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LJUBLJANA. .Arriving in Slovenia was lovely from the train. It looked like Switzerland with Alpine villages and cattle grazing. Upon arrival, and with my guidebook in hand, I didn't have any problem navigating my way through Ljubljana to find my hotel, an Art Nouveau treasure called the Union Hotel. But there was no time to sit in the hotel with a new city to explore, even in the rain. I've heard Ljubljana described as a smaller version of Prague without all the tourists. I had to get my fix of Art Nouveau!

For supper I went to a restaurant that offered traditional Slovenian food with an Italian twist. I was advised to try truffles while there, and so I couldn't pass it up with pasta! It was a delightful eating experience. My waiter was so friendly and made sure I had a positive Slovenian meal. Of course, it helped to eat as early as Americans usually do. The restaurant wasn't very busy so he could give me that attention. It started with the salad. I had two choices for my dressings, and neither of them were American style dressings. The first choice was olive oil and balsamic vinegar. I decided immediately to try that until I was given the other option of red wine vinegar and pumpkin seed oil. And, it was a good choice. As for the truffles, the five grams were grated so finely that I never saw any of them. But, the pasta was delicious. I knew that truffles in France were dug up by pigs. Where I learned that trivia, I'll never know. But, truffles in Slovenia were dug up by dogs. The waiter said it was more intelligent. I thought it sounded cleaner. Whatever, it was delicious. When the meal was finished, I was given a free glass of wine. I don't normally like wine, but this red wine was spiked with rum, vanilla, and cinnamon. And, I liked it! I did thank the waiter for such a positive meal. He said it was all a part of doing the job that he loved. Well, he made it a meal that I loved too. Be sure to check my Useful Addresses for this restaurant if you are going to Ljubljana.

MARTIN

the river through town Grand Union Hotel
in white
Art Nouveau Dragon protecting the bridge
the town's symbol
Copyright 2008 by Phillip Martin All rights reserved.