My prayers for good weather were granted. Even though the weather forecast was not good, and it rained heavily during the night, we were greeted by the sun in the morning. Saturday exploring was a go! But before that, it’s time for breakfast. Because the hotel is huge, the selection is amazing, and we bought found many things we really enjoyed. We also liked the small trash container on the table, where you can put the wrappers and papers and eat on a tidy and beautiful table. Cute! We also noticed that there is not a lot of plastic, which is a big plus for the hotel management.
After breakfast we started exploring the area, and because we were in Nova Gorica during the Festival of Roses, our first stop was the garden of the Franciscan monastery on Konstanjevica, where we enjoyed the wonderful collection of roses of the bourbon kind. By the way, do you know what’s on the coat of arms of Nova Gorica? That’s right, a rose!
We saved the interior of the monastery for another time, but there is a lot of history inside, even the tomb of the only French King that’s not buried in France – Charles X. of France
Roses are my favorite flower, which may have something to do with the fact that my Christening name is Rosalia. 🙂
Bourbon roses are something special, they are a kind of evolutionary step between the ancient roses and the modern ones. And ohhh, do they smell heavenly! A very nice flowery smell with citrus notes. Bourbon roses flower the most at the start of May, so I really recommend you spend a sunny Sunday on a visit to Nova Gorica. It makes for a wonderful memory. You can even buy some potted roses, and take the memory home with you!
We continued our journey and stopped at the Solkan bridge, which is the last of the large stone bridges, and it does in fact have the largest stone arch in the world. And the creamy green Soča river that flows under it… A truly unique view to rest the eyes. 🙂
I also noticed that there is a bike path nearby, and you can also bungee jump from a nearby bridge, which is great for adrenaline junkies.
For a good view of the beautiful Brda landscape we visited the viewtower Gonjače. There are tons of good restaurants and wine cellars in the vicinity, and the road is marked with information boards about the tourist offering, so you don’t have to plan too much to get great food and drinks.
Our last stop of the day was the magnificent and recently restored Villa Vipolže, which has a rich history, but is also very much alive – it is used for events such as exhibitions, educational events, weddings, and in ground floor there is a restaurant and winery Kruh in Vino (Bread and Wine), where we had a heavenly lunch.
The tour guide gave us a quick tour around the building and showed us the wonderful balcony, a fresco, and the huge cellar. The villa has a really nice ambient with tall ceilings and a beautiful exterior, centered by a ring in the middle.
We also learned of a few interesting ghost stories that happened at the Villa. The tour guide told us about her personal experiences and how she is sometimes alone at the villa, but that she doesn’t feel alone. The ghosts are quite friendly, we’ve been told, but they were a bit naughty during the renovation. They played around with the workers, stopped elevators, and moved wheelbarrows during the night, as they were probably afraid the renovation will change their home too much. But all is well now, and they coexist peacefully. 😉
After the tour we had lunch at the restaurant and winery Kruh in Vino (Bread and Wine). For the appetizer we received freshly baked bread with a horseradish spread, and for the main course we chose:
Domen: Roast beef with potato cream
Zala: Homemade gnocchi with cheese and asparagus soup
The food was amazing, truly gourmet, we enjoyed each bite. For dessert we had their fresh ice-cream, I chose kaki flavour, and Domed had “Gorenjka” chocolate flavor. It was awesome.
After returning to Hotel Perla we relaxed a bit, then headed to the spa and pool, to burn a few calories from all that heavenly food. 😉 We skipped the sauna this time, but they do have many different kinds for all sauna lovers.
At 19:00 we had a relaxing rose oil massage – 30 minutes. The nice scent of the oil has a relaxing effect, is good against stress and axiousness and also regenerates the skin. After the massage we felt reborn, and it even lessened the pain in my back that I’ve been having for the last few months, which was very welcome. After the massage we received a tea with interesting crystal sugar to wake us up. 🙂
Scented with flowers we headed back to our room and got ready for dinner and our first visit to a Casino ever, which was super exciting!
We had dinner at the self-service restaurant Oceanis, which is located inside the Casino in Hotel Perla. When we entered the casino we were shocked to see how huge it is! An entire wing of the hotel is taken up by the casino, they have hundreds of slot machines, roulette, poker, and other things. The experience was really enhanced by the fact that the casino was full of people, since there was a poker tournament going on with a guaranteed pot of 500.000€. I swear, it felt like a Los Angeles casino! 😀
After dinner we tried our luck and had a ton of fun. We each invested 5€ on a slot machine – I lost everything, but Domen doubled his amount, so we were back where we started. It was a crazy experience! 🙂
*The photos below were taken the next day because the casino was full the first evening. 😀