Thursday, July 08, 2004Ljubjana
In all honesty, until a few weeks ago Abstractboy had no idea how to pronounce Ljubjana. When he did try, it came out as lib-jib-yana, and so it aquired the nickname joanna. It's correct pronounciation, however, is loo-bee-anna.
Ljubjana is lovely. Abstractboy's preconceptions of what to expect, other than that it had a dodge gay bar by the name of Tiffany's (thanks James!). But when the train started to climb through the mountaineous valleys and past rustic chalet towns, it was clear that it was going to be unlike any other city on the itinerary. It is quite a common misconception to consider Slovenia to be just another Eastern bloc country. It isn't, not that there is such a thing as a typical Eastern bloc country anymore, or even an Eastern bloc. Ljubjana feels like an artists town - modern and vibrant, combined with old and charming in a very bohemian cocktail.
And the people dress so well. Seriously. Forget London, forget Berlin, forget Milan. The fashionista/o level per capita is higher than anywhere ever. And the main pedestrain areas are lined with tables, spilling out of minimalist and concept bars. And there are lots of painstakingly attractive Indiegays. It really is the perfect place to spend a few days. But don't tell anyone. Forget Abstractboy even wrote any of this. Ljubjana must not become the new destination for the "PIVO" chanting, easyjet flying, British stag party. It is still unspoilt and, dare I say, happening. So visit Ljubjana now before tourism and Long Weekenders steal its charm.
(p.s. now in Belgrade, Serbia. It is amazing and we are both doing well.)