Six o clock at Preseren is bustling. After a cloudy day, the sun was finally out, warming us all up. People walking past or cycling by, some sipping their coffee, tourists just hanging around at the foot of the statue, parents with strollers, shoppers... A street musician was playing and a small crowd was gathering. And then he struck the chords for ‘My girl’.
Preseren square in the evening
We had had a bit of grey weather in the first few days. And then, I had gotten to know that an exam I had given hadn’t gone for the best. Funny how such a small thing can come snowballing and make you see things in extreme gloom.
And then as the song began, it felt like – so what? Here I was in one of the prettiest, liveliest squares, - one of the most ‘realest’ squares filled with people who actually lived, and worked and belonged to Ljubljana. I imagine I would have been doing exactly this on any other evening if I was living in the city - walking by the square, stopping to see the river, catch a glimpse of the evening sun and soaking in the life in general. The sun was warming me to the core. I had a slight buzz from the bookshop I had dropped into, and the couple of books I had picked up. And then there was the song calling to me. I think that was the moment when I felt, yes I am here, here now. The moment when it felt like the trip was beginning to take off.
The triple bridge
Preseren’s square is not the most remarkable or even bigger squares in Europe. But what is nice is that it is a part of the daily life of Ljubljana rather than just being on the tourist trail. We saw a few girls with H&M bags and decided to ask them where the store was. They laughed, “Oh you caught us. Don’t worry we’ve left something for you”. The square is along the river Ljubljana’s banks, with landmarks like the Franciscan church, Triple bridge (Tromostovje). Preseren is a national poet who wrote the Slovenian anthem and his statue stands tall in the square. Story goes, he is looking across the square at the building of his lady love.
Preseren and his Muse
Us just hanging out
Later that evening, after some shopping at H&M, we stopped by a cafe offering apperitivos - it means drinks, but typically many cafe’s offer a filling but free plate of side eats. We had been looking for these bars/restaurants in Venice, but found these first in Ljubljana. Our first day in Ljubljana had started off in Preseren Square – where our walking tour began. On our last, we left with a glorious final image of the square blazing in lights at night.