Friday, 23 March 2007

Review of The Rough Guide to Slovenia by Norm Longley

The Rough Guide to Slovenia - Edition 2
By Norm Longley
Paperback: 366 pages
Publisher: Rough Guides; 2 Rev Ed edition (25 Jan 2007)
Language English
ISBN-10: 1843537257
ISBN-13: 978-1843537250

Insightful and informative, Rough Guide to Slovenia is an essential part of anyone’s Slovenia travel kit!

As a seasoned traveller, having an accurate and useful travel guide is an essential part of my kit. Recently I have grown tired of mainstream and established guides leaning more towards database listings of where to go and what to do. I want insight. I want to know about a place, its history, culture and the author’s personal views. I want to feel inspired to visit a place by the writing. So it’s refreshing to see that the Rough Guides still manage to maintain an acceptable balance between information and insight.

The Rough Guide to Slovenia is now in its second edition and there have been many improvements. The most obvious is the new glossy cover; a full page photo with a translucent band across help to make the book much more aesthetically appealing to the eye, which is a vast improvement from the bland cover of the previous edition.

The colour intro contains a useful quick reference guide to the country’s highlights, and scattered throughout the book you’ll also find two new colour inserts that help to give more emphasis on the two things the country is most famous for: caves and outdoor activities.

More importantly though, is the content. The author manages to maintain an easygoing style which almost makes you feel like he is actually talking to you. Whilst striving to provide accurate information he is also not afraid to give blatantly honest reviews of places and accommodation. His description of a place in Bled where I have personally stayed is right on the button:

“This popular lakeside place has a convivial atmosphere despite the rooms being dated and cramped.”

It’s for this kind of honesty that people buy a travel guide. If we just wanted a simple list of places to stay and go we would ask at the tourist office, or read the brochures. But independent travellers who want to plan their own itinerary want to know what the place is really like, so they can make an informed decision as to where to go and stay.

While boxed sections highlight special events or places of interest, the bulk of the information is neatly woven into sectioned paragraphs each written with a clarity and authority that is indicative of the author’s thorough research and in-depth knowledge of the country. The second edition also contains more detailed maps than the previous edition and its map of the Triglav National Park is the best I’ve seen yet.

Extremely well written and packed with accurate and useful information, the Rough Guide to Slovenia is an essential aid to anyone planning a trip to this beautiful and diverse little country.

Reviewed by Ian Middleton: Travel Writer and photographer, and author of Mysterious World: Ireland.

Author’s Bio:
Ian Middleton is a freelance travel writer and photographer from the UK. He is the author of three travel narrative books and one travel guide to ancient Ireland, Mysterious World: Ireland. Ian has also written for several magazines, including Mysterious World, backpacker Ireland, Walking World Ireland, Take your car UK and the Slovenia Times newspaper. Ian's photography has been published in Mysterious World: Ireland, Masa Acher magazine, Living Abroad, Bradt Travel Guides and the Slovenia Times newspaper.
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Check out my new travel guide to ancient Ireland:

*The author give permission for the contents of this review to be reproduced in whole or part as long as the party gives full credit to the reviewer, either using the tagline alone or, space permitting, the tagline with author’s bio.*

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