Today was fine but we could feel the chill of winter in the breeze. Even the locals had broken out their down jackets. For Slovenians today was an important day as their soccer team was playing England for the qualifier for the World Cup…next year? 2018? By the time the game starts tonight it will be 6 degrees and dropping.
Now we decided to save the aging knees and not walk up the steep cobblestone path to the castle. Cobblestones are really hard to walk on in modern shoes….you do need the wooden soles of yesterday….risk the ankles or kill the feet…..hard choice. Anyway ,we did not need to make that decision because there is a funicular. The only hazard was passing through the markets. Poor husbands ,as we indulged in some retail therapy! No we didn’t buy straw , reed or hair brooms or wooden rakes . Fruit was yummy but no, Pauline found some new tops to fill a gap in her wardrobe. Now at the end of the square near the funicular, we found an Aussie who likes to help the locals to a drink or two.
We said hi, shared a drink and caught the funicular to the castle. Over the years, Ljubiana Castle has been rebuilt many times to meet changes in purpose, ownership and fashion. It is now owned by the city and has been repaired and renovated to meet the needs of the city. It contains a fabulous museum showing the history of the city and Slovenia from prehistoric times.Many of the archeological finds have been copied and displayed including the first wheel and axle from prehistoric times. The building itself is a mixture of the original stone work and brick walls to fill those lost through the passage of time. It has been done effectively to reflect the various uses both past and present and surprise, there are stairs. Baroque chapel and hall, jail, barracks,POW camp and now museum, wedding venue, tourist viewpoint and meeting place for the locals for festivals and concerts.
As usual , we were forced to have coffee and sample a local treat. In this case a very chocolate hedgehog…almost toooo cute to eat.
Dragons are the symbol for Ljubiana. Two stories exist for the presence of dragons hiding in the hill where the castle sits. One says St George slew the dragon hiding in the caves of the castle and the other says Jason of the Argonauts came and slew the dragon. Perhaps he is still hiding somewhere under the hill.
By night or day, the castle is an important part of Ljubiana’s landscape. Off to more lakes tomorrow