The Quieter Version of Lake Bled?

Slovenia's flag
Europe » Slovenia » Upper Carniola » Bohinj
July 28th 2022
Published: August 10th 2022
Edit Blog Post

This morning we plan to take a boat ride out to the island in Lake Bled, the one (I don’t think there are any other islands in the lake) with the iconic Assumption of Maria Church on it. It seems that the system here involves the boatman waiting for the boat to fill up (with people) and then off we go. He says we need to pay him in cash as we get on to come back, otherwise he‘ll leave us there. There’s no shortage of boats out here, plus paddle boarders and swimmers. Some of the people rowing don't look like they’ve got too much idea what they’re doing and I suspect a few of them might be in for a longish day. One of them nearly crashes into us; we’re a lot bigger than him, so I think he was looking at an extremely long and wet day for a few minutes there.

The boat ride is extremely pleasant and relaxing. The water is an unreal bluish grey colour and crystal clear, and there’s scarcely a ripple in sight.

We climb the steep steps up to the church. I’d thought the only thing here was the church, but there’s a bar and a restaurant too, as well as the obligatory gift shop. We’ve noticed that church bells seem to be a big thing here in Slovenia. We could understand the twenty minute peal from the Cathedral in Ljubljana at midday on Sunday, but the bells from the church out here on the island seem to go off at random times right through the day. I’m sure 9.23am must be a special time for someone somewhere in the world, but its significance isn’t immediately obvious to us. The bells go off again seemingly at random while I’m in the church. I then happen to notice one of my fellow passengers pulling on a rope hanging down from the ceiling…. I climb the belltower. The views are excellent, even through the glass, iron bars and fishing nets. I doubt whoever put that lot there was a photographer.

We read that the first brick church here was consecrated way back in 1142. It’s suffered its fair share of catastrophes over the centuries. The church and the belltower were severely damaged in two earthquakes, and the belltower was also hit by a damaging lightning strike back in 1688. As a result of these disasters and architects changing their minds over the years it’s been renovated, remodelled and rebuilt quite a few times.

We decide to be brave, and try to back our trusty hire car out of the parking bay into two lanes of heavy traffic. Issy does her best impersonation of a traffic cop, and then manages to make it safely back into the passenger seat. She looks to be in one piece, although I suspect the mental scars may take some time to heal. We make our way towards Lake Bohinj which is about 25 kilometres west of Bled, deeper into the Julian Alps. The scenery is more spectacular than ever, with steep forest clad peaks all around. We pass through the village of Log. Well I suppose there are a lot of them around, cut up and stacked in neat piles in readiness for winter.

We were told that Lake Bohinj was a quieter version of Lake Bled, but that message doesn’t appear to have got through to the half of Slovenia that seems to be here today. The Lake looks stunning with steep crags rising out of the water on all sides. We were planning on a quiet lakeside picnic, but remortgaging the house to park in a paddock several kilometres out of town and then walking back doesn’t sound so appealing, so we instead plough bravely on to our next planned activity, a hike through nearby Mostnice Gorge. At least we could find Lake Bohinj; we seem to be having a bit less luck with the Gorge. What we do however find is the world’s narrowest two way road through multiple small villages. Fortunately we’ve got a large bus in front of us, so if it manages to get itself wedged between some of the houses we should at least be able to reverse our way out of trouble … although this may take several hours judging by the very long line of traffic I’ve just noticed in the mirror behind us. Perhaps unsurprisingly Issy’s starting to get a bit twitchy. She pleads with me “can we please just go back and enjoy OUR lake”. Who could say no to that, so it’s back to Bled where we put on our hiking shoes and complete a very pleasant Lake circuit.

We enjoy a final Bled meal, with all the usual large helpings of sausages, meat and potatoes, on the first floor of our new favourite Bled restaurant a couple of doors from our B&B looking out over the lake. .. and English lady on the next table who pushed rudely past us with her family to claim her reservation when we got here doesn’t seem nearly so obnoxious when we engage her in conversation. She and her family have spent the last three days towing a caravan here from Bristol in south west England. That seems like a staggering amount of driving through multiple countries, well it did until we realise that it was only about sixteen hundred kilometres which wouldn’t even get you to Brisbane from Melbourne. No wonder Europeans have so much trouble comprehending just how big our wide brown land really is.

Additional photos below
Photos: 13, Displayed: 13


17th August 2022
Church and Bled Castle

A beautiful photo
Lovely and a bit mysterious.

Tot: 0.19s; Tpl: 0.012s; cc: 52; qc: 209; dbt: 0.1324s; 1; m:domysql w:travelblog (; sld: 1; ; mem: 1.7mb