To remember ‘thank you’ in Slovenian and a few other countries, it helps to think you are a magician pulling vocabulary out of a hat. ‘Hvala’ (pronounced VAH-lah) sounds almost like the utterance a magician makes at the end of a trick and you feel like one when a reflexive ‘Prosim!’ is given in return.
Slovenia is a beautiful country with a few well-beaten tourist tracks. Ljubljana (give a ‘j’ the ‘y’ sound) is a picture perfect capital with well preserved buildings and an obsession with dragons (St. Stephen and Jason and the Argonauts are to blame). Ljubljana Castle, unlike other very sterile castles, is an integral part of the community with a few museums (the puppetry museum was particularly enjoyable), restaurants, and summer film screenings.
Day trips from Ljubljana are standard fare as well. Bled, an hour and a half bus ride away, is famous for its island church, clean water, and local ‘kremschnita’ cakes. Postonja, an hour from Ljubljana, contains world famous caves with high ceilings and correspondingly high ticket prices (26 euros). It would have been nice to explore more of the country but I think I was able to sample some highlights in the few days I was there.