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Friendly and charming Slovenia earns its rainbow with Pink Week 2016

Friendly and charming Slovenia earns its rainbow with Pink Week 2016

The Pink Week party happens in and around Lake Bled in northwest Slovenia

The recipe for the third Slovenian Pink Week; a small but scenic European country, a crowd of LGBTI people from all over the world, a gala dinner, a club night, days of fun and the fight for equal rights.

Indeed, this year’s edition of Pink Week took place in the gorgeous Ljubljana Castle, in the heart of one of Europe’s most friendly and welcoming capitals.

During Saturday 28 May the castle was lit in pink, as Mattej Valencic and Matej Knific, the two souls behind the Pink Week, hosted dozens of Slovenian celebrities and VIPs.

Their main task was to make the Slovenian society reflect on LGBTI issues, in a country which is struggling to achieve same-sex marriage and get closer to the most advanced nations in terms of freedoms and rights.

But the event was also a way to promote tourism in Slovenia – a country located among alpine beauty and near the Mediterranean coast, where every little detail seems created by a generous god.

‘Slovenia is a small country but with a huge heart,’ said Luxury Slovenia’s Mattej Valencic during the gala dinner at the festival’s climactic Dragon’s Ball. ‘This is the time of the year for asking for equal opportunities in life and for human rights. But this is the time also to say Slovenia is open to LGBTI tourism.’

MAIN-PICTURE-Dragon's-Ball-party-dinner

Moreover, the dinner saw the Slovenian Ambassador To Germany, Marta Kos Marko, given the Pink Dragon Award for her hard work for equality. ‘I’ve been asked many times “why are you doing this”. The truth is I don’t understand people who don’t do this’, she said, before getting the award.

Thanks to her work, this year Slovenia will have a truck and a strong representation at the Berlin Christopher Street Day on 23 July; the German’s capital main pride event. ‘We’ll fight as long as needed, until this issue won’t be discussed anymore,’ she added.

Marta-Kos-Marko-awarded

Meanwhile Axel Hochrein, co-founder and chairman of the board of the Hirschfeld-Eddy-Foundation, solidarized with the Slovenian fight for gay marriage and warned against ‘the reactionary tendencies which we can see in Europe,’ which are worrying ‘not only for LGBTI people’ but also for ‘the refugees and for all the minorities.’ Hochrein gained a big applause when he said: ‘As long as there is one single country in the world punishing people for being LGBTI, our work is not done’.

Slovenia, a gem between the Alps and the Mediterranean

Pink Week 2016, like usual, was the perfect way to enjoy the beauties of Slovenia. This was the fourth time Gay Star Travel had the chance to visit Ljubljana and its surroundings. Starting from the stunning coastal town of Piran, we traveled all around the country, one of the greenest in Europe, to reach Lake Bled and its vibrant colors. Piran and Bled are definitely our favorite places in the country.

Piran, first of all – Mediterranean beauty, Venetian atmosphere (Venice ruled here for centuries), the Adriatic blue sea and the green hills covered in vineyards and olive trees.

Not far from Piran, in Koper, Lisjak is one of the best producers of olive oil. We had the chance to try all of its blends, which are made following the typical Slovenian procedure, and to taste the truffles of these lands. They perfectly match with pasta. Zigante is one of the main truffle companies in this area, between Slovenia and Croatia.

Pasta-with-truffle

The last day of Pink Week 2016 was dedicated to Lake Bled. This is definitely a fairytale spot, under the Alps and 50 minutes by car from Ljubljana. The lake, which is incredibly blue, hosts the only Slovenian island, which is reachable by rowing boats.

On Bled Island you can find a Baroque-style Church of the Assumption, and from its bell tower you’ll be able to see the stunning surroundings. Bled is definitely the best place in Slovenia to fully understand what this country means to tourists – every visitor will want to come back again and again and again. This is exactly why we’ve been so many times!

Lake-Bled-and-boat

With thanks to Luxury Slovenia, Pink Week, the Slovenian Tourist Board and Visit Ljubljana. Gay Star Travel stayed at the Hotel Lev – a classic Ljubljana stopover with exquisite breakfasts and very comfortable rooms. Try to ask for a room with a view over the city.

With additional thanks to Wizz Air, which according to their website, offers over 420 routes from 25 bases in the region. Following a decade of solid growth to become Central and Eastern Europe’s largest low-cost airline, Wizz Air successfully completed an initial public offering on 25 February 2015, and was admitted to the London Stock Exchange. Wizz Air is a value-oriented airline that focuses on innovation all along the way of the customer journey.

‘Its aim is to make flying affordable to the citizens of CEE, as well as to provide a new travel experience to all travelers in the EU. The latest technology is deployed to ensure that the “Wizz Air experience” is outstanding in terms of service and value for money. Wizz Air offers a “simple service model”, which means: ticketless travel, use of cost-and time-efficient secondary airports, single class all-leather seat configuration and catering on demand for extra payment. Wizz Air was named 2016 Value Airline of the Year by Air Transport World, a leading industry magazine.’