Updated: Apr 17
Carol and I made our first visit to Slovenia this week. We've been to Slovakia many times, but don't get them mixed up. Slovakia is the country that was the "slovakia" part of the old Czechoslovakia, located just north of Hungary. It's land locked and north of the Alps.
Slovenia, on the other hand, is that little country just east of the northern part of Italy, south of the Alps, has a coastline on the Adriatic Sea and is one of the countries that came out of the breakup of Yugoslavia in the 1990s (along with Croatia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Serbia, Montenegro and Macedonia).
We first headed to the coastline to the town of Parin, on the Adriatic Sea. It's a small town of only about 4000 residents that has that laid-back coastal feel. Probably the best example of this was when we were walking through the square with all the sidewalk cafes and saw a man with his pet sit down at one of the tables to order lunch. Now that's not at all unusual if your pet was a dog, but this was a Donkey!
Slovenia is a country known for it's fine food and wine and is certainly the greenest and cleanest of European countries. It has everything from seaside beaches to skiing in the Alps, all within a couple hours driving, so there is something for everyone. It prides itself on sustainability and great outdoor activities like hiking and biking.
We visited a castle converted to a hotel and convention center for lunch and had one of the best lunches of our lives. Then it was on to a local winery for some Slovenia wine-tasting before ending our day at the Kempinski Palace Hotel. All in all, not a bad way to start our visit to Slovenia.