I discovered Slovenia purely by luck. I’d met a traveler at a bar in Vienna, and he tried to persuade me to delay my plans to head to Italy, and to travel south instead. When I resisted he pulled out his phone and scrolled to a picture of a magical place called Lake Bled.
At the time, I’d had little idea where Slovenia even was. But the photograph, and his insistence, did the trick. Just 48 hours later I was sitting in a rickety train chugging alongside turquoise river rapids on my way to the Slovenian capital, Ljubljana – a detour that was to be one of the highlights of my trip.
Slovenia is a small country. At just a few thousand square miles, it’s easy to travel from one corner to the other in a few hours. Though many visitors opt to explore the country by car or bus, there’s an extensive rail network that makes it ideal to explore by train.