Slovenia’s capital has two wonderful things for cyclists. First, its enormous car-free old town, a joyful sprawl of pavement cafes, bars and restaurants, alive with the gentle hubbub of pedestrians, a few bikes, and no combustion engines. Second, dumplings.
After our very scenic train journey from Salzburg, with fine valley and mountain views, we enjoyed roaming the historic centre, unmolested by cars, both on foot and on pedals. We acquainted ourselves with the local beers and red wine.
This last came in small sizes we found ideal, was robust, smoothly put together, not too heavy, and pleasantly inexpensive. Like Nigel’s Brompton, then – in four out of five ways, at least.
And next day we had a fine fifty-odd kilometre ride out of town to explore some of the quiet flat country lanes that run along the foot of the lush green hills that characterise Slovenia’s landscapes. I was delighted to discover a place called Ig.
However, the most delightful cycling discovery for me was štruklji These are Slovenian dumplings: dough filled with anything from meat to cheese to jam to fruit. Don’t think ‘dumpling’, though: think the consistency of cheesecake or lasagne, a little chewy but light and delicious.
We followed our hotel receptionist’s enthusiastic local recommendation and went to Moji štruklji in the centre of town by the market stalls to try them. I had a blueberry one. I was very happy indeed.