Saturday, November 21, 2009

Slow Roading in Slovenia, Not Paris but...

Ok. Slovenia. I know. This is way off the beaten path in Paris. Not even in France. But I can't resist sharing some images of a clean, green remarkably scenic and scenically diverse (tiny) country with wonderful wine. For twelve days following my Pays Basque and Paris tours in October I took the 'slow road' (and some fast roads too) in this splendid part of Europe that is largely unspoiled, untramelled and quite marvelous. I had heard that Slovenia was a convivial destination for travelers who appreciate gorgeous countryside and good, often organic food, good wine. It is all that and much more. A country with a population of two million who peaceably broke away from the former Yugoslavia and got on with growing their country's freedoms and actively aligning with Europe. A country that has a rich history as a cross roads of empires pre-Roman, Roman, Ottoman, Austro-Hungarian and more. Slovenia was once even controlled, briefly by Napoleon! Go for the gorgeous Julian Alps, the short but lovely Adriatic Coast, the Unesco World Heritage caves like Scokjan, the charming capital city of Ljublana. Stay in one of the 200+ farmstays where your food and often your wine will be fresh, top quality and delicious. Wines include delicious Rieslings, Pinot Gris, Pinot Noir, Sauvignon Blanc, and local varietals like the deep red Teran from the Karst region. You will taste echoes of Alsace, Austria, Italy, Hungary in the wines, but, its all part of that lovely Slovenian melting pot of culinary and cultural influences. This is one splendid little country for a relaxed vacation.

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