The capital of the diverse country of Slovenia is one of the smallest capitals in Europe but it’s in no way inferior to its bigger siblings.
Politically speaking, Ljubljana has been tossed back and forth quite a bit. As a crossroad of cultures, it belonged to various states over centuries, from the medieval German and Austro-Hungarian Empires, to Napoleon’s France, to Italy and to socialist Yugoslavia before Slovenia finally came to rest in 1991 and became an independent country.
Traces of this turbulent history are waiting for visitors at every corner as these various affiliations have, of course, left their mark, and so you can still find a diverse mix of different cultural traditions in the city today.
With its countless parks and green corners for relaxation, traversed by the Ljubljanica River, Ljubljana is also known as the city with the green soul.
Meet old and new friends at the pier at noon where our colleague and guide Barbara will be waiting for us. We will then go on board of a boat that will take us out of the city, first to the Ljubljana marshes, a natural area of swamps and peat bogs, where we will get a good lunch. Back on the river banks of Ljubljana, we will explore this urban gem varying between hustle and bustle and peace, between different influences of history and between the most beautiful sights from the water side. When we stop at one of Ljubljana’s countless bridges, we will enjoy ‘coffee under the bridge’.
With solid ground under our feet, we will then have some time to explore the streets and squares of Slovenia’s capital before we end the day in one of the countless restaurants that serves delicious Slovenian food.
The next day we set off together towards Koper, not without taking a break in the unique, species-rich Slovenian karst landscape along the way.
This includes the boat ride, lunch, coffee, entrance fee and bus to Koper.
Dinner will be paid extra by participants.
You need to make your own hotel reservation.
11 May 2023
12:00 – Departure from Sibiu
14:30 – Arrival in Hateg Country Geopark and site visits, dinner and overnight stay
12 May 2023
08:30 – Visit to the House of the Geopark
13:00 – Arrival at Sighişoara
Fee: 96 €; includes the entire programme, transportation from Sibiu Airport and to the conference venue, accommodation for one night in Hațeg (twin room*) and dinner.
*single on request with additional fee
You’re welcome to the place where a journey through our Planet’s Ages is on offer.
Hateg Country Geopark is the first Global Geopark in Romania and Eastern Europe. It is a region recognised as a UNESCO site because of the creative way the unique geological, natural and cultural heritage have been enhanced from a tourism, educational and scientific point of view.
Our journey will start in Densuș village at the House of Volcanoes, located 18 km from Hateg town and about 140 km from Sibiu airport.
First, we will walk on The Time Road to get into the world of volcanoes. A mascot called Andi Andesite, will be our guide in an educational centre dedicated to understanding volcanic phenomena. There are no active volcanoes these days in Hateg Country but the landscape looked completely different 70 million years ago and we’ll find out how and why.
The House of Volcanoes is the starting point on the path of Crooked Wood. At an altitude of 500m, following a path on a level curve, we will find gnarled trees that keep us company until we reach the top of the volcano. Standing on the volcanic ash, we’ll enjoy the beauty of the viewpoint which is ideal for an interpretation session.
Our journey will continue through the human age and people’s ability to create landmark buildings. Densuș Church is one of the most important tourist attractions in the region. It is a construction whose story has not been entirely decoded. Both the origin and date of the church’s building are controversial. Some believe it was originally a Roman temple to the God Mars, transformed into a church in the 12-13th centuries. Others claim that it was, in antiquity, the mausoleum of a Roman general whose Christian wife created the first church north of the Danube river in Roman Dacia. Today, the church has an unusual appearance, a mixture of styles and materials. Some windows are Roman sewer connections, columns support the church’s walls, the altar is a sarcophagus cover, the lions on the roof are Roman statues, and the massive stones in the walls retain their ancient carvings. Inside is another unique image: a painted icon of Jesus Christ dressed in a local Romanian folk costume.
We will close the day in the present age and in a slow manner. We will have dinner at the gastronomic point LuciAna. It is the place where we discover what slow food means for the Hateg Country local community. Specific tastes and flavours, combined with great art by Aunt Ana, intertwined with the stories of the place masterfully told by Uncle Luci, create an unforgettable atmosphere you can hardly want to leave.
We will spend the night in Hateg town and continue the journey through our Planet’s Ages the next day.
Our stop on the second day will be at the House of the Geopark, located in the town of Hateg. The exhibition, Balaurs, Dragons, Dinosaurs, will help us understand what a Geopark is and introduce us to our journey in the Late Cretaceous Age, 70 million years ago. This was the age of the dwarf dinosaurs of Transylvania who lived on the former Hateg Island. Local legends and true stories about balaurs (the evil Romanian many-headed dragons), dinosaurs, the palaeontologists who discovered them and the paleoartists who recreated these strange creatures will whet your appetite to find out more about the Geopark.
After the visit to the exhibition, we will leave the Geopark and go to Sighișoara.
Remember to bring your hiking shoes or boots with you and waterproof clothes to cope with the short spring rain showers.