Slovenia

Which of the following countries isn't landlocked?

Considering Central African Republic, Mongolia, Slovenia, and Austria, the answer is: Slovenia.

Image credit: Encyclopedia Britannica

With shores on the Adriatic Sea, Slovenia shares borders with Italy, Austria, Hungary, and Croatia. In the 20th century, Slovenia was part of Yugoslavia, but gained independence and adopted a democratic constitution in 1991. The country has since become a member of the European Union and NATO.  

Nowhere else in the world will you find a country that mixes all three of the largest ethnolinguistic groups of Europe: the Slavs, Germanic, and the Latin. As a result, the country is home to colorful culture and architecture, in addition to the splendor of the Alps which define the landscape of the region. Beyond its impressive natural beauty (caves, extensive forests and sweeping mountain ranges), the fault lines along which the nation is situated create a plethora of thermal springs. Talk about a perfect vacation!

Photo credit: Mlenny/Getty Images. 

Slovenia has quite a success story in navigating the relationship between environment and economy. In fact, the EU anointed Slovenia's capital as the greenest capital in Europe after achieving 96 out of 100 sustainability indicators. Slovenia has become one of the fastest developing nations in Europe and generally enjoys a high level of stability, relative to other nations.

Slovenia is a powerhouse in electronics and equipment production, producing everything from aircrafts to exhaust pipes to refrigerators. Interestingly, Slovenia has the most tractors per capita in the world (jealous?).

Moreover: Slovenia has a rich and extensive wine culture, with an estimated one vineyard per 70 people in the country. They also have the world's oldest, fruit-producing vine at about 440 years old (that's a vine that survived centuries of war!).

Another fascinating national pastime: beekeeping. Specifically, the native Carniolan Honey Bee is cultivated so extensively that there is about one beekeeper per 200 people in the country. Honey flavored foods and oddities can be found all over the country. Chris Leadbeater of The Telegraph explains:

“Indeed, beekeeping is a prime part of the identity of a country that needs all the distinguishing characteristics it can grasp. It is, beyond its capital, a semi-forested realm, and bees thrive within it. It even has a distinct strain of the insect – Carniolan bees, which are valued for their non-aggressive nature and team ethic.”

What's better than that? Learn more about Slovenia below.


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