Bled and Ljubljana prepare for Christmas – and celebrate a big Party at the start of the Christmas lighting display
|Destination||Bled and Ljubljana, Slovenia|
|How and when I got there||Adria Airways (https://www.adria.si/en/), return flight Duesseldorf to Ljubljana and Ljubljana via Frankfurt to Duesseldorf; November 2018|
|Where I stayed||Bled: Hotel Kompas (https://www.kompashotel.com/en-gb)|
|Restaurants||Flo Bistro: small cafe, no website
Restaurant Zlata Ribica / Vizija gostinstvo (https://www.zlata-ribica.si/)
|Things to do||Bled: walk along the lake, up to the Castle; explore the area and the mountains nearby; many Hotels have huge spa “landscapes” – don’t forget your swimsuit
Ljubljana: walk up to the Castle and along the river promenade; Shopping in the City centre; last Friday in November: start of the Christmas Lighting Display
|Recommendations in a nutshell||When coming in winter: prepare for cold temperatures and/ or chose a Hotel with a nice spa area|
|Recipe||Idrian Zlikofi (see at the bottom of the post)|
When leaving the aircraft at Ljubljana airport I was surprised that the temperatures – despite having travelled 1000 km south – were about 10 degrees less than at home. It was freezing cold, and on the streets of Bled, approx. 25 km northwest of Ljubljana in the Slovenian mountains, there were the first piles of snow.
Higher up the mountains were visibly covered by snow, and advertisements for the upcoming biathlon world cup races in the nearby Pokljuka were displayed everywhere. Very obviously, winter is coming.
At this time of the year, it’s not too crowded, and early in the morning the lake promenade is your own.
It’s almost a mystical atmosphere – a bit of fog hanging over the water and the mountains showing different shades of Grey.
Even the small boardwalk on the lake that’s surrounded by railings covered with “love padlocks” was empty – and still so beautiful!
Big Party at Ljubljana
On Friday afternoon we went to Ljubljana to watch the Christmas Lighting Display. Unfortunately, we were not prepared that the entire Country comes to Ljubljana to participate in the Party for the start of the Christmas lighting.
This is how it looks before the lighting is switched on:
And this afterwards – what a difference!
The start of the Christmas Lighting Display is celebrated with a huge party, getting us into a traffic jam for more than an hour…but despite the freezing temperatures, the entire city was full of people, and many of them staying or even sitting outside. After some official speeches and musical presentations by a children’s choir we went looking for a warm place and found the small “Bistro Flo”. And went straight to dinner afterwards, to the Restaurant Vizija gostinstvo, after not getting a table in some places before, as the City really bursted of People. The Quality of the Food was good, but the Prices were definitely more towards the upper end of the scale.
Beautiful Lighting Displays:
For many years now during Christmas season the entire city center of Ljubljana is illuminated with many different light objects. Objects like planets, galaxies, moons and comets:
but also things from the microcosmos like an egg cell, orbited by sperms (sorry, forgot to take the Picture). Coming back to Bled later the evening, we saw also Bled illuminated – and quite nicely:
And the Castle reflected in the lake – a beautiful sight.
And here’s my favorite recipe from Slovenia: Idrian Zlikofi, a very special mixture between Gnocchi and Ravioli…
Mix flour, eggs, oil, salt and some water. Knead until there’s a homogenous consistency and no visible holes in the dough. Leave the dough to rest for 30 minutes and then roll it out into a thin rectangle. Boil, peel and mash the (still warm) warm potatoes, add salt and a little bit of pepper. Add the fried bacon pieces (or the fried mushrooms), the fried onion pieces and season with a little bit of Marjoram. Mix well and knead until the mixture is soft.
Form small balls with a teaspoon (approx. size of a hazelnut) and place them on the dough – 1 ball at a time, with 3-4 cm gaps in between. In this way, prepare one half of the day. Then fold the other half of the dough over and press it down between the balls of filling. Cut betweet the filling “hills” and finally push the “top the hill” a little down, giving the Zlikofi the characteristic ‘hat’ shape. Serve with any sauce or stew (in Slovenia it’s often mutton/lamb or rabbit stew) or within a broth.
Greetings from Slovenia,
*According to a German Court decision, all texts containing links to commercial pages (e.g. links to Tripadvisor, Airline, hotel or restaurant websites) have to be identified as “commercial” (in German “Anzeige”). As my texts do contain links like that, I therefore identify each post and page containing a link as “Anzeige”. However (and referring to the “About Me” page) I would like to point out that I do NOT post any sponsored content in my texts; I pay for all my trips myself.