It all started during the summers of 2014. Our plans for visiting Croatia have always been getting postponed, until then, due to long driving hours. But we finally did survive.
The drive to Split from Heidelberg is almost 1200 km, and needless to mention every two-hundred kilometres unfold a new story. Before beginning our two-week long trip to Croatia, we decided to take a night halt every 750 km while forth and back.
We started, early morning at 06:30 hr, from Heidelberg driving our way through Nürnberg (Germany), Wels (Austria) and reached Maribor (Slovenia) at 16:30 hr.
After 200km Nürnberg served as a very convenient option for a quick breakfast with some pretzels and a coffee to go. Fifteen minutes, and we found ourselves hitting the autobahn again.
Wels was the obvious choice for lunch post another 300 km.
As they say in Slovenia, “A good rest is half the work”, our destination for the day was Maribor (almost a total of 800 km for the day), the second largest city of Slovenia. Completely agreeing with the proverb above, we thought of staying overnight in Maribor.
Around 16:30 hr, we reached Maribor and checked-in at Hotel Orel, located in the centre of Old Town. With comfortable bed and pillows, neat room layout, a choice for vegetarians too for the breakfast, free parking in the centre of Old Town and every thing else within fifteen minutes reach, Hotel Orel will be our choice on the next visit too.
Maribor, the European Capital of Culture 2012, is a beautiful small city that could be easily explored on foot. Apart from having many medieval structures, the city also is a home for NK Maribor (the football team), an almost 400 years old grapevine and a University of Maribor.
The city also has a huge massive mall, Europark, which is a home to many renowned brands and showrooms and tasty delicacies. Maribor has a variety of options to keep its tourists engaged. A big park, a local district at the riverfront, theatres, summer sledding, bowling, museums, wellness spas…and the list goes on.
This time, Maribor was only a stopover destination for a long vacation that was yet to begin. However, a trip entirely dedicated to Slovenia (Ljubljana, Maribor and Bled) is on our wish-list for next summers.
After exploring the city for two hours, it was dinner time at Pri Florjanu restaurant (walking distance from our hotel). It is a Slovenian restaurant with Mediterranean touch. With a nice ambient, superb service, great selection of Slovenian wines and a special seasonal dinner menu (yummy)…this restaurant is a must when on a visit to Maribor. With a sated appetite, we strolled back to the hotel room, planning the second part of our journey that was to begin the next morning.