Trip to Slovenia - A Country Much More than Lake Bled

In the morning we have to see Ljubljana and as there is no need to walk, we delay the alarm for half an hour. The breakfast at the hotel is very good with all kinds of options including Prsut, the Slovenian Serrano ham and a hot chocolate. It's 8 and we start the route by the Dragon Bridge. We continued bordering the river and passed by a bridge where there were a lot of locks of lovers.

We continue to the market and the cathedral. The cathedral is very simple on the outside but the doors and paintings are spectacular. The inside also is very beautiful. We continue to the Town Hall, and then to the three squares and walk through the old town until we reach the triple bridge.

Once back we went up to the castle. We had read that the walk up is hard. There are two options to climb through the little train or the funicular. Both are worth the same, but for hours we took the funicular that passes every 10 minutes. They said it was worth going up for the views, not the castle. But the truth is that we did not think it was worth much, because with the trees we do not see much either. We took a walk up there and with this we ended our visit to Ljubljana.

Then we bought in a bakery a kind of roll of puff pastry with meat inside and some croissants with sweet ham and with great Frankfurt to make a snack before our next destination. I liked Ljubljana more than Zagreb, but it also looks very fast. We were about 4 hours.

The next destination was Skofja Loka. The truth is that I wanted to eliminate it from the route because it did not seem like much and we could take more time in the lakes, but as we had gained time in Ljubljana, the family insisted on following the planned itinerary.

We arrived around 1:00 and parked the car directly at the castle. There is a blue zone space. We climb the castle's door and then we went through the town to the Capuchin Bridge. Then we ended up on the main street that really disappointed us. The photos I had seen were very colorful with flags and colorful houses. Most of the houses I thought were quite old and did not have the grace that we had seen in pictures.

We cooled off in a fountain and went quickly to the Vogel cable car on Lake Bohinj. We were there for about 45 minutes. Although we did not like anything in Skofja Loka, the route to Lake Bohinj seemed beautiful. We follow road 209 that takes us to the town of Bohinjska Bistrica.

This city is famous for its lake and for its train station that transports cars and travelers through a mountain tunnel, to the town of Most Na Soci. We had no intention of stopping in this city, but we made a brief stop to photograph this corner on the side of the road that caught our attention for its beauty and crystal clear water. We see high mountains of huge trees and leafy postcard houses in beautiful valleys.

From Bohinjska Bistrica we continue on the 209 to Lake Bohinj. Shortly before reaching Lake Bohinj, at the foot of the road there was a wooden trampoline on the riverbank, where a small group of people were throwing themselves into the water. The first thing we found was the famous Zlatorog Goat presiding over the lake and guarding the treasures of the mountain.

At 4 pm we arrived at Bohinj and we all got a good bath. The place is dreamy and beautiful. It is one of the most beautiful places we have seen. Lake Bohinj is of glacial origin and is the largest in Slovenia, with emerald waters and full of ducks and trout. The trouts offer them cooked in different ways in restaurants in the area.

The Stone Bridge with the lake and with the Cerkev Sv. Janeza Krstnika or Church of St. John the Baptist is the image of Bohinj and also the most tourist area, where all the restaurants, bars and supermarkets are located. On the other side of the bridge is where the lake drains becoming the Sava River. The church is small, but very beautiful and the most spectacular are its painted walls, both those outside and those inside. From the church there is a path that leads to small beaches on the other side of the lake.

At any point of the lake bordered by the road we can easily access and bathe and be alone. There is no mass of people. The water is very clean, and not as cold as we thought. What is an odyssey is to access the water with the pebbles. Here we enjoyed for a good time. We follow the whole road forward until it ends. There is a waterfall, which with its waters forms Lake Bohinj, then overflows at the other end of the lake and crosses several countries to finally end at the Danube.

The truth is that when we were there, I thought it was not worth climbing, but then seeing the photos amaze me, mainly the color of the lake that forms at the foot of the waterfall. It is clear that the visits are influenced by many factors and in this case the temperature and people did not let us enjoy the place.

We were going to climb by the cable car but there were some clouds and we did not want to risk paying just to go up and down and then we did not see anything. So we continued to Lake Bled, where we had booked accommodation. It is a town that was traditionally the vacation spot for the affluent classes. It has a lot of people, and its streets are full of shops and restaurants.

