Tuesday, September 05, 2006

Beautiful Bohinj

Day 2 of the long weekend in Slovenia, and we set off for Bohinj, about 45 minutes by bus out of Lake Bled. Even in August, the flowers were still out in bloom, and it was a splash of colour everywhere we looked, with huge sun flowers springing out of almost every garden and red geraniums overflowing from window pots.

Pulling into the the small, alpine-like town, we came across a prominent statue of some Slovenian explorers looking up over the mountains they sought to traverse. Further round the road, Lake Bohinj revealed itself, with the gorgeous Church of St John punctuating the backdrop of pine trees.

We stocked up on food supplies and set off for an easy walk around the lake. The track was well marked (and rather crowded) and we stopped in a lovely clearing for our makeshift picnic. Bees continued to dive bomb our food and drinks, although we managed to remain unbitten.

The scenery around the Lake is ahem...stunning. Sometimes it's hard to find new superlatives! What is amazing, is the colour and clarity of the water - it's a blue in some parts, clear green others, and pure turquoise in yet others. Everything was green, but I can imagine the valley would look amazing in Autumn as the leaves were changing colour.

At this far end of the lake, is a caravan park and cottages, and a range of kayak and boat hire facilities. About 2 kilometres walk from this part of the lake, is a cable-car up to the Vogel ski resort which overlooks the entire valley.

The ski resort is serviced by a rickety chair lift, which actually looked too old to be running...and it was a bit odd that it was running with no apparent supervisory staff. I guess Europeans are used to chair lifts, but it did look a tad dangerous...

The views from the top of the ski resort are fabulous. You can see right bck down across the lake and valley, and over the mountain tops in the distance. Some of my more adventurous travel buddies decided to take the near-vertical climb/track up to the Black Lake as we rode up in the cable car on the opposite side of the valley. We watched the massive black storm clouds roll in over the valley, and hoped they'd not over-committed themselves...they eventually all made it down safely.

From the cable car, we wandered through a crowded campsite and waited for the little boat to take us back across the lake to our start point.

As we waited for our travel buddies to climb back down from the Black Lake, we had a quiet grappa and watched the peaceful world of Lake Bohinj go by.

It had a very different feel from Lake Bled - it was busy, but not as commercial; less built up and probably more "rural" than the town surrounding Lake Bled.

It was definitely worth the visit, and I would go back again in a heart beat. I tend to stay in cities when I travel, and this trip reminded me that getting out into the countryside is definitely a great way of experiencing a different aspect of a country.

Categories: Slovenia

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