About Me

I am a 45 year husband and dad, currently adjusting to life back in the United States after living in Italy for a little over two years. I love spending time with my family, cycling, model railroading, mosaics and watching TV and movies.

Friday, August 21, 2009

Bled, Slovenia

We spent the day in Bled.

After getting ready for the day, we went downstairs for breakfast. What a faboulous breakfast. They had fruit, meats, cheeses, juices, breads, cereals, crepes, coffee cake and more. It was the best selection so far.

After getting some tips from the staff, we drove over to Bled and found some parking.

Joze Hudecek wrote: "When a foreigner, a traveller, comes to Slovenian land, people say to the one accompanying him: Take him where our land is most beautiful, richest and where our speech is at its most sincere, most generous with the truth. There he should make up an image of where we are and how we live. Take him to Bled." Once in Bled, travellers are advised to go and see the Bled Castle.

Perched atop a steep cliff rising 130 meters above the glacial Lake Bled is a symbol of Bled and Slovenia - Bled Castle. The image of the castle forming a dramatic backdrop to the romantic island and the church on it.

Our first plan was to hike up to the castle. We walked down the lakefront and headed up the path to the castle.

Lake Bled

Views of the castle

I'm not sure what was wrong, but I wasn't feeling all the well. My stomach had been bothering me for a couple of days. Maybe it was all the eating out. Anyway, we hiked up to the castle and I felt hot and nausaus. I decided I would just sit on a bench outside the castle while Katrina and Brandon went in. Brandon decided to join me, so we just sat, watched people and rested.

Brandon being goofy while we wait for Katrina.

Katrina had a nice visit inside the castle. She said it was different from many of the others and offered some nice views.

We headed back down the hill, with me starting to think that they should just take me back to the room. It was a tough decision. I felt pretty bad, but didn't want to miss anything.

Ultimately I decided to stay and just take it easy. Brandon decided it was time to walk over to the alpine slide.

While the first slide was 2km long, this one was only 500 meters long - 1/4 of the length. I decided to just watch and not push it. Brandon and Katrina bought passes for 3 rides. I waited at the bottom and took pictures. I think this was Brandon's first time on an actual ski lift.

Alpine slide

Views from the top

Brandon heads down

They rode the slide three times and had a great time. I took a couple pictures with my camera, then took a bunch with Katrina's much faster camera.

One happy speed racer

Katrina and Brandon were hungry for lunch. We walked back into town and found a cafe. We all ordered tuna sandwiches. I was feeling brave and though I would try some food. I was starting to feel a bit better by afternoon.

After lunch we took a boat ride out to the church on the island. The boats, seen in pictures above, are rowed out to the island, usually with 10-12 passengers. It took about half an hour to get to the island.

The church is a favorite place for weddings. From the boat landing, there are 90 steps up to the church. Traditionally the groom is to carry his bride up the 90 steps without setting her down. They say about 3 out of 4 make it. While we were on the island, there was one wedding going on in the chapel. There was another bride and groom in the cafe waiting their turn.

Boat ride to the island

The church on the island.

Brandon found this duck inside a hole in a tree.

We rode the boat back to town and wandered through the market a bit. Katrina found a necklace and we both sampled some honey brandy. OH MY!..that was good. We bought a bottle to take home. The Bled area is famous for its honey production.

We were tired and felt it was time to head back, but once in the car we decided to make one last stop, the Vintar Gorge. It was about a 10 minute drive outside of town. Once there, we parked, paid the admission fee and started walking through the gorge.

The Radovna river cut the Vintgar gorge deep between the hills of HOm and Borst. The gorge is flanked by steep slopes overgrown with beech forests. it was discovered in 1891 by Jakob Zumer, mayor of Gorje, and Benedikt Lerget-porer, a cartographer and photographer from Bled. In 1893 the gorge was opened to the public. Constructing a secured tourist trail through the gorge was a demanding and and extremely dangerous task.

The roar of the Radovna river echoes along the 1600 meter long gorge, full of waterfalls, rapids and erosion potholes. Trails, narrow passages and bridges lead visitors to the end of the gorge, which is marked by a magnificent 16 meter high waterfall Sum, the hightest fluvial waterfall in Slovenia.

Brandon makes another cat friend near the entrance.

By the time we reached the waterfall and turned around to head back upstream, the skies were getting cloudier and the gorge was beginning to get misty. We hiked back to the entrance, bought some ice cream and it began to rain. We ended up eating our ice cream in the car.

By the time we arrived back in town we were hungry, so we stopped at a little restaurant and had a Slovenian meal.

Another late night with heavy rain and high humidity. I was feeling mostly better by evening.

Tomorrow we head to Lublijiana for the day.

No comments:

Post a Comment