After a few hours of wandering around Brussels, and a quick hop back to the airport, it was time to board our flight to Ljubljana on Adria Airways. A few things I need to admit: part of the reason I booked this route was my plan to (eventually) fly on every Star Alliance airline. What better time to fly on Adria than when going via their home airport of Ljubljana? Although the main reason for this trip was to get to Iraq, the chance to go via Slovenia in one direction and Croatia in the other was irresistible to me!
The biggest downside of this flight – which I may or may not have been entirely honest with Matt about in advance – was the plane. It was the one plane I categorically refuse to fly under normal circumstances, because I find it to be the most miserable piece of aluminum in the air: The Canadair CRJ-200. Miserably cramped, windows that even a little person can’t see out….basically…I can’t stand them. That said, they promised “business class” which means they left the seat next to you open…so how bad could it be…right?
Adria 395, Brussels (BRU) to Ljubljana, Slovenia (LJU)
Depart: 20:55 Arrive: 22:35, Flight time of 1:40
CRJ-200, Registration S5-AAI, Manufactured 1998, Seat 3A
Once on-board, it was pretty uneventful. Easily the most comfortable CRJ-200 flight I’d ever taken – but hard for it not to be. There were three rows of “business” and with nobody next to me, it really wasn’t bad at all. We even got a small “snack” which I was pretty unimpressed by…but hey, compared to what you’d get in the US at this hour…not complaining to at least have the option!
I nibbled on the protein a little bit, all the while trying to avoid snickering at the wet nap, which I found absolutely hysterical for some reason. I mean, come on, could they make the picture just a little more comical if they tried, lol!
Soon we were on approach to Ljubljana, and after an uneventful taxi, we were at the gate. Slovenia being part of the Schengen area now we were out of the airport and into the carpark quite quickly where we found…absolutely no taxis! This was going to be a problem at nearly 11pm. Eventually, we found a van that was some sort of shuttle service, and although the price seemed moderately high we just wanted to get to bed, so we took it.
Off to the Hotel Slon, which I admit I booked for three reasons: it had decent reviews on-line, it was in a very good location for the centre of the city, and….it was the Hotel Slon. I don’t speak Slovenian, but in Russian Slon means Elephant, and how can you go wrong with a hotel named after elephants! Short review, it was comfortable, clean, and convenient, and we would definitely stay there again. The breakfast the next morning was included, and a pretty decent spread, so we were more than happy with it.
We spent most of the next day wandering around Ljubljana, and partaking in large quantities of caffeine that were needed to fight the jet lag. We wandered the Three Bridge area which was part of the old town. I can’t really compare it to anything else – the area had a very unique feel to it, and there were lots of people out, so it was a really enjoyable walk. We headed up to the Ljubljana Castle which had a great view of the city, and a fantastic coffee shop where we spent some time waiting out a bit of snow flurries before continuing our walk around the Old Town area.
For dinner, we headed to Okrepcevalnica Harambasa which was a Bosnian restaurant that was supposed to be a very local place, and not pretentious. I was well-aware of the ethnic tensions in this region, and a bit apprehensive about a Bosnian restaurant in Slovenia, but decided to give it a go – and very glad we did. The food was really tasty, I think we were the only tourists there, and all-in-all, it was a fantastic time! Before dinner, however, we’d received a couple of free drink coupons from the hotel bar, so decided to use them. The menu listed margaritas, which….well, was left a bit to their interpretation:
We had to get up early the next morning to catch our connection to Vienna and then on to Erbil, so it was a very early night.