07.07.2013 - 07.07.2013
Our plan today was to hike around Lake Bled and go out to Bled Island.
When we arrived in Lake Bled yesterday night we grabbed some loaner bikes from Mayer Penzion and rode them around the lake, and then we got some dinner and a drink, and finally we topped it off with a famous Lake Bled custard dessert from a lakeshore restaurant.
Our room at Mayer Penzion
Great views of the island and church from the bike path.
Great views of Bled Castle on a cliff overhanging the lake.
When we got our drinks Jen was stuck with the most disgusting mojito ever. It was like sugared fake yellow grapefruit juice with mint leaves floating in it. I ordered an English beer I was unfamiliar with. English beers are usually hit or miss for me. This one was called 'Old Tom' and was one of the best strong ales I've ever had. I'll have to seek this out when we get home. Discarding her drink, Jen and I drank the beer I ordered and then headed off for dessert.
Here at the posh Hotel Park restaurant on the edge of the lake, a Slovene singer was performing mostly American lounge standards in a Slovene accent. A little quirky, but I was enjoying it until he started singing ‘My Way’ by Frank Sinatra, then I had to giggle.
View of the castle from our balcony at night
The next day we caught a bus to Vintgar Gorge just outside of Lake Bled. Here we experienced some Slovene radio bliss:
Some Enrique Iglesias song in Spanish
Belinda Carlisle –Leave the light on
Some oompa loompa German song
I Wanna Rock – Twisted Sister
Some boogie woogie song
All on the same station.
Again, as appealing as Vintgar Gorge was to me, it was very similar to the landscape in the Columbia River Gorge. Just substitute granite for limestone. What was unique about this place was how clear blue the water was, and how at times the walking path was attached to the side of the cliffs. This made the atmosphere of this hike special.
The returning bus had a stop at Bled Castle, so we decided to wander the castle grounds.
Some of the wine bottles sold at the Bled Castle cellar are opened with a sabre.
I'm glad we took the bus up and walked down.
At the base of the castle we took the Pletna boat, chock full of people, to the island with the church. The single boat oarsman worked HARD to get over to the island. In the middle of our trip out there the wind started blowing and it started raining. That guy got a serious workout. He uses the single oar to move the boat forward and to steer it.
Plenta boat parked at the dock
You were allowed to ring the bell at the church, which I attacked with child-like joy. However, unbeknownst to me until later, I was not following the rules.
We then walked to Tito's villa, which is now a hotel. Here we had a glass of wine. Tito had Slovene and Croatian parents, so he considered Slovenia one of his 'homes' and would use this Lake Bled residence as a retreat. Siting here was the closest I have ever come to feeling like a dictator.
We peeked at the ballroom in the hotel that still retains Tito's socialist propaganda murals that tell the story of his Partisan forces defeating the Nazis in World War II.
This is where Tito would wine and dine big wigs from the Communist and non-aligned worlds.
We're sad to see this trip end, We went back to our room and ate at our hotel's restaurant. After dinner we packed for tomorrows flight. Dovidjenja adriatic!