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Published: October 6th 2019
We awoke to a rather chilly morning in Kranjska Gora; our windscreen was covered in ice! After defrosting the windscreen / washing the ice away we set off towards Vintgar Gorge.
The drive to Vintgar Gorge took about 40 minutes. After leaving the freeway and driving uphill for a while we ended up on a narrow road, which seems to be typical of the approach to tourist attractions in Slovenia! Eventually we reached the car park, paid our 5 euro parking fee and headed off to buy our 11 euro per person tickets for the Gorge.
Vintgar Gorge is a 1.6km long gorge close to Bled. It’s one of the more popular tourist attractions in Slovenia, for good reason. We’d read that it gets really busy so to arrive early, but assumed that was only during the summer time. Seems not! There were heaps of other tourists all admiring the scenery.
The path through the gorge is mostly board walk and is very easy. The gorge is quite narrow and absolutely spectacular. The blue-green water and green forest, which seems to be pretty typical of this part of Slovenia, is stunning.
From Vintgar Gorge we headed off
to our final stop for Slovenia, Bled. Bled was only about a 10 minute drive from the Gorge so we arrived into town fairly early.
Bled is one of the most popular spots for tourists to visit in Slovenia. It’s a pretty little town on the edge of a glacial lake. In the 19th
century it became a popular health retreat which helped to build the towns reputation and increase tourism in the area. Bled Lake is home to the only naturally occurring island in Slovenia.
After we arrived in Bled we decided to go for a drive around the lake the town is famous for. Unfortunately there aren’t many places around the lake to park a car and take in the views so we eventually decided that we’d try and check in at our hotel.
Our hotel is in a small town called Ribno a 5 – 10 minute drive from Bled. Despite it being fairly early our room was ready so we were able to check in. We left our bags in the room and then headed back to the car to continue sightseeing.
After grabbing some lunch from a bakery, we headed to
Bled Castle. We paid for parking, ate our lunch in the car and then climbed up to the castle entrance to buy our tickets (10 euro per person).
Bled Castle is perched on a rocky outcrop next to the lake. It’s apparently one of the oldest castles in Slovenia. The castle is first mentioned in historical records in 1011.
Whilst the views from the castle over the lake were lovely (it was overcast during our visit so not the best for photos), the castle itself felt like a bit of a tourist trap. The museum had some interesting historical information about the castle, but many of the other rooms had been turned into shops (e.g. the wine cellar was actually a shop where you could buy wine). It wasn’t as well presented as Predjama Castle.
From Bled Castle we headed back to the main part of Bled and walked down to the lake to try the famous Bled Cream Cake at the Park Hotel (the place it was created). We grabbed a table outside with a nice view of the lake and castle and ordered a cream cake to share. The Bled Cream Cake was just like
a classic Australian vanilla slice with (fake) whipped cream sandwiched between the custard filling and the top layer of pastry. It was delicious.
After finishing our cake we headed back to the hotel to relax.
For dinner that night we went to a restaurant in a town near Bled (which had better parking, parking in Bled sucks!). Scott ordered a chicken and mushroom risotto and I had gnocchi with truffle sauce. Both dishes were delicious, though rather large. Despite being quite full we shared an apple strudel for dessert.
The following morning after a lazy breakfast at our hotel we headed off in search of a laundromat. After our washing was done we headed into Bled, parked our car and set off towards the lake.
There is a walking track which runs all the way around the lake which is about 6km long in total.. The sun was shining and it was a lovely 19 degrees Celsius; perfect weather for a stroll.
About half way around the lake we reached the start point for the Ojstrica walk which leads up the hill beside the lake. After about a 20 minute walk up a rather steep
and narrow path, we reached a clearing which had spectacular views over the lake, Bled Island and the castle. After admiring the view for a while and taking photos we headed back down to continue our walk around the lake.
The walk around the lake probably took about 2.5 hours in total, including stops to take photos and the walk up to Ojstrica. It was very pleasant (aside from the climb up the hill, though the view made it totally worth it).
After completing the walk we stopped at a bakery to grab some lunch (vegetable triangle for me, pizza for Scott) and then headed back to the hotel. We spent the rest of the afternoon reading our books and relaxing.
That evening for dinner we headed to Restavracija Sova Bled which we had booked during our walk around the lake. Scott ordered chicken, mushroom and prosciutto risotto and a beer and I ordered a vegetable risotto and a glass of wine. We also had some ‘complementary’ (1.20 euro per person) delicious bread with some delicious garlic butter and olive oil. The food was delicious so we decided to book a table for the following
night as well.
The following morning after another lazy breakfast we set off for Bohinj which is home to Lake Bohinj, the largest lake in Slovenia. Bohinj is about a half hour drive from Bled.
After parking our car we set off for the approximately 13km walk around the lake. We opted to take the hunter’s trail around the southern part of the lake rather than the path which runs next to the road. The walk through the shady forest was lovely and the trail was mostly in good condition. It certainly seemed like the better option.
When we reached the Vogel (cable car up the mountain) we headed back down the hill, crossed over the road and entered the path which runs alongside the lake. Despite a sign warning that the trail would be ‘almost impassable in some areas’ the track was easy.
We stopped at various points around the lake to take photos and admire the view. We reached the start point of our walk about 3.5 hours after we began. The lake was beautiful and the walk was enjoyable, but it wasn’t as spectacular as Lake Bled. After finishing the walk we headed
back to the hotel to have a lazy afternoon (again!).
That night for dinner we headed back to Restavracija Sova Bled. I ordered truffle pasta and Scott had zucchini, cherry tomato and shrimp pasta. We shared a chocolate souffle for dessert. The food was delicious again; the perfect way to finish our time in beautiful Slovenia.
We thoroughly enjoyed Slovenia. The scenery was spectacular and the hiking was great. We loved the delicious bread and wine. We spent 9 days in Slovenia which felt about right.
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