadulterated ethereal masterpiece, crafted by the hands of a highly skilled artisan. Its divine and sumptuous looks are raimentless and stunning, a place almost ineffable.
But my favourite sight of this country is the Logar Valley, a raw and untamed land of ceaseless majestic beauty, incicurable in the extreme, a prelapsarian wonder, a vista like a drug, an addiction leaving you wanting more. A landscape that leaves one in stunned silence, an awe-inspiring and empyrean piece of art unlike anywhere else on Earth.
Slovenia. The country of friendliness, love and a really tall chimney.
Images (Click on Them to Enlarge)
1) The flag of Slovenia
2) Logar Valley
3) Triglav National Park
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