Ljublijana, the Dragon’s City

We were so busy enjoying this city that we forgot to write a blog.  But places with Internet access have been few and far between, so I’m putting up the photos (we took dozens) and maybe I’ll put a few words in between.

We set out from Heriz and had a reservation at the Park Hotel, right in the middle of the Old City, clustered along both sides of the Ljubljanitsa River.  The trip was fascinating – back roads of course so we went through many villages.

The Plains of Hungary stretch flat beside us for miles.

Look carefully: the figures are hand sewn.

Sometimes these plains were green with some sort of low crop growing on them, but many were all snow covered like this.

The figures are made of stiffened cloth with the features embroidered on them.  It’s a work of art in the town square of a village whose name totally escapes me.

The truck with live fish in tanks

In another  town square, a truck loaded with water-filled tanks, was surrounded by a crowd of people.  They were selecting dinner from the fish on offer–still alive–how fresh can you get!

Farmhouse catches the last rays--at 3:45 p.m.

And as we neared the city, the sun did its early setting trick.  It was December 23, so days should have been getting longer, but the mountains intervened.

In Ljubljana

We finally arrived about sunset and settled into the convenient and comfortable Park Hotel.  Then we went walking along the river.  Here are a bunch of photos of the city lighted up for the season, and of the Christmas Fair.  The fair actually went on for blocks on both sides of the river as well as on a number of other squares and streets.  You’ll just have to imaging the lights, the crowds, the music–the whole Christmas atmosphere.

Lights were set on invisible wires so they appeared to float free across the streets.

Did you ever see such large jars of Nutella?

So we wandered lighted streets and listened to music in the air.

The main square had more lights than anywhere else

Old Town, Dragon Bridge, The Castle (Grad)

So finally it was the next day (Christmas Eve) so we walked some more and looked for a midnight Mass.  On the right is the layout of the town–present city is on both sides of the river, but over all broods the fortress Castle where the Duke lived in earlier times.  We decided to see the Castle on Christmas Day (there being no blockbuster movies playing in the area.

The River and the Dragon Bridge

The Dragon of Ljubljana

The bridge has four  of these dragons guarding it.

So eventually it got dark again, and we went to the Franciscan Church to see their creche, reputed to be the best in the city.  It was enormous extending around the corner from the

only the central part of an entire village

central scene to show village life.  As we were studying it, we noticed people beginning to take seats, so we figured an early Midnight tonight.  And it was. The Mass started at 9.  No choir, but an  older Franciscan took to the pulpit.  A sound of gears and a screen rose in front of the side altar.  And then the words to Silent Night in Croatian appeared.  Our leader beat time, and with the words before us, it was easy to join in.  It was a totally sung Mass, but at least Amen and Alleluia are the same.  We sang four hymns, mostly the choruses because they were not familiar.  All in all it was a warm and friendly place for Midnight Mass, so we were happy to have stumbled upon it.

Here are a few more highlights of Ljubljana, where the temperatures hovered between highs of 2C and lows of -4C.

In Summer the fountain is revealed

This couple seemed totally unaware of the temperaturearound them.  Brrrr…

Much graffiti on walls.  For some reason, Ron was a frequent decoration.

Next day we went to the Grad and toured the Cathedral, but that will have to wait for now.

This entry was posted in Macedonia, September 2010 - June 2011, Uncategorized and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

One Response to Ljublijana, the Dragon’s City

  1. jjmcgaffey says:

    Now you’ve seen the originals of my profile pic on Librarything! Neat. I’m loving these blog posts – fascinating seeing what you’re up to.

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