Lake Bled (image by Igor Modic, courtesy of Government of Slovenia Public Relations and Media Office)
Back in November, Brooke and I enjoyed our first trip south of the equator, spending a fantastic week in friendly Uruguay. In the spirit of that trip, we wanted to choose another destination for our vacation in 2006. The conditions were:
- Nobody we know has been there. Yet.
- It should be easily confused with another country (ie. Uruguay/Paraguay)
- It should be small enough that we could see a few different places in a week.
And we’ve found the perfect place. Slovenia. You see? It’s not yet on the tourist radar, at least for North Americans. George Bush made a famous gaffe (another one) where he mixed up the two countries of Slovenia and Slovakia. To give credit to poor W, it’s a common mistake. In 2004, Slovakia sent 602 kilograms (1,327 pounds) of misaddressed mail to Slovenia. And the entire country just surpassed the 2,000,000 population mark, making it smaller than the city I live in. In addition, the country spans many different types of terrain, from the Julian Alps in the north to the Adriatic in the southwest. The first of the former Yugoslav republics to declare independence, it has a robust economy, and joined the European Union in 2004. In fact, in contrast to researching our trip to Uruguay, this has been a breeze. The Slovenian government has numerous web sites for tourism and other information, and they are well-organized, attractive, impeccably-translated and full of useful information.
Though our trip isn’t until late September or early October, we’re already getting excited.