Triple and Dragon Bridges


… Ljubljana’s famous Triple Bridge…

After our wonderful lunch, Sabina took me around town and showed me some more of the sites.  The famous “Triple-bridge” (Tromostovje) runs across the canal and connects Preseren Square with the rest of the city.  Two pedestrian bridges were added to the existing bridge in the 1930′s to expand walking capacity and have become a tourist favorite.

By now, the sun was peeking out between the clouds and we were able to fold up the umbrellas and have a nice walk about town.  Sabina was a great tour guide and showed me all of the landmarks and tourist attractions.  In the photo below, she’s standing on the triple bridge pointing out some items of interest.  In the background is the Preseren Statue and Franciscan Cathedral.

I tried to get a shot of all three bridges, but unless I went up high into one of the buildings, this shot of a man and his children on a walk was about the best I could get.

It seems that the Slovenians love their poets.  Immortalized in this beautiful sculpture in front of the pink Cathedral is the 19th Century poet France Preseren.  Preseren was pals with Vodnik, the other fellow with the nice statue in the next square a block over.  It is a bit refreshing to be in the capital of a country that pays the highest respects to artists rather than those who have waged war.  Not that I’m knocking the American sculptures and memorials, but it is a bit refreshing to see attention dedicated to those who propagate the arts and humanity.

We worked our way over to one of Ljubljana’s most famous landmarks, the Dragon Bridge.  The beautiful little bridge has 4 dragons, one on each corner standing guard.  They were quite beautiful in design and I could only imagine how crowded this bridge must be during the summer time.

Sabina captured this shot of me under one of the Dragons as I played out the role of eager tourist and she did a fabulous job as tour guide and gracious host.  I used to watch the tourists as they ogled and awed at the Hollywood stars on the Walk of Fame and as they stared at and took photos of the Hollywood sign.  I suppose I look much the same to the residents of Ljubljana as they bustled about to work or to lunch while I smiled sheepishly under a bronze dragon sculpture.

Even the street lights were formed as artistic sculptures each supported on the back of a Griffin (lion with wings and a bird head).

Again and again I noticed so many couples; it seemed like everyone in Ljubljana was in love.  As I shot a photo of the dragon bridge, I noticed these two couples and used the pretext of shooting the dragon to capture their photos.

Local legend holds that if one of the dragons waves his tail, it means that a virgin has crossed the bridge.  I didn’t ever see the dragons’ tails wag and I’m not sure if this is evidence of the inaccuracy of old legends or a testament to the liberal nature of the local residents…


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Ljubljana Castle

We got an early start on the day and Sabina took me into town so that I could see Ljubljana in the daylight.  We had some scattered rain clouds and rain but the sky was clear enough to make a beautiful day.  We parked near the Republic Square (Ljubljana town square) and began the long climb up the mountain.  I never thought to go a kilometer or two away and shoot one from a distance but Dave at davestravelcorner.com was kind enough to let me borrow one that he shot (above).

Later, when we toured the museum, I learned a little about the history of this castle.  Excavations suggest that it has been continually inhabited since 12oo  B.C. and it is believed that the first fort settlements were built then.  First mention of the castle in written records was in 1144 when it was listed as a seat of the Carinthian dukes of the House of Spanheim.

In the 1400′s, the castle was built up to include walls, towers, the entry gate & drawbridge and a chapel.  Because no one lived in the castle that was of royalty, it fell into disrepair and was used as a military garrison and prison until modern times.  The castle was restored to its current condition starting in the 1960′s.

The view of the Ljubljana from the top of the castle hill was perfect.  We could see all around the city and it looked just charming.  I’m sure that it is no big deal to the Europeans, but to west coast Americans, its like being in a movie or fairy tale book.  Looking out from one of the tower windows, the Franciscan Cathedral with its distinctive pink color can be seen.

… the market set up in the town square…

Looking out over Ljubljana we had such a clear day and could see all the way to the hills and mountains.  The city bustled about and we enjoyed the nice view from one of the city’s best vantage points.  The photo below is shot from the outer wall looking inwards towards the castle’s inner courtyard.  The tall tower (where they fly the Slovenian flag) was under some reconstructive improvements.

