Tuesday, 2 August 2016

Tues 2 Aug 2016. Around Ljubljana

Tues 2 Aug 2016. Around Ljubljana
Put damp clothes out to air/dry in early morning sunshine. Took Bus 11 into "City of Love" and started our walking day at display of Roman ruins Emona, whose walls were built by the Argonauts. The tourist brochure was succinct: "In 14AD Jesus was in the middle of his awkward teenage years; Tiberius became the 2nd emperor of Roman Empire upon the death of his stepfather Augustus; widespread famine hit China forcing many people to turn to cannibalism; and the Romans founded a permanent civilian settlement along a picturesque river in the shadow of the Alps called Emona, which would later grow into a quaint little world capital called Ljubljana”.
Ivory dolls with movable limbs
Gilded bronze grave sculpture

A sculpture of France Preseren national poet was at foot of Triple Bridge in Preseren Square, the Muse of Poetry holding a laurel over his head. The adjacent Franciscan Church was closed, people enjoying a spot right outside its doors marked "Ljubljana's Weather", where when crossing, they all got mysteriously sprinkled... 

Ljubljana's Weather Spot

Eye-catching Franciscan Church

The City of Love is a happy place...

Ljubljana is completely pedestrianised

No need for vehicle signals

Robba Fountain

Walked across one of the Triple Bridges and visited Cathedral of St Nicholas. The stunning bronzed Ljubljana Door features past bishops of the city. In the Baroque style, the Cathedral was "overdone" in gilt, marble, statues and frescoes. The murals on the ceiling featured macabre massacres. 
Stunning bronzed door
Gothic Pieta in niche outside Cathedral

The Dragon Bridge with its copper green creatures is a hit with all comers, it's the symbol of the city. 

Also walked across Cobblers Bridge, found some ornate Art Nouveau Buildings. 

Wanderoos loved that the Old Town was completely pedestrianised. Whole inner city so clean, tidy, spacious, minimum vehicles - well deserves its "2016 EcoGreen city of Europe" title. Tasteful, discreet, no chain store malls (GirlRob lamented we were not there on a flea market day). 
2016 EcoGreen City of Europe

Pretty, pretty, pretty

Ljubljana is the City of Love
Mahler was a conductor at Landestheater

Enjoyed 45min cruise on tranquil Saba River, seeing grand buildings and bridges from a different angle. Spotted the elusive beaver-like creatures called nutria, the semi-aquatic "river rat". 

The sleek nutria heading for his burrow

Bought 5 postcards plus a bottle of local Blueberry Liqueur - hope it tastes the same as our sample when we get it home. Patted Aussie kangaroo before taking steep funicular up to Ljubljana Castle, which we were pleasantly surprised to find no longer functioned as a castle but rather a series of places dedicated to art and culture.

Ljubljana Castle overlooks the town

GirlRob was captivated by the hands-on, interactive Puppet Museum, puppets from folk tales, patriot plays, Pinocchio, theatres, cinema of plays, monsters and bad guys. 

Walked up the spiral staircase with its 100 red cast-iron steps (each with an image of the tower and the city's dragon) to the top of the lookout tower. Wanderoos found the stunning display of National Geographic photographs tucked underneath the tower, near the prisons/ dungeons. 

Came back down to the city for a late lunch-cum-early dinner of potato and mushroom soup in a bread pot. Startled when life-size wooden marionettes come out to strike time at 4pm.

Too tired to do more than cheese and salami crackers for dinner (our roadside cheese purchase was disappointingly nothing like the sample....). Early night, although man’s best friend often keeps you awake barking at passing campers on their way to ablutions blocks.

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