Slovenia is magical for many reasons that you only discover when you visit it.
A magic you don’t want to miss is a food walking tour with Ljubljananjam to taste the yummy side of Ljubljana. Your friendly guide will be Iva Gruden who is also the founder.
Tour start: Prešeren Square, Ljubljanas best meeting point
You will visit incredible places and realize how deeply careful Slovenians are about what and how they eat. Gardening plays an important role in their life as well as organic food. They know the source and origins of food and most of it is made with their own hands or in their own village. Obviously, this helps keeping traditions alive and gathering families — not only around the table to eat but around the process of making food!
The central market in Ljubljana consists of a few parts. Ribarnica (fish market) is a place where locals can find their fish both from the Mediterranean sea and beyond. Pokrita tržnica (covered market) is in the lower level of seminary building – where the first public library is! – and it’s next to the fresh produce market, a paradise for your appetite!
You will be delighted by the delicatesses such as homemade flour. You will love the different tastes of goat and sheep cheeses and learn how to make them. You will try salami made of indigenous pork (the pigs were only fed with tree fruits) and more exotic salami made out of deer and even bear!
Every day Iva chooses a local restaurant. Each one is special because of the quality of their food and their particular story — usually related to social entrepreneurship.
If you analyze Slovenia’s gastronomy you will see that its geographic location (the bordering neighbors) had a strong influence on their cuisine, especially from the Italian side. Slovenia’s gastronomy is therefore diverse but also fragmented. Nevertheless, Iva combines all dishes, snacks and drinks into a perfect gastronomical adventure.
Ljubljananjam incorporates Slovenia’s many regional traditions in one unique experience. You travel around Slovenia through its food in a few hours while you enjoy the privilege of a small group with a very enjoyable guide. Iva is absolutely passionate about what she’s doing and a great ambassador of her country and its delicious food.
It was the time to make a second attempt to visit the black lake and the waterfalls. Although it took us some time asking and finding how to get there, we managed to make it happen.
The black lake
The entrance to the lake was beautiful, a wooden path taking you deep into the woods ending in the black lake. Its phenomenon happened because it is “an artificial lake created 130 years ago by a dam. Count Windischgraetz, once the owner of a considerable part of Pohorje forests, had the dam built at the end of a hollow to accumulate the waters of the Črnava stream needed for bringing wood into the valley. Today, the lake is mainly a natural monument; the lake and its surroundings with marsh vegetation are a wildlife refuge.” (Source: Slovenia.info)
We had a Sunday road trip with Ivana, Živa and our friend Nicolas from Colombia who has been traveling on his own before.
We visited Novo Mesto, had breakfast in a very nice place with crunchy toasts and a menu full of delicious teas. We walked around and learned more about its history and then headed down south to the Dolenjske region.
We stopped at the Kolpa river on the border to Croatia and refreshed a bit in its not so cold water – Soča river is still our reference in terms of being *freezing*.
It was time to leave the coast and start heading towards Ljubljana — not directly because we stopped in the famous Škocjan caves, a Unesco World Heritage Site since 1986. It’s pronounced like “Schkotzjahn”.
Izola to Škocjan caves
We used Prevoz.org of course and had a very friendly driver!
This caves are different from Postojna because they are more natured-based and in a way more protected since they have to follow the strict Unesco rules. For instance no pictures were allowed.
The cave is 6 km long, only 3 km are open for tourists. It is divided into the silent cave where there is no river and where there is water.
The river is called river (in Slovenen: reka reka), a simple name but a complicated river that can create floods inside the cave and historically there have been some that have covered almost the complete cave. One flood even made it to 120 meters with the cave being 140 meter high in total.
It is more intimate and rough than Postojna and if course it has no tourist train and therefore less visitors.
The landscape was incredible. It was a total Indiana Jones meets The Goonies feeling.
We took some photos from the outside of the cave which looked nice as well. Yet, Škocjan Caves is definitely worth the 16 Euros. Some impressions from areas where we were allowed to take photos.