Where is Slovenia?

more than a year ago
So where is Slovenia? With only one game remaining during the group stage of the 2010 World Cup a popular answer to this question (here in Ljubljana at least) was 'At the top of Group C!' Another popular answer was provided by a bit on Late Night with David Letterman in the US - which was quick to gain viral status on YouTube (although will likely not find its way into any official tourism campaigns any time soon).
Never known for their geographical prowess, even the more educated segment of the American populace tend to supply answers in which either the word 'Russia' or 'Soviet' feature prominently - perhaps just making the all-too-common mistake of confusing Slovenia with its similarly named former Eastern Bloc member Slovakia (which is also nowhere near bordering Russia, but does at least touch Ukraine) - while most Yanks are apparently unaware that Slovenia is actually a country. On the other side of the Atlantic, the English and the rest of their British consorts, hopefully have a slightly better grasp on their fellow EU-member's location - if for no other reason than the almost daily EasyJet flights direct from Stansted and the regular stream of year-round stag parties that they facilitate - but would still likely be hard-pressed to label it correctly if faced with a blank map.
So where is Slovenia really? Our chosen explanation when speaking to friends and family abroad is 'just East of Italy', or 'Ljubljana is in the middle of the country and only a two-hour drive from Venice and a four-hour drive from Vienna' - although this last one is more or less true, some liberties are taken with the times in order to emphasize the proximity to the familiar West. In slightly grander terms, Slovenia is located at the crossroads of Eastern and Western Europe, the Mediterranean and the Alps, Bavaria and the Balkans, formerly part of both the Roman and Habsburg empires, the last point of defence against the invading Ottomans! Of course in strictly objective geographical terms, it seems that an answer of 'Central Europe' would just about suffice - a fact supported by our colleagues over at Lonely Planet (at least after May 2004).

Where ever it is, the fact remains that Slovenia is a great place to visit and an even better place to live. For proof, look no further than our guides to Ljubljana, Bled, Maribor, Celje, Portorož and the 17 other cities and towns that have already found their way In Your Pocket!
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