On our second day in Ljubljana, capital of Slovenia, we were greeted by rain splatter in the morning. But that didn’t stop us from exploring one of the major attraction sites in the city of dragons – the Ljubljana Castle (Ljubljanski grad). The majestic fortress sits on top of a hill for more than five centuries now, offering beautiful panorama views of the entire city. But it features so much more than that!
08:23 AM Breakfast at the Forum
Staying in an accommodation with no breakfast included, we walked along Ljubljanica to search for a place to eat. At 08:30 AM, the shops and restaurants were just starting to open and prepare for the coming of hungry visitors. We chose the Forum, a bar/cafe offering breakfast burgers and decent coffee located a few steps away from the Dragon bridge.
Satisfied, we crossed the Dragon bridge to get to the tourist office center and eventually, to the Funicular Railway which would take us up to the summit of the Castle Hill. We thought that was a fun and exciting way to get there, and an escape to the rain that impeded our walking exploration to a certain extent. Rain in the middle of summer? Possible, in Slovenia. 😉
10:30 AM Taking the funicular railway to the summit of the Castle Hill
After purchasing our tickets, we went aboard the funicular, along with many tourists, and enjoyed the ride up. The ticket includes the funicular ride (two-way), the Slovenian History exhibition, the Virtual Castle, the Viewing tower, and the Museum of Puppetry.
10:50 AM Razstava Exhibition: The Dragon of all dragons
“They really want to be known as a city of dragons,” exclaimed my husband, as we gazed upon the installations and photos at the Razstava Exhibition Hall. We even saw documents about dragonology and alchemy. How cool was that?
11:00 AM The Museum of Puppetry
This museum presents the history of Slovenian puppet art – the first museum of its kind in the country! We enjoyed the interactive and interesting way the museum entertains its guests. We almost forgot we were not kids anymore! 😉
11:20 AM The Penitentiary and St. George’s Chapel
Moving on, we headed out and towards the Penitentiary and St. George’s Chapel. The Castle, at some point in its history, served as a penitentiary or prison house for criminals with serious crimes. There, we saw thick metal chains and doors that guarded the prisoners and kept them from escaping. Meanwhile, the Chapel adjacent to it was adorned with beautiful handdrawn art. It wasn’t as big or extravagant as the royal churches in Scandinavian Castles, but it has its own charms.
11:30 AM The Viewing Tower
Supposedly, we were to see the Virtual Castle first, but it had scheduled showing. So we decided to just skip all together and head towards the viewing tower! Interestingly, there are a few spiral staircases in the Castle. A significant feature, perhaps?
And here are the photos all taken from the Viewing Tower! 😉
12:00 PM Break at the Castle Coffee House
We had a pretty big breakfast so we were still full by lunch time. But with exhausted feet, we decided to go for a little coffee or juice break. There weren’t too many choices at the Castle: actually, there was only one. The Castle Coffee House. The restaurant next to it was under renovation. I’ve heard now that the coffee house is being renovated, and so there’s only the restaurant as the only choice. 😉 But rest assured that they serve quality meal! We enjoyed our fruit juices and a slice of the Slovenian gibanica or layer cake. Best served hot!
12:30 PM The Pentagonal Tower and the Courtyard
It was in the Pentagonal Tower where they kept dragons, they said. I really didn’t want to believe, but the high ceiling and the thick walls made me so unsure about myself. After visiting the tower, we walked around the Courtyard, saw a miniature version of the castle in bronze, and then headed towards the Tower of the SPanheim Castle.
12: 40 PM Open Air Prison and Tower of Spanheim Castle
13:00 PM Down via Funicular and back to the city center
Needless to say, the visit to the castle was worth it, and a must when in Ljubljana. There were many renovations going on at that time, so I wonder how it would be like to visit it when it’s fully completed. By 1pm, we back on the funicular and on to the city center. We even passed by the Cathedral of St. Nicholas and the Town Market. There, I had the chance to buy some souvenir shirts for my parents. 😉
And how lucky, there was an upcoming festival in the city, from June 28 to September 3, 2018. Sadly, we had to leave because, well, our next stop was eagerly waiting! 😉
And that’s it! The rest of Day 9 was spent relaxing and preparing for our next stop. I’d love to go back to Slovenia someday. I felt like we missed a lot by not exploring Lake Bled and the other attractions outside of the city. We’ll see! 😉 #spreadlove