Yay, another day in Slovenia

Happiness is - another full day in Slovenia which was just beautiful. The main attraction in this area is, of course, Lake Bled but there was so much else to see and enjoy.

The town is small but very busy and our hotel, like almost every building in the town, was on the shore of the lake so we had magnificent views. The lake is very well used mainly with groups of rowers and those enjoying their own small boats. In the middle of the lake is a chapel which we visited in the afternoon. More of that later.View over Lake Bled showing the castleView over Lake Bled showing the castle

As all our planned activities for the day within a relatively small area were able to enjoy a leisurely breakfast before leaving for the morning tour to Bled Castle built in the early 11th Century. It is built on the top of a cliff and the drive up to the Castle affords one the most stunning views across the countryside. Although our coach had driven a couple of kilometres up the hill there was no way it could get right to the Castle entrance. We had to walk up a slow and reasonably steep walk up to the Castle entrance. Fortunately it was fairly cool that Autumn day as I do not think it would be a pleasant climb, especially for Senior Citizens or those who have a walking disability. There are other walks and trails up to the Castle from Bled but we did not try any of these.309. Trevor walking up to Bled CastleTrevor walking up to Bled Castle

301. Bled CastleBled Castle

Once inside the castle grounds our first stop was at the Printing Press where there was a reconstructed Gutenberg printing press and the original copies one of the first books of the Psalms and a Catechism translated into Slovenian by Primoz Trubar of whom there was a statue up in the gallery. We were given a demonstration on the working of the press and some members of the group were given the opportunity to experience using it.306. Primož Trubar who first translated the Psalms into SlovenePrimož Trubar who first translated the Psalms into Slovene

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

From there we continued on up to the Museum which was well laid out and interestingly displayed. Its entrance was in one corner of a large open area from which we could truly enjoy the views over the Lake and across to Bled itself.

While some of our party decided to walk down one of the many paths back into town, the rest of us returned to the coach and our hotel for a short break. Then those of us who had opted to do so re-boarded the coach to visit the village of Bohinj and its lake. We were taken to the very top end of Lake Bohinj and were blown away by the clarity and colours of the water. Even though it was raining gently we could not help just standing on the bridge and enjoying the scene.

 

We all went our own way for the next couple of hours, we ourselves walking down into the village for a snack lunch and then a walkabout. There was a statue in the very centre of the village of 4 Brave Men who had first summited the highest mountain in the area.4 brave men of Bohinj4 brave men of Bohinj

 

We also visited the small church of John the Baptist and besides the beautiful old murals were surprised to find a platter with a bust of John’s head in one corner. (Apologies for the poor photo but the light in the church was not good)Head of John of the BaptistHead of John of the Baptist

From there we were taken by coach back down to Bled but on the other side of the Lake from our hotel. As we made our way down from the hills we passed a number of farms which had hay drying racks. These were often built in such a way that they formed the sides to a shed for a tractor. Apparently Slovenia has the highest ratio of tractors to people in the world. Slovenia is mostly rural and everyone needs a tractor not only for the farm work but also to get around during parts of Winter when the snow is too deep.

We took a Pletna boat to the island in the middle of the Lake. This is a flat-bottomed boat rowed by a person similar to a gondolier but using 2 oars. It was amazing how he managed to row with such precision and smoothly. What was important was that we sat down in a particular order to keep the boat steady. Approaching island in Lake BledApproaching island in Lake Bled on our Pletna boat

On arrival at the island there were 99 steps to be climbed to reach to hill on which the Church of the Assumption is built. There is a tradition, which is still kept today, whereby the groom of a couple wishes to have their wedding in this church has to carry his bride up these steps to the ceremony. We weren’t told how many had been unsuccessful.99 steps up to the churchLooking down the 99 steps which lead up to the church

 

 

We had a most wonderful evening in a nearby village where we saw some beautiful murals on a number of the buildings as well as a beautiful herb and vegetable garden where there was a 1000-year old grapevine. At the restaurant where we were to have dinner we were first taken down into the cellar where the owners served us cheese, sausages and wine. We were also entertained by a local musician who was very energetic in his playing. And so ended a long but really beautiful day.

About Me

I was born into the early part of the Baby Boomer generation, the 3rd of what came to be a family of 6 daughters. Although both our parents, who are now deceased, had been raised in rural Natal (now KwaZulu-Natal) and the 2 eldest daughters were born in a country town, the other 4 of us were all born at home in Durban. Read More

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