First of all we approached the castle, but as they said it was not worth entering because we only went for the views, which also did not seem so good from there, since with the vegetation almost nothing is seen. Perhaps the beauty of the views is in walking up from the lake.

We went to the apartment that we had booked. Then we took a walk on the lake whose shore is full of restaurants and beach bars, which we did not like as much as Bohinj. For us there is no color. Much more beautiful is Bohinj in all aspects. It is of glacial origin with its turquoise waters, with the bottom of the Castle and the Julian Alps that look like they are snowy.

The truth is that they are white due to the limestone rock and in the center of the lake is the small island that has a teardrop shape with its church. The island is called Blejski otokand. At present it is the image of Slovenia.

Bled is very beautiful by day, but at night it also has a special charm. We dined very well, as always, and very well priced, in a Gostilna that we found in the center. I ordered a chicken with almond sauce, accompanied with rice. It has been the meals that I liked the most!

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Day 2

We get up at 7:30 and go to breakfast and have some fried eggs with sausage, cheese, butter, nuts, jam, apple juice, cappuccino, pancakes with chocolate, and bread.

Today to start the day we had the visit to the island of Lake Bled. It was 8:30 and we went to the section of pletnas that we had seen the day before. We were told that until 9 o'clock they did not start and that going back and forth it took an hour and a half to go to the island. We look for a snack bar to eat the typical cake of Lake Bled. We reached the center of the lake and got into the restaurant that has a huge picture of the cake.

There was hardly anyone and from the terrace we could see a beautiful view of the lake. The cake was smaller but they were a good piece and it was delicious. The truth is that Bled looked better in the morning than in the afternoon. There was less people, and so it was much quieter and even the water looked cleaner since in the afternoon it was a bit cloudy.

With a full stomach we went back to the pletna. We went to see a small boat to rent it ourselves. As it was hot, we decided on the electric ones that are faster. The island is very small and we can see it right away. It has been a place of worship since ancient times. Ziva, the goddess of love and fertility was worshiped.

With the arrival of Christianity the pagan gods were separated and the Cerkev Marijinega Vnebovzetja was built, which is the preferred place for Slovenes to get married. To access the Church, one have to climb the 99-step Juzno Stopnisce stairway that dates back to 1655. Tradition dictates that the groom climbs the stairs with the bride in arms.

At the moment it was closed, because a couple was celebrating their wedding. Pity we missed the rise of the groom with the bride in arms. Inside is the famous bell of desires. There is not much to do on the island except take some photos from the viewpoints above, have a coffee or ice cream, in the only establishment there and buy a souvenir. We bought ourselves some gigantic and delicious ice cream.

At last the couple left. They climbed a Pletna and entertained themselves with accordion music. At the back is a summer mansion that Mariscal Tito used, which is now a luxury hotel. We went running to take the electric boat and return. To the north of the lake is the Bledjski Grad Castle. So we went strolling along the shore, until we found a little beach with grass and a beach bar. We bathed, ate a pizza and a beer. As it was around 10 o'clock we decided to go to the next destination, otherwise we could not visit the ice caves.

We head for the Vintgar Gorge, whose indicator we had seen next to the apartment and is about 10 minutes by car. Vintgar Gorge is located 4 km from Bled near the towns of Podhom and Zasip. The reference that we put in the GPS from Google, since the address did not come out, is the town of Podhom that helped us to follow the indicators. When we arrived there was a kind of mist over the river. Later it disappeared.

The temperature is very nice. We had seen pictures but we were not disappointed at all. For us it is an essential visit and the walk is very pleasant and there were not many people either. The gorge is a journey of 1.6 km one way, in which are alternated dirt roads, wooden walkways hanging from the mountain, stairs of earth and wood, bridges that cross the river Radovna. The river is furious or calm according to the sections. The water is very transparent, and we can see the bottom.

Halfway down the road there were men cutting several fallen trees. From what we have seen, firewood is a precious commodity here. In all houses they have it well heaped. When we reach the end there is a path that drops us down to Waterfall Sum which is 13 m high. Sum in Slovenian means noisy. There is a wooden bridge from which the waterfall can be seen from above.

