From Texas to Beyond

Local, Near and Far: Our journey of exploring the world.

Month: November 2015 (page 1 of 2)

Allegro Hotel – Ljubljana, Slovenia

When David and I travel, we normally stay in a place in walking distance to the attractions we want to see, or at least close to public transportation.  In our strategy, we want a clean and nice accommodation, but we do not want to spend our money on a fancy hotel.  We want to be out experiencing the destination.  But on this trip, we were spending a night in 7 destinations and wanted to splurge on a nicer hotel in one of the locations.  David did lots of research and we chose to stay at Allegro Hotel in Ljubljana, Slovenia for an upscale treat.  We made a great choice!

Inside Allegro Hotel

Inside Allegro Hotel

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Plečnik’s Bridges of Ljubljana

When visiting Ljubljana, the capital city of Slovenia, it is likely you will encounter two national heroes: Plečnik and Prešeren. Jože Plečnik the architect, and France Prešeren the poet.

Today, we take a closer look at the architect, Jože Plečnik. While Plečnik is a household name in Slovenia, I feel like little is known of him in the United States, even among fellow architects.

Travel often unlocks new experiences that we did not even realize existed before traveling. In Prague, Rebekah and I fell in love with delightful Art Nouveau painter, Alfons Mucha when we experienced his Slav Epic masterpieces first-hand. We had a very similar experience in Ljubljana. The architectural influence of Jože Plečnik is a treat waiting to be unwrapped.

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Ljubljana City Overview

Unless you were a straight A student in world geography, you may have never heard of Ljubljana (the “j”s make a “y” sound). While this may be your first time to hear about Ljubljana, it won’t be your last. The capital city of compact Slovenia is on the rise, and will be a top European destination in a few years.

Ljubljana is remarkably easy to include in your European vacation schedule. Ljubljana and Slovenia as a whole sits at the crossroads of 3 great cultures: Germanic, Italian and Slavic. These three cultures continue to shape the region, especially its cuisine. If you are traveling to Italy (Venice in particular), Vienna or Budapest, Ljubljana is only a short train ride and even shorter plane ride away.

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Why We Went to Slovenia and Croatia

David and I wanted to make a “last hurrah” trip before our new addition to the family arrived.  We knew, at least for a while, travel would look a little different for us with a baby boy in tow.  We couldn’t swing Iceland, a place top on my list, so after some research, we headed to Slovenia and Croatia (and a long layover in Madrid).  Both before and after our journey, the predominant question from friends, family and strangers was, “Why the hee-haw did y’all go there?”  (That is the Rebekah version of the question.)

David & Rebekah at Bled Castle, Slovenia

David & Rebekah at Bled Castle

Four Reasons…

1. I saw a Rick Steves show on Lake Bled in Slovenia and thought it looked enchanting.

2. A friend had visited Plitvice Lakes, and immediately I added it on my bucket list.

3. I wanted to experience something new that I had little or no prior context.

4. David had really enjoyed delving into Central Europe during our previous trip to Prague, and we wanted to explore more of this delightful region.

Veliki Slap Falls at Lake Plitvice National Park

Veliki Slap Falls at Lake Plitvice National Park

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Why You Should Visit Kosovo: Prishtina

Guest Blogger and my good friend John Seale bring us a four part series on his recent journeys, beginning with a brief layover in Vienna and continuing today in Prishtina, Kosovo. John is one of my frequent travel partners, from across Texas to the other side of the world (2 trips to Kenya). From Texas to Beyond is excited to bring you his unique perspectives on travel, along with some fascinating locations in Kosovo and Albania.

Europe is a small continent where numerous ethnic groups are smashed together in close proximity. The Balkans are the same way, but on an even smaller scale. The sheer number of countries that Yugoslavia broke into (7) tells you how diverse the region is. My wife and I had the opportunity to visit Kosovo and Albania in 2015, as my sister has lived there for a number of years. Kosovo is ethnically and linguistically Albanian, but for several years it was yoked with Serbia, with whom they share almost nothing except mutual dislike. Since their independence, Kosovo is now a nearly unknown destination for tourists.

Prishtina, Kosovo - The Newborn Statue, a Make-Your-Own-Art Kind of Thing

The Newborn Statue, a Make-Your-Own-Art Kind of Thing

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