We were in Slovenia for about 5 days, and decided to do one of those days to take a day trip into the countryside. The most popular place to visit (based on my reading) was Lake Bled. We found a relatively inexpensive tour (about 50 Euros each) called the “Alpine Fairytale”. We just booked it in one of the tour agencies the day before we wanted to go.
A van picked us up in the morning at a big hotel that was about a five minute walk from our hotel. Our hotel was on a pedestrian street, so they obviously won’t pick you up there 🙂
We travelled out into the countryside. Our first stop was Skofja Loka. This is one of the oldest Slovenian towns and was very cute. We didn’t spend much time here… maybe an hour? I don’t think you would need more than that. Our guide walked us around and told us facts… as usual they are all erased from my brain… and then we had some time to walk around on our own. Here are some photos to show you how cute it is 🙂
The landcape was completely different from the places we visited in Croaita (which is just to the south of Slovenia).
As we were walking around the town we saw these little cuties…
… which gave me the idea to get my own ice cream 🙂
Next we headed to Vintgar Gorge, which was absolutely stunning!
I’m going to try to only include a few photos, but it is going to be hard! We took a lot of photos because it was really quite breathtaking!
You walk along the path along the gorge for 1.6 km. The walk is easy, and definitely worth it! We did pay a small entry fee to get in. I can’t remember now, but think it was just a few euros.
People had built Inukshuks along the path by the water.
After our walk we got back in the van and headed to Lake Bled. Our first stop was up at the “castle” overlooking the water.
It is basically a little fortified area atop a steep cliff. You are mostly going up there to see the view down towards the lake!
From the top you can look over the lake.
Or the countryside.
Or the town below you.
There are a few other things to do at the top besides just look. You can have a coffee and the famous Slovenian cake, or have a look inside a variety of small heritage museums.
Next, we planned to head down to the town. Steve and I were going to get some lunch, and others on our tour wanted to take the rowboat tour out to the little island you see in the middle of the lake. Alas, a thunderstorm snuck up on us. Our guide decided to take us to Lake Bohinj first, and then we would finish the day back in the town at Lake Bled.
We had never even heard of Lake Bohinj, so didn’t have any idea what to expect. It was another beautiful site to visit. Slovenia really does have a lot to offer… before this year, I didn’t really even know anything about it!
Lake Bohinj is a large glacial lake, that is popular for swimming and watersports.
Steve wanted to get in and check out the water temperature. Not too bad 🙂
Our guide took us in to see St. John’s church which is 700 years old. The church was a small medieval church with some very interesting frescos inside!
Our guide told us some interesting stories that the fresco paintings were based on. One was about someone presenting a head to his wife on a platter (as per her wishes judging by her smile!)
Interesting choice for a painting in a church…
Another interesting thing about the frescos is that the cherubs had teeth in open mouths. I never really thought about it before, but you never see the mouths looking like this in medieval paintings!
All in all I found this church to be interesting, unique, and a little bit creepy!
For our last stop we headed back to Lake Bled so the others could take their boat ride out to the island. This is what the boats look like. In the background you can see the cliff top where we took photos from earlier in the day.
Steve and I decided to stop for lunch in a restaurant in town. It wasn’t easy to find something serving food in the late afternoon, but at last we found a place to get a snack. This was the reading material available to you while you were visiting the cafe… yep, that’s a playboy in there 🙂 Europeans are obviously a little more liberal than Canadians!
We immensely enjoyed our day in the Slovenian countryside, and recommend that you check it out if you are ever in Slovenia!