We went down to take the photo on the rock with the waterfall in the background. We pass a stone bridge and take a path to the left. Again the color of the lake that forms the waterfall at our feet hallucinates us. All these places that we are seeing are impressive and that there is now little water, at the time of melting they have to be a real pass.

To get back to the car we have to do it the same way we went, but we do not care, because the place is wonderful. We have loved it, as we have been able to enjoy it almost alone, but on the way back we started to meet many people. The parking lot was now full and there were even cars that diverted I guess to another more distant parking.

We go by the Vrsic Pass following the GPS that takes us on the highway and 6 kms away from the detour we find an incredible caravan. It seems that all the Germans who were on vacation decided to return to their country that day. And that highway ends at the border with Austria a few kilometers ahead of our departure. From there we continue north and turn west towards Bovec.

We stopped at Velika Korita, which we really like. We arrive at a zone of pools in the Soca river. We get wet a little although the water is freezing. I do not dare to get beyond the waist. We do the picnic right there on some stones, surrounded by wasps, which from that day begin to accompany all our activities abroad. We eat a burec, cheese and bread, all great.

We got back in the car and we go to the Russian Chapel, which is not bad, and from there we went north almost to the Italian border to visit Lake Zeleznik. It is beautiful and there are few people. We had a good time taking a lot of photos of this magical place. We follow the route south to the Perinik Slap. We arrived at the last minute so no one asks us for money for the visit.

Then we left Slovenia to go into Austria, specifically to the ice caves of Eisriesenwelt in Werfen. The last entry is at 4 pm. We have sandwiches to eat, but we prefer to wait until we reach the caves, to see how the calico is. Along the way it starts to sparkle a little. There are a few hours to get there. The landscape is even more better than Slovenia.

We see greener, taller trees, smaller villages, or better said, loose houses in the middle of the valleys surrounded by high mountains. When we arrive at Werfen, there are indicators of the caves. We can also see the castle of Werfen, but we did not plan to visit it. Below, in a booth there is a boy who tells us that there are a couple of hours of waiting time to enter the caves.

It was about 2. Well, we take advantage and eat the sandwiches. We went up to the top, because I had read that the parking area is very long. Here we were dressed in long pants, sports shoes and a short-sleeved shirt. We took the thin summer jackets and also the raincoats that also make another sleeve, just in case.

We're going from the pull up that supposedly there was about 20 minutes of climb. Right there we ate our sandwiches with the pistachio and peanut. It seemed that we were among clouds. We put on the raincoats and we managed with the umbrella. At the end of the time we were waiting, we climbed on the cable car and the weather was already better so we even had good views.

Then to wake up on the slope was not that there was another piece of tail at the entrance of the cave. But no, there we are almost in the middle of the English speaking group. The views to the entrance of the cave were spectacular.

Right at the entrance we get the lamp and enter, after crossing a strong current of wind. It's very cold inside. We put on the jacket and the raincoat. As we enter the temperature is not so extreme because there is not much contrast, and because when we walk we get warm. During the tour I remember that I opened my jacket at some point, because it was hot, but then in the end I wear it again.

I was afraid of the 700 climbing stairs and the other descending because I had read that they were exhausting. I think we were a little bit hardened from the trip because we have to say that we are not in shape. We did not have anything heavy on the stairs and we did not have any laces either. During the tour the guide stops in the sections and he illuminates the ice figures with his lamp.

The truth is that I expected more ice everywhere and my husband was disappointed this visit. At the end of the tour we went through an ice tunnel, which I really liked. I expected the whole trip like this. After descending in the same beach bar of the caves we ate frankfurt and a kind of smoked chop. In the end it was very late. It was close to 8 pm when we left there.

Tonight we had a room booked in Hallstatt. Since we have left the caves so late, we arrived at night and since we were very tired, and we had already eaten, we enjoyed the room, which was very beautiful. The accommodation in Hallstatt was quite expensive with breakfast included. The owner told us that they expected good weather for the next day and that we would be served breakfast on the balcony at the time we wanted.

We go for dinner and ordered a cheese board, mushroom soup, a noodle soup, a salad with feta and pepper and a special barbecue. We are not able to finish it, but everything is so good that we eat well beyond our means. It should be added that we drink a couple of bottles of Slovenian white wine from the area. And during the dinner there is a music group that sings traditional songs. From there we go home to sleep with a full stomach (very full I would say).

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