Lake Bled- Slovenia is a must see!
Our original plan was to bypass Slovenia on our way from Croatia to Italy. Only due to our limited time and not having heard of anything incredible to see. That was until we bumped into some Aussies who had just come from that direction, in particular a small town named Bled.
Driving through Slovenia and north toward the town of Bled, we were met with more incredible scenery in the form of rolling hills, green fields, small villages and impressive mountains. This has become the standard idyllic scene for much of our drive through Europe, and one we would never tire of.
Descending some small hills to the little town of Bled and its beautiful lake, we found out why this place is a must see. Almost in the centre of this lake, with turquoise waters sits a small island, and on that island they decided to build a church (as one does in a place like this). Surrounding the lake are green hills and forest and beyond, high mountains set the backdrop. White swans and ducks with their ducklings fight for bread from the locals and tourists at the lake’s edge. This is the perfect place to kick back and chill out for a week or two (i wish we had longer here).
From our quick look at the lake we tracked down our B&B we had booked only the night before. Villa Alice soon became the best accommodation of the trip so and was only $150 AUD a night for a suite, and worth every cent. An old 3 storey house set 5 mins. stroll from the lake and main part of town, complete with a large manicured garden, gazebos, outdoor eating area and views of the alps. Inside, no expense was spared and our room featured 2 balconies (front to the forest and rear to the alps) a modern fireplace, chairs, 50″ TV & modern bathroom. The worst part was we were only staying for one night. Tearing ourselves away from the room, we headed back to the lake for a dinner over the water.
Next morning we enjoyed a gourmet breakfast of fine cheeses, meats and croissants before saying goodbye to the best nights sleep we ever had. But before we left Bled we had one thing we wanted to do. Row to the island of course! With the weather being fine and sunny again, we rented a small row-boat and began our mission to get to the church on the island. A good 30 mins. later we arrived and feeling a little tired I hoped for a drink somewhere on this tiny island.
I got my drink and one hell of a view out to the lake and the mainland. It was a small cafe at the top of a huge staircase leading down to the water. Enjoying a coffee and admiring the views, we agreed this was a place we would return to when we are millionaires (or maybe sooner). After a tiring row back to shore we perused some markets, trying honey brandy (a Slovenian drink) before heading back to the highway and south through more stunning scenery toward Italy.
Another part of Slovenia caught our eye on the way, a cave system so huge it has a 90 min. train ride through it. Pressed for time, we checked out only a small portion of the incredible cave, then moved on to another nearby feature. 9kms away at the mouth of another cave, a caste has been built. The castle walls are built to the very edges of the cave and the roofs are built-in to the ceiling of the cave. Again, it would be great to spend a full day here but with less than a week to reach Rome we had to go. Slovenia is a country I had heard little about but one I would return to in a heartbeat.