Lighting the way home: Ljubljana, Slovenia
Our last stop on the Christmas market tour was Ljubljana, Slovenia. You haven’t heard of Ljubljana? Neither had we, until we told people we were moving to Eastern Europe. No less than four people told us that Slovenia and its capital city Ljubljana should be on our “must-see” list.
We didn’t know if Ljubljana had Christmas markets, but since it was on the route home and we had heard good things about it, we decided to spend a night there. What started as a stop of convenience became a highlight of our trip.
Ljubljana’s old town is one of the most picturesque city centers I’ve seen. The Ljubljana River winds through it, flanked by cobblestone pedestrian streets. Three footbridges bring people to the restaurants and shops lining the riverbank. Overhead, the Ljubljana Castle sits on a dramatic perch. At the center of old town, a square boasts a pink Franciscan church and a statue of Slovenian’s national poet, France Prešeren.
During the Christmas season there are additional kiosks selling crafts and, you guessed it, mulled wine. How did I ever get through winters without it? The town also sets up an elaborate holiday lighting display. Unlike other cities, Ljubljana isn’t content to merely have ornaments or candy canes. Their cosmic theme was unexpected-and awesome.
As we looked up, we noticed additional displays. Was that…a DNA strand? Ok, cool. But that other thing kind of looks like, well, a fetus. And that one?
Yep, it’s an inseminated egg. Merry Christmas.
Not sure what it has to do with the holidays, but between this and the cosmic display, I decided that one night in Ljubljana was not enough for this lifetime. We’ll be back when the weather is warmer and, hopefully, when the public art is even wackier.