Monday, September 04, 2006

Bring on the superlatives for Slovenia's Lake Bled

Slovenia was the destination of choice for the August Bank Holiday weekend. The weekend had been planned well in advance, and the final party of 10 comprised of some Aussies and Brits, a Norwegian, a Canadian and a Kiwi – a mini United Nations if you will.

I can’t believe I booked flights on an airline called Wizz Air…the service was entirely fine, but just the idea of getting on anything branded “Wizz Air” made me check my insurance policy a couple of hundred times. And the Wizz Air planes were painted fuchsia and hot pink…pink is my favourite colour, but somehow planes seem less credible when they’re hot pink…

Anyway, we arrived in Llubljana’s airport, stocked up on Tolar (the local currency), and found our transfer bus down to Lake Bled.

Hotel Jadran came as a recommendation of friends who had visited Lake Bled the summer before, and we were not disappointed. A first floor lake view room afforded stunning views of the lake, Bled Castle and Church of the Assumption, that make this place famous. Oh, superlative check coming up, but the scene was straight out of a postcard with the towering mountains in the background. I can only imagine how beautiful it is in winter.

Numerous hotels and restaurants surrounded the lake, and kayaks and small punt-like boats drifted round amongst gaggles of geese and ducks.

Lunch was a simple but tasty affair - Slovenian food is similar to Croatian food, with a big dose of Italian influence. Pastas, risottos and meat dishes were the main choices everywhere, and you could get a solid lunch and a pivo (beer) for about $£10. One of the yummy specialties was deep fried cheese - we weren't sure enirely what sort of cheese it was, but served with tartare sauce, was delicious.

We continued a lazy walk round the lake, through some local markets and past the gorgeous church. A steep, windy path took us up a 100-metre cliff to Bled Castle, where we saw two weddings and had a spectacularly scenic pivo to celebrate.

Bees were rampant everywhere we went in Slovenia, but they seemed particularly enthusiastic around Bled Castle, and insisted on dive-bombing our beers all afternoon.

Categories: Slovenia

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