Published: April 15th 2006April 15th 2006
Bled... sounds vaguely forbidding and things looked a little dark at first. Took a very early train to the nearest station, which is only 4km away from the lake, and my guidbook just said to "take one of the frequent buses" for the last leg. This was a cheap but unfortunately impossible plan, as there were no commuter buses, least not on a Sunday in April. After looking around for said buses we decided to just split a cab with two Aussies who also wanted to get to the lake. We arrived... it was a little grey and a little cold, not too many people were out and about (they were all in church I guess) and we were lacking strength/motivation, so settled down for some coffee. The people next to us ordered cake and that looked delicious so we ordered some too, the waiter gave us choices and we were like, just bring whatever is traditional. Then remembered the horses and were a little afraid... hahaha, but it was creamy and delicious. Then the sun came out, people came out, and the day took a turn for the better (maybe the caffeine helped, too). We had an amusing hike up
to the castle, encountered some Slovenian lads dressed up in mediaeval clothes, took in the Julian Alps, and then decided to walk around the lake. The walk was interrupeted by lying in the sun, watching the birds, etc, pretty great. By the time we got to the other side it was late afternoon, we were hungry again (story of our lives...) so we went to a pizzeria and got the idea we should rent a boat. The big thing to do for tourists is to be rowed out in a miniature gondola to the island in the middle of the lake. We had already had a long conversation with a gondoleer who wanted to fill up his boat (they don't depart at set times, just wait until the boat is filled with passengers and since it is still the low season it was pretty funny, because there were these tourists limply sitting there imploring with their eyes to join them so they could depart. who knows how long they had been sitting there, poor souls. but alas, though the gondoleer was very nice and clearly a talented rower, we just didn't want to pay.) However, renting our own boat seemed
genius. One boat rental was open and had a boat for us. Despite my love for paddling
i'm not the most talented of rowers, but we made it to the island without incident.
It is like arriving in something out of a fairy tale or the Lord of the Rings. A huge staircase takes you up to an ancient church (like, 10th century) with beautiful views. Well worth it. Out on the lake again, a gondoleer was letting a tourist have a go at rowing and we nearly collided. The yelled out in Slovenian and we didn't know what to do. But catastrophe was avoided and we all had a good laugh.
This place must be glorious in the summer when you can go swimming.
There are more photos below