Editor’s Note: This is a guest post from Dayna at Wanderlusting. Do you have an Escape of the Week you’d like to contribute? Let me know! Dtravelsround [at] gmail [dot] com. Your Escape could be the next Escape!
I expected to enjoy Slovenia. Â A year ago, I looked up photos and videosÂ of Lake Bled, the Julian Alps, and Ljubljana, excited for the ‘someday’Â when I would get there. Â What I did NOT expect, however, was to fallÂ completely head over heels in love with Slovenia. Â In terms of ruggedÂ beauty, medieval old towns, and that nagging sense that visitors feel —Â that they are walking inside of a postcard — it rivals any and all ofÂ Europe’s better known destinations.
My guidebook told me to go see nearby (and virtually unheard of)Â Radovljica for the bee museum, which didn’t really sound that appealing toÂ me, but my cousin insisted I pay the town a visit. Â I am so glad I did.Â It may not have the tourist draw that Bled and Bohinj do, but it isÂ absolutely perfect for an afternoon of unguided strolling, people watchingÂ and getting off the beaten path a bit.
The journey to Radovljica from Bled is as valuable as visiting the townÂ itself, especially in the autumn. Â Traditional Slovenian houses, fieldsÂ and forests of every color and the surrounding Alps make it a visualÂ treat.
After peeking around a few corners, I was greeted by a restored andÂ wonderful Old Town dating back to medieval times, locally dubbedÂ Linhartov Trg. Â Being a coffee lover, I was impressed by the sheer amountÂ of cafes in their small town square. Â On Sundays, as in most of Slovenia,Â this is the place where locals take a stroll to see their neighbors and
The streets are immaculately kept, as are the buildings themselves. Â EveryÂ corner, it seems, is more inviting than the last. Â Hanging flower basketsÂ and small orchards are common once you venture a few blocks away fromÂ Linhartov Trg.
As with most small Slovene towns, the focal point and highlight is itsÂ beautiful, Gothic church. Â The Parish Church of Saint Peter sits patientlyÂ on a hilltop overlooking the dense forest, and dates back to the 14th century.
The best gifts Radovljica has to offer are the many incredible vistas ofÂ Mount Triglav and the surrounding Alps, the Sava River and the glimpse atÂ everyday life that is best enjoyed away from the crowds.
Getting There: Slovenia’s biggest tourist attraction in its own right isÂ Lake Bled which is only 5 kilometers away from Radovljica. Â Buses leaveÂ from Bled’s main bus station every half hour, and return just asÂ frequently.
Have you visited Slovenia? What city stood out the most for you?
About the Author:Â Dayna was raised in Washington State and studied International Studies and Global Development at the University of Idaho, where her interests led her to further explore Islam and the West and African Development.Â At the tender age of five, she held up an inflatable globe from National Geographic and declared that she would conquer the world and collect whales.Â She is also a seasoned singer/songwriter, hula hoop dancer, poi spinner, coffee enthusiast and avid lover of travel and useless trivia. Follow her on Twitter; Like Wanderlusting on Facebook.