Review: The Old World, New Germany, and a story of one man’s life in Slovenia

Slovenia’s culture and politics are among the world’s most extreme and idiosyncratic, and its culture and science and wildlife have the ability to draw even the most skeptical eye. I visited Slovenia on an exploratory and historical safari that took me from Slovenia’s beautiful mountains, lakes and valleys into the dark forest and shrublands of the Brenner Pass.

Along the route, I explored the country’s colorful mountain villages, marveled at nature’s range and fantastical creatures (and lizards in particular) and marveled at art, architecture and culture. I also slept under the stars in a cave and had a moment in the countryside to watch sheep shearing their ewes. It felt like a mix of Europe, Africa and South America.

One aspect of this adventure that made me particularly happy: Those gorgeous little baby dragons.

Slovenia is a popular destination for travelers. I think its natural beauty, especially on the roads, attract people looking for a peaceful journey away from urban stressors. And the country has recently begun to attract more of an international interest. Its political stability and culture make the country an impressive destination to visit, and the language is more often used now than it once was.

A lot of people have visited Slovenia from America — it’s easy to do — and this should continue to be the case. In an era where a country’s name is being dissected by social media over everything from politics to dirtiness, Slovenia has a sense of commonality that transcends politics. Slovenia was protected by Germany and Austria during World War II, it remains a very open destination for travelers, and its agriculture (the world’s fifth largest wine producer) makes for a picturesque and unique region.

So, while it might be strange to meet very weird old and young Slovenians, don’t let that get in the way of your trip. Maybe next time you go on a trip to Slovenia, you’ll meet some strange little dragons and think twice about covering your face to avoid stinging bees.

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