Plan for the day
In our original itinerary we planned to leave Velika Planina at about 2 pm and drive all the way to Lake Plitvice. The estimated distance was 288 km and the time needed would be about 4 hours. Last evening we made a change to our plan, we intended to leave Velika Planina at 10 am, on its first cable car ride of the day. We had explored the plateau sufficiently the day before so there was no more exploration needed this morning. Besides our herdman’s cottage felt so stale and cold that we did not want to spend more time than necessary in the cottage.
By the end of the day
After we came down from Velika Planina, we drove to Ljubljana for “brunch”. We found a nice restaurant in the old town and had a great lunch. Ljubljana was a lovely city and we were glad we had made a adhoc visit. After lunch we had a long drive to Lake Plitvice and checked into our accommodation.
The cottage interior was very cold when we woke up as the woods in the stove had all been burnt to ashes. Looking out of the window we could see that the surrounding was covered by a layer of dense mist.
Though we had brought with us packs of instant noodle we decided against cooking them for breakfast. As the “stale” environment in the cottage would make “breakfasting” unpleasant. We walked to the cable car station hoping to grab some breakfast at the cafe housed in the station. But it was not open for business! So we had no breakfast!. We waited at the turnstile entrance of the cable car wondering when the cable car would arrive. At 10.00 am it arrived!
This morning the cable car was quite empty, besides the four of us there were three other persons and a dog. Without the crowd we were able to enjoy the view outside the cable car as it descended.
The cafe at the lower station of the cable car was open for business, unfortunately the food did not appeal to us so we skipped the place. It was a last minute decision to drive into Ljubljana, the capital of Slovenia, for breakfast. After all Ljubljana was only 45 minutes away and it should have many cafes and restaurants.
Where in Ljubljana should we go? And which cafe or restaurant would be a good place for a meal? Ljubljana was not a planned destination in our itinerary so I did not have much information regarding this city. I figured the best place would be the old town. After all every city had an old town which was frequently the most scenic and culturally rich part of city.
As usual, car would not be allowed in the old town. We just had to find a car park as near to the old town as possible. Immediately after crossing Dragon Bridge on its right side there was a huge carpark. From there we walked toward the “Triple Bridge”, one of the famous sightseeing locations of Ljubljana. On the way we walked past Ljubljana Central Market unfortunately the stores were closed!
We reached the triple bridge which basically was three bridges stuck together side by side. The town houses along Ljubjlana river were very scenic. The roads in the old town was off limit to vehicles, the cobbled road and pavements were wide and the crowd was thin at this time (11.15 am) in the morning.
Lin Ying had found a “good” restaurant on Tripadvisor, it was call Julija. Our stomachs were already growling by the time we reached Julija. It was 11.30 am but the restaurant was not ready for customers and we were requested to come back at noon. With 30 minutes to kill we used it to explore the old town. In the meantime we bought ice-cream to fill our tummies.
The town was beautiful. It streets, the buildings and the monuments looked clean and orderly. Cafes, restaurants, shops were everywhere, a vibrant and colourful shopping district! Time passed quickly when we were enjoying ourselves and soon we had to head back to Julija. We were their first customers of the day.
We ordered four meals and the bill came up to €60 (SGD$90). Not cheap but also not too expensive. Lunch was certainly very delicious, not only did we enjoy the food, we loved the ambience of the restaurant.
After our meals we continued to explore the old town. We passed a fountain with a tall obelisk in the center. Around the obelisk were three male figures pouring water from jars. The name of this fountain was Robba Fountain.
This was our fourth day and also our last day in Slovenia so before we left this country we wanted to pick up some small souvenirs. On the way to our car we passed a building that looked like a roofed corridor. In this open “corridor” were many souvenir stores selling local hand made products.
There were many cute and colourful souvenirs and we had a hard time deciding which to buy. I wanted a souvenir that represented Solvenia or Ljubjlana so in the end we selected a white wall tile with the craving of the Triple Bridge, Robba fountain and the Ljubljana Dragon.
From Ljubljana to Lake Plitvice needed about 3 hours. It was a very long drive. We left Ljubljana at about 2 pm heading east toward the direction of Zagreb (Croatia capital). Before Zagreb we would need to cross a Slovenia – Croatia border. When we reached the border there was a huge traffic JAM! It took us more than an hour to cross the custom! Lucky for us we did not have to be at Lake Plitvice by a specific time.
Accommodation for the Night
By the time we reached our stay at Lake Plitvice, it was near to 6 pm. I booked Pansion Krizmanic from Booking.com and the cost for two nights was 1426 kuna (SGD$299 or € 192). I picked this place because it was very near Entrance 1 of Lake Plitvice. We planned to be at the lake as soon as the gate opened the next day.
The guest rooms were in a two storey building just beside the restaurant. Our room was a huge room on the ground floor. It had a double bed, a single bed and a sofa bed. There was also a small sitting area with a table and two sofa chairs. The room came with a huge ensuite bathroom. Unfortunately the room did not have any cooking facility like a microwave or water kettle! Luckily the owner was kind enough to she provided us a water kettle on request.
I like to the room, it was very clean and very bright. There were two huge windows that looked into the front garden. This room felt so fresh so airy so different from the herdsman cottage we had the night before. Staying in a clean room, I felt fresh and clean too.