jn82’s Epic Adventure

Day 74 [13 Apr 09] – Bled

Posted in Bled by jn82 on April 13, 2009

After breakfast this morning, we headed to Bled Castle. Perched some 579m above ground, it offers a view of lake Bled below, but not a very good one, especially when the sky was slightly cloudy and it was a bit hazy. Nevertheless it is one of the main tourist sites in Bled, so we just went to look around.

Bits of Bled Castle.

Lake Bled from Bled Castle.

On the other side of the castle facing the Julian Alps, there was a good view of some of the smaller towns in Bled.

What I think is the town of Jesenice.

Bled.

The castle itself is nothing much. It contains a small museum, multimedia room, restaurant, cafe and some souvenier shops. After we were done at the castle, we headed back to the hostel for lunch, and then got mountain bikes from the hostel and cycled around half an hour up a gradual incline to Vintgar Gorge.

Cycling along with the Julian Alps beside, enroute to Vintgar Gorge.

The Radovna river runs down Vintgar Gorge, which lies between the hills of Hom and Boršt. The gorge is flanked by steep slopes overgrown with beech forests. All along the 1.6km long gorge, the roar of the fettered Radovna river echos. There are also small waterfalls, rapids and erosion potholes where the river briefly slows down its pace. At the end of the gorge is the 16m high Šum waterfall, the highest fluvial waterfall in Slovenia.

Misc. small waterfalls, rapids and erosion potholes along Vintgar Gorge.

Šum waterfall.

It was a very good three hours or so at the gorge, just taking in all nature had to offer. The cycle back to the hostel was much easier as it was mostly downhill. It is such a good ride because on both sides are mostly open fields at first, then eventually you get some houses here and there as you re-approach the city of Bled.

Bled icon: Bled Castle.

Off to Zagreb tomorrow afternoon.

Today’s pictures here.

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Day 73 [12 Apr 09] – Bled

Posted in Bled by jn82 on April 12, 2009

After an insane 12 hour sleep, I finally got up around 12.30pm. Was not really that tired, just feeling extremely lazy in the morning when I did get up at 7.45am and just decided to go back to bed. We headed down to the lake, where we had lunch at Oštarija Peglez”n, a place recommended by the hostel lady, where there was a pretty good selection of Italian, Mexican and local choices.

Beef broth with noodles, a popular Slovenian soup.

The usual Italian tagliattelle with seafood I enjoy.

As we finished lunch pretty late around 2.30pm, there was not much we could really do for the remainder of the day. As it was also a public holiday, Bled was infested with tourists from other parts of Slovenia and Italy. All the row boats from the shore of the lake to Bled island were taken up, so we decided to go for a hike to the peak of Mala Osojnica, a 685m high hill where we could get a very good view of the lake and the alps. To get to the base of the hill, we would just continue walking along the edge of Lake Bled.

Church of the Assumption on Bled Island, Bled Castle and Julian Alps.

After 40 minutes or so of an uphill hike, we got to the top of Mala Osojnica. The view of everything below was really amazing, and really worth the hike up.

View of Bled from Mala Osojnica.

After coming down from the hill, we headed back to the hostel once again along the edge of the lake. Perhaps if we have some time tomorrow we will then attempt to row a boat across to the island to see the church.

Church of the Assumption.

Just before getting to the hostel, we stopped at another place recommended by the hostel lady, to try Originalna beljska kremna rezina (Original Bled cream cake). The cake is just a couple of layers of cream and sandwiched with thin pastry, very nice!

Originalna beljska kremna rezina (Original Bled cream cake).

Today’s pictures here.

Day 72 [11 Apr 09] – Ljubljana to Bled

Posted in Bled, Ljubljana by jn82 on April 12, 2009

After a night of watching multiple episodes of downloaded CSI Las Vegas, I woke up pretty well rested. Had breakfast at the hostel, lazed around for a bit and then checked out of the hostel. As the train to Lesce I intended to catch was only at 3.25pm, we had some more time to spend in the Ljubljana, so we decided to head to the old city once more to walk around a bit. Being Saturday today, the entire old city was bustling with people, mainly there to walk around the weekend markets around the area from of the Triple Bridge northwards along the river to the Dragon Bridge. I was pretty lazy and did not take any pictures, also because it was pretty normal like your typical weekend market scenario with stall holders selling anything from touristy souveniers, cheap clothing, fresh food and flowers. With the weather also being warm and sunny, it was really what you would expect as a nice spring day in Ljubljana.

Once again at Prešernov trg.

After lunch at the same place as yesterday, we headed back to the hostel to chill out and go online for a bit, following which we headed to the train station around 3pm to catch the Euro-city 210 for the 45 minute ride to Lesce, the nearest train station to Bled. Upon reaching Lesce at one or two minutes after the scheduled 4.10pm, I realised that the only bus that was scheduled to bring people to Bled was scheduled to have left at 4.10pm! We thought (and hoped) that the next bus was at 5.10pm, so an hours wait would not be that bad. 5.10pm came and gone, and only then did I realise that the 5.10pm bus ran from June – August (the peak months), as I had earlier suspected but tried not to believe. So we ended up waiting till 6.08pm before the bus finally arrived to bring us on our 10 minute or so bus ride into Bled. Two hours at a bus stop under the hot sun must be a new record wait at a bus stop. Getting into Bled, it was a short stroll to the hostel, which is pretty nice and has a free use washing machine, but no internet facilities at all.

Dinner was nearby at this place which served traditional Slovenian food, Costilna Murka. Food was pretty okay, and the price was reasonable.

Telečja obara z drobnjakovimi žličniki: Veal stew with chive dumplings.

Svinjski medaljoni z jurcki in prazenim krompirjem: Pork medallions with boletus mushrooms and roasted potatoes.

Today’s pictures here.

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