I made a 360 degree video shot of the castle, the city, and the inner courtyard:

 

 

I wanted to go up to the top  of the tower to get a shot of the courtyard and the city below but it was closed due to the construction.  I was however, able to borrow this shot taken by Jacek Nowak.

On the way out of the castle, Sabina and I took some last photos before heading down to the market to get some lunch.  If you ever have a chance to visit Ljubljana, be sure to drop by the castle for a visit!


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Slovenia

Finally made it to Slvoenia.  This country has been on “the list” for quite some time.  Rewind about 11 years, back to 1996.  An ex-girlfriend and I were travelling in Greece, watching the sunset on the island of Santorini.  As we stood there, watching the sun set, two young women were taking photos of each other nearby.  I volunteered to take a photo of them, and they took a photo of us.  A quick snapshot turned into a conversation and soon we were exchanging addresses.  Over a decade later, we are still sending post cards to each other from our travels.

Sabina, one of the two girls, remained pretty faithful with the post cards.  For a few years it felt a bit like a competition, each of us sending cards from far away locations, almost tempting the other one to take on some more travel.  Invites to come visit to Slovenia came and past.  Really, its not too often that you happen to be passing through Slovenia.  But, I always kept it in the “plan” and thought that if I ever had a few days or a week, I’d drop by for a visit.

On that note; to fellow and perspective travellers: when on the road, if you meet friends, stay in touch.  With the advent of email and now even Facebook, it really is too easy to keep your travel friends in contact.  Sooner or later you’ll be passing through (or by) their country, or they to you.  It really is fun to catch up with old travel friends, show them your photos and tell them your travel stories, and to see and hear about theirs.  I have friends all over the world that invite me to come and visit…  if only I could find more time…

As I had said before, the original idea for this blog was to keep the friends and family “in the loop” in my travels; specifically, to “bring them along” while I travel.  So, some of the photos and stories may be a bit mundane, but the idea is for the friends and family to see and understand what I’ve seen.  To that end, the photo above was on final approach to Ljubljana (pronounced Lub-lee-yana, but everyone says it so fast that it sounds like Lub-yana).  So, now know everyone knows what the Slovene countryside just west of the capital looks like…  Please excuse the glare and dirt on the window – both out of my control – LOL.  The photo below was shot in the suburbs outside of Ljubjlana.  The country very much reminded me of Austria, as it should, as Austria is only about a 1/2 hour drive away.   Actually, I think the entire country of Slovenia is only an hour drive top to bottom, side to side.  It really is a beautiful country with pretty green farmland, low rolling hils, mountains on the horizon, and pretty Tudor looking European houses everywhere.

And what does one do when one first gets to Slovenia?  Apparantly, we have a drink!  Sounded great – especially after so many months in a “dry” (no alcohol) country.  It was nice to cut loose and have a good laugh over  a drink.  In the two photos below, Sabina (first photo – middle right) introduced me to her friends and we just had a great time talking and and laughing, oh, and drinking.

The bar was quite crowded and lively with activity.  It was a weekend, and it was rainy outside adding to the festive atmosphere inside.  Everyone was so friendly and they all made me feel right at home.

Enroute from one club to another, we saw the wreckage of the day.  The wine festival was going on all week and visitors from across the country, and from other countries, were visiting and participating.  While we never did make it to the festival (we were busy touring the “tourist” sites), I did see a map and it reminded me of a walking marathon with wine stops all along the way.  It seems that a designated path through and around town was walked by the participants who stopped and tasted wine all along the way.  Seriously, it was just one big party and everyone was having fun.  The photo below is what remained for the night time cleaning crew.

Before my sobriety failed me, I was cognizant enought to shoot this photo of Ljubljana from one of the bridges.  The pink building to the left is the famous Franciscan Cathedral built in the 1600′s.  Just to the right is one of the famous triple bridges.  Ljubljana was just a wonderful little jem of a city and I was really looking forward to touring around.

Shot some time after “oh-dark thirty” and after many beers and glasses of wine…


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Stories, posts, reports, photos, videos and all other content on this site is copyright protected © and is the property of Scott Traveler unless otherwise indicated, all rights reserved. Content on this site may not be reproduced without permission from Scott Traveler. My contact information can be found on the home page.

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