A FAST WELCOME IN SLOVENIA
Arrived after a stunning flight from Zurich that took us directly over Mt. Triglav in Slovenia and the Julian Alps and came into cute, little Ljubljana airport. Nice folks.
The woman at the rental desk was great. When I told her it had been three years since I drove a manual transmission car but that I thought I'd be okay she paused. "I don't think," she said, "you have much choice."
It was easy, of course, but boy do they go fast around here. A friend in Toronto warned me, but it takes getting used to when you go 130 km in a 130 zone and cars whizz past you.
I'll do more on this in Star Travel this summer, but I gotta say that the Lake Bled area of Slovenia might be the prettiest place I've ever seen. There's a big castle rising out of a cliff that towers over the lake, a pretty, Austrian-style (with apologies to the Slovenian church) church tower, a beautiful island with another lovely church spire and then you look up behind the lake and see jagged alpine peaks. You can walk or ride a bike around the lake with ease and get different views every time you look up.
SOMMELIER? OVER HERE, PLEASE
At the risk of sounding like a wine snob (okay, I admit it), it was pretty funny at dinner tonight. We had lovely food at a new hotel near the town of Bled, with a view of the lake. Really good stuff. The sauvignon blanc was a touch sweet but not bad with the appetizers; pork pate with dried plums and a bit of aspargus. But the waiter recommended a sweet, pink rose with dinner (I think it was called Pink Chicky, and I'm not kidding), even though we had a beef entrecote with goose liver on top. I don't know about you, but rose and steak to me just doesn't make it. And it was weird in a country where they are said to grow some darn good red wines. We'll see.
The wine wasn't at all bad. In fact, it was pretty decent. But the pairing seemed off.
That being said, it was a great meal. And you have to love the pride Slovenians feel about their country and their food and their wine. I read a guide book that said someone did a poll and found that 98 per cent of Slovenians say their wine is the best in the world. I love that confidence.