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Published: September 19th 2009
We were definitely excited to be leaving behind the London “summer” and get a real summer abroad in Europe! First stop was Ljubljana in Slovenia, where we landed mid morning. We had a few hours to kill before our train departed to Lake Bled so we put our bags in storage at Ljubljana train station (2 Euros for a HUGE locker - bargain!) and headed into the capital city. We were instantly impressed with Ljubljana as a place and were glad we had a few hours to spend exploring the streets! When we first landed in Slovenia, unfortunately it was raining but this soon cleared up to make way for some great sunshine and we never saw the rain again until we returned to London a few weeks later! Ljubljana is a pint sized capital by European standards, with a very quaint ‘old town’ which lines both sides of the Ljubljanica river, and extends to the east side of the city. The Baroque architecture, the little bridges spanning the river, central squares and cafe tables spilling on to cobbled streets lend a definite charm to the city. We whiled away the hours walking around the streets, or beside the river, and
had a few drinks at some outdoor cafes. Before long, we headed back to the train station and jumped on board our train to Bohinjska Bistrica. The public transport in Slovenia was well priced, comfortable and generally on time. It’s an easy country to explore!
We were met at Bohinj train station by the owner of our guesthouse and she drove us the few km to our accommodation. That night she made dinner for us and Martin went for a walk into town while Kristi relaxed at the guesthouse. The next day we awoke to beautiful sunshine and walked into the tiny town of Bohinj. Town maybe being a bit of an exaggeration, there’s a hotel, about 3 outdoor restaurants, a couple of cafes, a small superette and a tourism shop. It’s a great spot - we loved how small it was! But the focal point is of course that it is located right on the edge of the stunning Lake Bohinj in the Triglav National Park. The idyllic lake was breathtaking, ringed by mountains, and out came the camera as we spent a while trying to capture the beauty on memory card, I still don’t think we could
do it justice. After making a quick stop for gelato we hired a small electric boat and headed out on to the lake. We spent a couple of hours cruising around the lake, sunbathing on board and just soaking in the beauty of our surroundings. Martin went for a swim in the water - which lasted about a millisecond before he scrambled back out again. Though it was a hot day, mid 30’s, the water was freezing as it is from snow melt in the mountains high above. He finally decided to give it another go and jumped back in for a few more minutes in the crystal clear, fresh water. That afternoon we just spent time relaxing in the town, drinks at restaurants and so on. The following day we hired bikes and rode out into the countryside which was absolutely stunning. We meandered for several kilometres through peaceful farms and quaint villages, in gorgeous summer sunshine. There were barely any vehicles on the road. We found a small waterfall and then a restaurant with a great view in a small village so pulled up the bikes for a few drinks! We had sunk very quickly into the relaxing
and peaceful way of life up in the Slovenian countryside. It was the type of countryside we thought would be very similar to Switzerland or Austria. The next day it was more of the same - relaxing in Bohinj, quite simply couldn’t get enough of our spectacular surroundings!
After that we took a bus to Lake Bled, a more touristy spot, Lake Bled’s famous landmark is the island in the middle of the lake with The Church of the Assumption perched on top. The colour of Lake Bled was insane - it was the most vibrant turquoise colour (apparently owing to calcium build up in the mountains - it is not always that colour)! After settling in at our new accommodation (18th century converted farmhouse!) we headed down to the Lake edge and ended up walking around the entire lake, which was a picturesque walk that took about 1.5 hours. The town of Lake Bled is far bigger than Bohinj so definitely has a different feel to it, but the Lake is absolutely beautiful. The following day we headed up to the castle overlooking the lake, Blejski Grad. We primarily went for the view (having been through numerous castles
on our travels to date!) and were not disappointed. Though the heat made the short climb to the top more like a swim, the view over the Lake and the island on the Western side of the lake was fantastic.
The following day saw us heading out to do some horse riding. We were picked up in town and driven out to the farm where we spent a few hours riding on the famous Lipizzaner horses. We had a guide who was at university but spent his summers working with the horses and he was well versed in the breeding of the elegant Lipizzaner horses back through the centuries to when they were bred primarily for Kings. We rode up through forested landscapes and through small farming villages set in what felt like the middle of nowhere, eventually coming out far up the mountainside overlooking the beautiful Lake Bled. The next day we spent more time on the lake’s edge and partaking in our daily indulgence of ice cream and drinks at outdoor restaurants. (Kristi particularly enjoying the Bandidos Ice Beer they served everywhere we went in Slovenia, though interestingly was made in Croatia and we never saw once
after arriving in Croatia!) Topped the day off with a round of Mini Golf!
A week after arriving, and we were, sadly, due to depart Slovenia. Slovenia is a beautiful country, one of those places that you just relax right into and is very difficult to leave! Its alpine resorts are charming and stunning, and there are echos of NZ’s South Island in its scenery. We’d definitely recommend to anyone a trip to Slovenia!
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