Monday, 27 February 2017

Slovenian Fairy-tale

There is something about a small country that has so many things to offer. It just crawls under your skin and stays there for all eternity. Do you know any country that has affected you in that way? If not, a visit to Slovenia is inevitable, because no life purpose will be fulfilled before you discover this little Alpe –Adria charm. And if you are a member of Hostelling Internationall there is another good news. There are quite a lot of sleeping options in HI hostels while visiting Slovenia and they all offer a 10% membership discount. Purely fantastic!

@Author - Aleš Fevžer;
So where to go and what so see? If you visit the Carinthia region, specifically the culturally rich Slovenj Gradec, the doors of the Youth Hostel Slovenj Gradec are wide open. There you can choose between accommodation in rooms or apartments, all of which are equipped with a private bathroom. In the modern world intertwined with the traditional you may try to rest in-between a number of activities in the area. From horseback riding, cycling, gliding to hiking and mountaineering in nearby mounatins Uršlja Gora and Peca. Who knows, maybe you will even come face to face with the mythical King Matjaž! 

@Author - Tomo Jeseničnik;
After that you can visit the south-eastern part of the country and find your resting stop in completely renovated Youth Hostel Krško. Municipality of Krško offers a lot with its rich history and your curious soul will definitely be happy there. Or how about a visit to Kranjska Gora? There you can sleep in the heart of Slovenian Alps, surrounded with endless hiking and skiing opportunities. The amazing nature invites you to stay at the Youth Hostel Barovc, where you can choose between 31 beds to sleep in. 

@Author - Aleš Fevžer;
Or how about a trip to the most beautiful Slovenian river? The Soča river awaits near Youth Hostel Bovec, where there is no lack of adrenaline in Summer or in the Winter time. Or do you want to see the famous baby dragons of Postojna cave? Little Proteus youngsters are waiting for you in the town of Postojna, where you can spend some nights in the Youth Hostel Proteus which is located in the centre of the town and has its very own park surrounding it.

@Author - Matej Vranič;
You can also visit the oldest Slovenian town that goes by the name of Ptuj. There you can be among the 60 travellers enjoying the hospitality of the Youth Hostel Poetovio while attending the biggest event in February – the carnival or as the Slovenians call it – pust. So be sure to pack at least a wig if you don't won't to stand out in the crowd. 

Now pack your suitcase, get your HI membership card and you are ready for your Slovenian adventure! 

Tuesday, 21 February 2017

Slovenian carnival spirit on budget

Amazing and also intriguing is the heritage that a little country such as Slovenia has to offer. Have you ever wondered about it? If not, February is a good start for the beginning of your journey into the mystical depths of Slovenian culture. And there is a silver lining even if there is no need for one. On certain days you can simply hop on a Ryanair plane in Copenhagen and travel to Budapest for only 20,04 Euros. After that, getting from the Hungarian capitol to Slovenia is manageable with all kinds of public transportation.

@Author - Jošt Gantar;
So why February? Because it is the carnival month in Slovenia, a very busy, loud and playful time of the year. It is the month when Slovenians decide they had enough of the cold, snowy winter and therefore put on costumes to scare it away. Pust, as the carnival is called in Slovenia, is the time when a lot of versions of winter-scaring events take place throughout the whole country. The most famous one is Kurentovanje in the town of Ptuj with its central traditional figure Kurent. This event is one of the most important traditional events in Slovenia and has a more than a hundred-years-old tradition. Among the large groups depicting Kurent carnival also hosts many other rather joyous figures and since Slovenia is one of the richest European countries when it comes to the carnival costumes, good time and enjoyment are inevitable.
Even though it is a small country, there is a variety of carnivals in different parts of Slovenia, all with the same purpose to scare away the winter. For example in Prekmurje region they shame single villagers with a so called pine-wedding – Borovo gostüvaje – if none of them has been wed in the pre carnival time. In Cerkno they scare away the winter so, that on the Sunday after the New Year a mystic creature called Laufar runs around the streets and is every following Sunday joined by more enthusiast wearing a similar wooden costume. A group of 25 of them is called Laufarija and is also a famous carnival event in Slovenia. And in the south-western part of the country there is Čičarija, also an event, dedicated to the winter and her farewell.
So what is there to think about? With such on budget options it is almost a sin not to visit and to witness the heritage coming to life. After all, it is not every day you can see scary looking creature with and long red tongue, wearing a sheepskin and jumping around so that the bells on its belts ring trough the cold February days. But beware of its thin wooden bat with real hedgehog spikes at the top end – ježevka. And if you are a girl, make sure to carry a white handkerchief with which the Kurent can decorate his weapon. And if you are even a little bit interested, be sure to book the next available flight.

Wednesday, 1 February 2017

Eurotrip with a ski jumping stop in Slovenia

Eurotrips differ from person to person, from traveller to traveller. The best ones are of course spontaneous ones. But a little planning never hurt no one. So how about a little bit of both? The spontaneous part is that your trip is set for let’s say 7th of February, and the planning part is the ticket booking, where the combination of plane and bus ticket gets you to Slovenia's capital city for only 28.00 €.

@Author - B. Kladnik;
Imagine starting your adventure in Berlin. A Ryanair ticket from Berlin Schönefeld to Venice Treviso on February the 7th will cost you only 9.99 €. And from Venice to Ljubljana a bus drive with Flixbus will cost you only 17.90 €. What a bargain! The magic lies also within countless stop options in-between. But what is most impressive is once you reach Slovenia, the sky is the limit. An opportunity to seize an entire country in a week is just not to be missed. With travel prices nowadays you can even return again and again and discover every inch of this beautiful Alpe Adria country. 

@Author - Nea Culpa;
The capital Ljubljana itself offers countless things to see and to do. But also other parts of this chicken-shaped land are welcoming you with extraordinary sight. Want to go to the seaside? Coastal region welcomes you! Or do you want an underground adventure? No problem, Postojna and its baby dragons are waiting for you and Škocjan with its UNESCO protected sight also quietly awaits new visitors. How about a cooking lesson on a traditional 19 layer cake, typical for the north-eastern part of Slovenia? Or a visit to the oldest vine tree in the world

@Author - Matej Vranič;
Slovenia is a land of countless options so whatever you do, do not limit yourself while visiting. It is a rich, cultural and most of all a diverse trip that will leave you breathless from all the new things you will learn and see. And the best part of travelling in February is that you can treat yourself with a very popular Slovenian habit. A little lovely town called Ljubno ob Savinji every year hosts the Women's Ski Jumping World Cup on 11th and 12th of February and there is no better way to experience the Slovenian spirit than to visit a sporting event hosted in the country. You will not regret even a second spent in that wild, proud crowd cheering for their ''national heroes''. 

So welcome to the Slovenian jungle and may your visit be a magical one!