Eastern Europe - Day 24 - Triglavski National Park

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May 26th 2009
Published: May 26th 2009
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Today I decided to take of the pension bikes and head out to Triglavski National Park to take a look at Vingtar Gorge. The lady at the front desk had said that the bike ride out there was easy, but slightly uphill. I decided that she was a little mistaken about the slightly uphill park when I came to a hill that I had to go down into the second lowest gear to climb. However the ride out to the gorge was just lovely. I managed to get some great panoramas on the way there.

You have to pay to enter the gorge, but the money is totally worth it. The Triglavski National Park and the Vingtar Gorge are just beautiful. Once you enter the gorge you walk 1600m down from the entrance along the path of the Radovna River. The river is just beautiful, it has the most glorious blue color to it. The walk ends up criss crossing over the river a few times, and sometimes the boardwalks are hugging the walls of the gorge so much that you have to duck your head to avoid walking into the protruding rocks. According to the lonely planet the boardwalk was first erected in 1893 and has been continually rebuilt since then. The boardwalks and the river pass underneath the tall railway viaduct, and past a spray spouting weir just under this bridge. The boardwalk was covered in water at this point and I got a little damp as I scurried past. At the end of the river is the Sum waterfall, which was really quite lovely, although it does look better in real life than the photos that I got manage to show.

When I reached the end of the gorge I could see that their was a viewpoint on the left hand side of the river for the waterfall, and what appeared to be a staircase leading up out of the gorge just to my left. Using the wonders of logic I deduced that this staircase must lead up and around and then back down to this viewing point. So off I toddled up an enormous hill, expecting it to lead down any time soon to the waterfall viewing point. But no, it just lead up to a village. A little discouraged I sat down at the top of the hill an consoled myself with a banana for a while. Soon after I decided to descend back down the way I had come to get back to the river. As I was crossing the bridge again I heard a family talking in english, and the mother saying that she wanted to go down to that viewing point and that it looked like the path to the left lead up there. I thought for a minute about whether or not I should butt in, however the god samaritan in me came through and I told them that they couldn't get to the viewing point that way (they didn't look like the spritely type and the hill climb might have killed them). I decided at this point that perhaps it would be best to ask how to get to the viewing point. The helpful lady behind the counter selling entry tickets pointed out the way to us (completely in the opposite direction - of course!). She also told us about an alternative way to get back to the car park where I had left my bike, at the other end of the gorge. She said that the path went up and along the ridgeline and that it should take about the same time as the walk through the gorge.

Boy was she delusional. The walk up and around the ridge line nearly killed me. Literally. At one point I tripped over a stick on a section of the path that was rather dicey, and there was nothing between me and an extreme slide down the hillside to the river at the bottom of the gorge, which was probably about 400m down below me. However the walk was truely lovely, if just a little bit longer and slightly more convaluted than I had anticipated. After I got back to the carpark (what felt like about 2 hours later) I had to get back on my bike and head back towards Bled.

Upon arriving back at the pension I collapsed into the shower and then treated myself to a little lie down on the bed for a hour or so. At about 3pm I managed to rouse myself again, and went for another walk. This time I walked around Lake Bled, on the same path that I had cycled the day before. And it was just lovely. There were loads and loads of people out and about, and hundreds of people swimming in the lake and sun baking on the sides of the lake. The strange phenomenon that I noticed in the Baltics seem to have continued down here. That is the groups of men everywhere. A lot of the people that I saw that were obviously tourists were groups of men travelling together. Groups of men and couples. You don't really seem to see groups of girls here. I think there must be a shortage of women. 😊

The walk around the lake is 6kms, so by the time I had finished that I was really really tired. It has certainly been a day for exercising.

Tomorrow I have to leave the lovely Alp Pension. I will be sad to leave here as Lake Bled is quite possibly the most beautiful place I have ever been, and the pension here is definelty the best place that I have ever stayed in. The meal that they gave me last night was just to die for. I actually thought that the first course was the main (and was a little dissapointed that we were only being served a pasta dish, only to find out that that was the appetiser (it was huge!) and that a huge dish of beef, potatoes, spring onions and veges was being delivered to me as my main. It was the most wonderful meal, and was followed by desert. It you ever come and stay at the Alp Pension make sure you take the half board option, as the food is amazing.

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