This spring 2016, The Travel Mob were invited to take part in the #MustSeeMenorca marketing campaign initiated by the Menorcan Tourist Board and the Spanish Tourist Office in London.
The month of May was chosen deliberately to help us discover a side of the island beyond its beaches (although we saw plenty of them too… and they are absolutely gorgeous!). And so instead of topping up our tans on the island’s pristine sands, we sought out more active leisure pursuits, like hiking, sailing and sea kayaking. After overindulging on the excellent Menorquin cuisine two or three times a day, we had to burn some calories somehow!
So we’re on our way to Ljubljana for our first ever trip together! Excited is naturally a bit of an understatement. I’ve only ever heard great things about the Slovenian capital, which is not only supposed to be alluringly beautiful, but also pack a tasty punch when it comes to culture, nightlife and gastronomy. In fact it’s the Slovenian food and drink that we’re going to be paying special attention to.
A small country of just over 2 million people, perhaps it’s not surprising that compared to some of Europe’s famous foodie countries (the obvious ones being France and Italy!), Slovenia has been overlooked, but when you consider that this is a nation that borders Italy, Austria and Hungary, and borrows heavily from all three culinary cultures – as well as others, then you can start to imagine that there’s plenty to sink your teeth into.
From homely recipes, laid down back in the day by pioneering priest and poet Valentin Vodnik in the country’s first ever cookbook (they don’t get any more traditional than that!), to haute cuisine by some of the most avante garde Slovene chefs, we’ll be tucking into a range of great foods during our June visit… and not only food! Here’s a fact for you that you probably didn’t know. Slovenia has 216km-squared of vineyards… that’s over 10% of the country. Safe to say then, that we’ll be tasting a fair bit of wine to go with those frog legs, boiled beef tongue and cottage cream pancake delicacies. We’re also delighted to hear rumours of the worldwide craft beer revolution reaching Ljubljana, so expect some notes back from a hop-fest of a tasting tour.
The #TasteLjubljana theme of this blogtrip is not to be taken for just it’s literal meaning however… it’s also symbolic of our desire to “try out” and experience all of the Slovenian capital with all of our senses. We’ve heard about prisons converted into hostels, bike factories transformed into art centres, a lively bar scene, a wealth of green spaces, a rich summer programme of arts and culture (including the celebration of Ljubljana’s former Roman incarnation as the town of Emona – and guess what they’re celebrating 2000 years of Emona in 2014!) and plenty to see and do outside the city too… the most famous perhaps being the breathtaking Lake Bled up in the Alps, although there’s also the UNESCO listed Škocjan Caves, the Lipica Stud Farm (horses that is, not Chippendales) the Emerald river and the coastal resorts of Piran and Portoroz. Check out this list of day trips on Visit Ljubljana’s official website for more!