Visas: Citizens of Australia, Canada, Israel, Japan, the USA and most European countries do not require visas for stays of up to 90 days. Citizens of other countries can get 90-day visas in advance at any Slovenian embassy or consulate, or 30-day visas on arrival. Public holidays: Public holidays in Slovenia include two days at New Year (1 and 2 Jan); Preseren Day (8 Feb); Easter Sunday & Monday (March/April); Insurrection Day (27 April); two days for Labour Day (1 & 2 May); National Day (25 June); Assumption Day (15 August); Reformation Day (31 Oct); All Saints’ Day (1 Nov); Christmas (25 Dec) and Independence Day (26 Dec). Good reading: Playwright Ivan Cankar has been called ‘the outstanding master of Slovenian prose’, and his works, notably The Ward of Our Lady of Mercy (Hisa Marije Pomocnice) and The Bailiff Yerney and His Rights (Hlapec Jernej in Njegova Pravica), influenced a generation of younger Slovene writers. Independent Slovenia: Origins, Movements, Prospects is a good compilation of essays by Slovenian activists and analysts explaining the hows and whys of Slovenia’s independence movement. Local dishes: Slovenian food is heavily influenced by the food of its neighbours. From Austria, it’s klobasa (sausage), zavitek (strudel) and Dunajski zrezek (Wiener schnitzel). Njoki (potato dumplings), rizota (risotto) and the ravioli-like zlikrofi are obviously Italian. Hungary has contributed golaz (goulash), paprikas (chicken or beef ‘stew’) and palacinke (thin pancakes filled with jam or nuts and topped with chocolate. And then there’s burek, a greasy, layered cheese, meat or even apple pie served at takeaway places everywhere. No Slovenian meal is complete without soup, be it the simple goveja juha z rezanci (beef broth with little egg noodles) or zelenjavna juha (vegetable soup).