Spending the first day in Maribor – that is the second largest city in the country – was a good decision. Maribor lies on the river Drava at the meeting point of the Pohorje mountain, the Drava Valley, the Drava Plain, and the Kozjak and Slovenske gorice hill ranges. The city is famous of its university, winery and charming streets.
The Water Tower is one the city’s main attraction. The tower directly abuts the river Drava, and dates from 1555. A late-renaissance fortification, it consists of massive stone blocks interspersed with embrasures. It was built to secure the southeast part of the city walls from the direction of the river. At present, the Water Tower houses a café/bar which specializes in top-quality Slovenian wines. We sat down at a table, ordered two glasses of chilled white wine, relaxed and enjoyed the wine and the view.
After the Water Tower we explored Lent, the city’s oldest part. Next to numerous charming sights in this attractive part of the city gallant rafters also add their spirit. This is where you can find the Old Vine, the oldest vine in the world, is the oldest living specimen on our planet of a noble grape vine that still bears grapes! With an age of over 400 years it is registered in the Guinness Book of Records as the oldest vine in the world. It symbolises the rich wine culture of Maribor and Slovenia.
The 35 to 55 kg symbolic annual grape harvest is bottled in 2,5 dcl glass bottles, designed by the famous artist Oskar Kogoj, that represent a precious protocol gift – annually more than 100 bottles are filled.
During your city walk you shouldn’t miss the Lastovka ice cream. This is a perfect example of a proud family business. Lastovka outlets in Maribor will regularly see people queuing even during long rainy days and cold weather. The reason for that is the best ice cream in the city and beyond. There are 20 different flavours and one huge scoop costs only 1 EUR. How can you find them? They have three outlets and there are always long queues in front. Just ask the locals, Lastovka is one of Maribor’s symbols and everyone knows them.
We loved the city’s old, ruined buildings, charming doors and gates. Undoubtedly Maribor is a “love at first sight” place.
The next day we said good-bye to this wonderful city. If you get to Slovenia one day, do not hesitate to visit Maribor.
To be continued with Ljubljana!