The Living Paradise On Earth - Slovenia!
It’s been almost a year now since our very first Wedding Anniversary, and the memories are still fresh from our Honeymoon, Guess where?
To be honest, Slovenia was never a part of my list of countries to visit when my wife and I are still planning on our wedding & honeymoon trip. Of course, the top 3 romantic destinations Paris, Rome, and Italy – the top 3 countries I told myself where I’d bring my wife during our Honeymoon. But it all changed when my wife told me that all she ever wanted for our honeymoon trip is to go with me to Bled, Island – The Church of the Assumption.
Curiosity then rushed through my veins as I have no idea, firstly, where is Bled Island?! Second, what’s in there? And lastly, I know nothing about Slovenia. Well, of course, apart from the obvious fact that it’s a part of the European Union, it’s the country lying right beside Italy, Croatia and Hungary to the Northeast, and that the skis there is a must for everyone to experience because of the great Alps – With all honesty, I know nothing about Slovenia. It did not even come to a point in my life where I’d see myself travelling to Slovenia – and with all honesty, I don’t know why.
But just by looking at my wife’s face (the face I’ve been trying to avoid ever since – the face I couldn’t resist, to be more specific) when we were talking about our honeymoon plans, we found ourselves in Aerodrome. Right after our plane, Adria Airways, landed in the very busy airport of Aerodrome, situated right at the very heart of the capital city of Slovenia, Ljubljana; my wife and I were both welcomed by the cold Mediterranean winter breeze, like as if I can never get enough of winter, eh? First thing that caught my attention (which I never expected, frankly speaking) are the architectural compositions of the structures! The preservation of its unique, elegant, and classical designs is such a beauty to the eye that my wife and I dropped our jaws as we enter our hotel.
And speaking of hotels, we were booked in Hotel Zdraviliški dvor (a four star hotel located in Maribor, Taplice; which, by the way, you will never thought or feel that you’re just in a four star hotel) and I must say, the services, amenities, the location (oh, the location! My wife is so falling in love with it that she can file for a divorce and just stay in Maribor without me); and the food is incomparable from our past hotel experiences as we get to taste all fabulous Mediterranean and Balkan cuisines – the best part of the trip, eating!
From our hotel room, I can see the spectacular view of mountain ranges of the country. I’ve been day dreaming of going to hiking/trekking since I’ve read in many travel magazines about the Julian Alps where a perfect scene of the Lake Bled, Soca Valleys and the Triglav National Park can be found (and looks like I found another point of interest to bring my wife to…) But then she insisted that we just go directly to Bled, Island as she wanted to thank the Lord for all the blessings we received.
And since my wife doesn’t want me to go hiking/trekking, I then asked permission if I can go skiing since according to the locals there, the mountain ranges of Kamnik–Savinja Alps, Karavanke and Pohorje, are quite famous for skiing – which apparently did not materialize as there are tons of things to do and places to go to since my wife has intentionally planned the itinerary of the entire trip! (Such a clever person… J )
Anyway, since my wife knew that I was craving for something adventurous during our trip, she brought me to the very famous Postojna Cave, although I told her that we could’ve just gone skiing since there are lots of people in the cave when we went there, but the experience is one of a kind! It’s like going to a very big museum with lots of stalactites, stalagmites and other rock forming structures in the area! Not bad for a cave tour during winter season!
The following day, we went to Bled, Island – the very reason of our Slovenian Trip. I can see the excitement from my wife’s lovely face as we boarded a boat called “Pletna” at Bled Lake. The scenery is magnificent, splendid, and breathe taking! It’s like relieving one of those stories you’ve read in a book/magazine! As you find yourselves riding the “Pletna” the sound of the small waves of waters and chirping of the birds along with the swaying of the trees are very relaxing (It’s like having a massage with ventosa and hot stones!) and very serene! A perfect paradise on earth, if I may call it!
Upon reaching the island, you will see the spectacular structures particularly the Pilgrimage Church of the Assumption of Mary! And it’s only then I knew of the “tradition” that it is considered good luck for the couple getting married that the groom carry his bride up the 99 steps on the day of their wedding before ringing the bell and making a wish inside the church – which I didn’t know, and if I do, why wouldn’t I carry my wife with just 99 steps on our wedding??
Moving on, when you enter the church, you will feel a different kind of feeling – and please, spare me with all the questions as I don’t even know how am I going to explain that awkward moment! The murals on the church ceilings are such a masterpiece! The interiors blends very well with the ambiance as the totality of the whole place make you feel like “Heaven!” The tower of the church which, according to the people around us, is said to be 52m in height where you can see the entire lake with its breath – taking surroundings! Such a perfect place for our honeymoon – and I’m glad that my wife planned for this trip, but still I don’t forget whining about the skiing!
When we got back to the hotel, I saw this lifestyle magazine in one of the lounge of the hotel. On the cover page of the magazine is a picture of a roulette, which made me remember that Perla Hotel & Casino in Nova Gorica is the largest casino in the region - another point of interest I have to whine about with my wife who, I’m pretty sure will just make me disappointed! I want to play Baccarat!!!
To my surprise, my very clever wife planned on an alternative trip for the two of us as she knew I would cry out loud for a trip to the casino. She then brought me to the Farm Benedetic – one of the famous wine cellars in the country for a wine tasting! Apart from the wine tasting is a very lovely location which consequently satisfied my cravings for going to the casinos instead!
Ideally, I would just expect some-typical-wine-testing-event but apparently, the natural warm hospitality of the people is something that you really couldn’t resist! And I bet, all of you who have been to Slovenia would agree of such fact about these lovely people! Sadly, our honeymoon has to end – without the Ski experience, pity me. But I told my wife that we definitely have to go back to Slovenia and experience other adventures that we weren’t able to experience – which she assured me, we’ll definitely go back!
I wonder what could be my wife’s wedding anniversary surprise for me this year!