all i can say is WOW.
this last week has been full of unexpected and wonderful sights. Vienna was a little disappointing for its cold weather & gray atmosphere, so Ljubljana was a breath of fresh air.
first of all I should explain to those of you (like me) who are a little geographically-challenged:
Ljubljana is the capital of SLOVENIA, a small European country just south of Austria. it's pronounced Loo-biyana. One of Slovenia's recent claims to fame was when George W. mistakenly referred to Ljubljana as "in Slovakia" in a speech.
I have to give all the credit to my cousin Vera who insisted that I visit Ljubljana. Turns out, it is a beautiful and extremely clean city where the main form of entertainment for both locals and the very few tourists is to sip coffee, wine, or beer on the banks of a beautiful river. That's about the jist of the city - cafes, cafes, cafes - and that is exactly what I loved about it. The food is also fresh, affordable, and fantastic.
Almost half of the city population is students who are all practically fluent in English, if not German or Italian as well. Venice is only a ferry boat ride away, so if you're ever visiting northern Italy, it's worth it to work Ljubljana into your trip.
I suppose the only downside of the city is there's not a whole lot of sightseeing to do, and not a ton of hotels, but there's plenty of shops and just walking is plenty. Slovenians also have their own mountain range which easily competes with the Alps for beautiful (more affordable) skiing year round.
In a nutshell, I felt that Ljubljana was an un-spoiled, un-touristy European city. Definitely visit if you get the chance!