Thursday, April 19, 2012

Slovenia

Back in Munich I convinced Ena to continue to neglect her work on her thesis and go with me to Slovenia for a couple days. The weather in Germany had been largely uncooperative and it only looked to be marginally better in Slovenia when we left but we decided, after some brainstorming and compromise, to drive to Slovenia in a borrowed car leaving Monday morning and returning Wed night. Definitely not long enough but it's only a few hours away from Munich so not too complicated a trip.
I drove. I love to drive and these motorways are so nice to drive. It was snowing while we were driving through Bavaria and rained through Austria but was only cloudy 5 hours later when we arrived in Bled, not far across the border of Slovenia. As a weird statistic, it's the first time I've ever driven myself into a new country the first time entering it.
Bled is one of the most famous and popular tourist destinations in Slovenia. It's a tiny town in the Julian Alps on the little Lake Bled. There's a castle overlooking the town and lake, and an island in the lake just big enough to build a church on, which is what they did. The lake is very popular for rowing and Bled has hosted the world rowing championships on several occassions.
We actually had no plans other than to see the amazing scenery that Slovenia is famous for and ended up basing ourselves in Bled for the 2 nights. As it turned out we were very lucky because we were told that there had recently been new snow in the mountains so some of the roads and passes were closed, giving us and excuse to take it easy and stay relatively close. But this meant that when we woke up the following morning to a cloudless blue sky, there were beautiful snow-capped peaks all around and, it being April, almost no tourists around to share it with. The pictures will have to do the describing for me this time. The one thing you can't see from the photos is how clear and clean the water looks.


Lake Bled and castle.


The island church at lake Bled.


From Bled we drove to Bohinj, another lake and group of villages 30km further into the mountains. I love the little village look and was very impressed with the amount of firewood storage they have to get them through what must be long cold winters. We also did a short hike to a waterfall as we didn't want to get too adventurous and go on one of the many longer hiking options.


On the way to Bohinj.


Bohinj.


Lake Bohinj


Bohinj


Looking down on lake Bohinj


Love the little farming valleys.


The next day we drove down to Ljubljana, the capital for a quick visit, spending a couple hours walking around the old town before driving back to Munich. Slovenia is so pretty that I was expecting a little more from Ljubljana. It's a small capital city in a small country and despite being the wealthiest and best off of the ex-Yugoslav republics there were quite a few run down buildings and lots of graffiti even in the touristic old town area. I'm glad I went and we had a nice stroll along the river and up to the castle, but I wasn't inspired to spend more time there. I'll focus on new mountain valleys when I go back to Slovenia some day.


Ljubljana center.


Ljubljana river.


Overlooking Ljubljana.


Ammon

1 Comments:

At 7:47 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

Just gorgeous!! I love the church on the island. I wonder when it was built?

Sky

 

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