We have seen pictures and read a few write-ups on Lake Bled, our expectations were high but come on, look at this place! We quickly became obsessed with the island in the middle of the lake that had the most picturesque little church on it. Get ready, we took a lot pictures of this lake.
Besides having a beautiful lake with a classic European church on it, Lake Bled also has a castle which was nicely constructed perched on the cliffs.
We stayed at the Grand Toplice Hotel and because of a reservation error on their part we ended up getting upgraded to their top floor suite. Check out this view!
Our hotel had a traditional European spa! You were only allowed to wear sheets inside the four different sauna and steam rooms; we felt like the ancient Romans in togas. After sweating it out in the saunas we plunged into the gorgeous "cold" pool that was filled with mineral water from the ground. With no chlorine or chemicals, you could cool off and keep your eyes open underwater forever. We had so much fun we came back the next day before checkout.
One of the main activities in sleepy Lake Bled is to walk around the lake and admire the island from all angles. It only takes about two hours if you take it slow and shoot some photos.
The poor guys at the hotel who screwed up or reservation felt bad and loaded us up with the local info. We took their advice and hiked up this radically steep hill. A little hike is always worth it and this was no different, up the steepest stairs on earth we found what we were looking for.
A bottle of champagne and paddle to the island? Sure!
To top everything off we found the best pizza place around. We went here once...or twice.
Its always nice to go somewhere with high expectations and leave feeling like your expectations were wrong; it was far better than you could have ever imagined.
Right outside of Bled on the way to Salzburg is the Vintgar Gorge. You park your car, and walk along wooden bridges through a canyon while the water rushes below. The water color is gin clear and the white stone bottom gives the water a very unique turquoise color.
The clear water and the ability to stand right over the river allowed for some of the best trout viewing of all time. Slovenia has many rivers with water of this clarity, and some equally good trout fishing. We will be back.
Ljubljana's city symbol is the dragon. This is the perfect symbol for this light hearted bohemian town. Ljubljana pronounced "lyoo-BLAYAH-nah" is the capital of Slovenia. With a large college population this town feels young and fun. Its laid back, offers some fun history, and was a great place to spend a couple days.
Above is the "Triple Bridge." As the city expanded the traffic across this bridge increased with pedestrians and carriages. Rather than building a whole new bridge, two pedestrian bridges were built, one on each side. Problem solved!
We stayed at a nice top floor apartment, we try to find apartments when its convenient because it allows us to cook. We hit the market and found that wild mushrooms were in season, and apparently finding these mushrooms is a long passed down tradition. We purchased two different kinds from a sweet older woman who semi-translated her classic recipe. Some local butter and a bottle of wine, and we had cooked up maybe the best mushrooms of all time.
Piran was our last coastal town before we went inland and into the fall season. This semi-sleepy town was much quieter now that summer season was over and we could feel the change of seasons overnight. When we pulled into town it was a beautiful summer day, the next morning the wind was so strong "it could blow the ears off a donkey." A walk around town turned into a hike to conquer the mountain and we soon had a great view of Piran and the coastline that we could follow all the way to Venice, Italy.
Truffles are foraged here in the Istria region, and we did our best to experience their incredibly unique flavor. We kept thinking that it would be a long time until we indulged in truffles again, until we learned that the French truffle season starts when we get there. Can't wait!