Lake Bled, Slovenia

You write, I tour, we make it work

Since this is primarily for my family, I’ve been really bad about writing this one, because after all they were all there. So here I am, like 8 months later vividly and accurately recalling all the good times we had without aid from anything but my memory. And by that, I mean reconstructing what we did from these pictures (most pictures that I have stolen from the family).

I actually arrived to Venice a couple days early (from Poland) to get the lay of the land and find some good places to go with the family.

I ended up across the “road” from the primary square of Venice in a hostel, which required me to take a boat across to wander the streets. It worked out quite well, as it was much quieter than the main island.

At the hostel, we put together an interesting crew of people to get food and wander around together. A couple Kiwi’s, a Canadian, and a South African. They were good at finding proper Italian food (there are lots of tourist traps), and we had a good time drinking wine and eating pasta together.

When the family arrived, we moved over to the main part of the island. With only a couple nights, we tried to make use of the time wandering around the island and doing our best to eat all the food. Tragically bad at taking photos when I’m with people, I did at least take one of the grand canal.

I swear there are gondolas though

We mastered making full use of the day pass, spending a decent amount of time just riding around the canals. But there’s a cool clock, and the main square is nice too. I get the tourist appeal. It’s certainly a unique place to go.

Here are some pictures that (mostly Dad and Tim) took. Some of them are sideways, one is upside down. I don’t know why, and I’m too lazy to fix them. So just tilt your head or something.

It’s an old building
This is also a building
Intricate designs or something
Dad really liked this clock
It’s just a striped shirt people, you can get them anywhere
It’s green because of all the dead turtles in it
It’s like the daytime but darker
This canal is wider than many of the canals
I think this is from the Ponte di Rialto

We ate some pasta and gelato like we’re supposed to, and I also made them try Aperol Spritz, the famous Venetian apertif. They hated it. We’ll stick to the wine I guess.

Venice was certainly worth seeing, and an easy place to fly into, but the bulk of the trip was going to be in Slovenia. Fewer people, more nature.

So, we rented a car and made it into Slovenia within a couple hours. In typical form, I made a wrong turn and missed the first caves I wanted to go to, but it’s just as well. We were still able to stop at Predjama Castle. Pretty cool as far as castles go. It’s built into the mountain, so that’s something.

We called it “pajama castle” for obvious reasons
View from the castle cave window thing

Next, we went to the Postojna Caves. But we couldn’t take pictures in there, so just Google them I guess. Or maybe we could, but I just didn’t, which is also very possible.

Then we made it to Ljubljana a little bit early and were able to check out the town. It’s a smaller university town, very walkable, and we found a nice little cafe to hang out get our bearings. I think it was Le Petit Cafe, which I assume is french for “the little calf”.

It doesn’t take long to hit all the major tourist attractions in Ljubljana, the first of which was the Dragon Bridge.

No idea how this bridge got its name

Ljubljana also has a castle! Two castles in two days, moving forward at a Scotlandesque pace. This one wasn’t so historic so I didn’t like it quite so much. It was very modern and impressive in its own right, kind of like what you’d do if you wanted to make a castle useful for modern use.

View of Ljubljana from the castle
It’s on a hill in the middle of the city, as castles often are
This is what the actual “castle” interior looks like

Because my brother and sister are losers with jobs, we had to move along pretty quickly to make sure we could see everything. So after a couple nights in the city, we moved onward towards the wilderness up north.

I haven’t any idea where these pictures were taken, but my guess would be a hike near Lake Bled. Since I’ve already added them to this post I’m going to leave them, but I hope you’re not dying to find this place because I might not be able to help you.

Wherever it was, it had a bridge
It looks like a gorge. Is it a gorge?
Ah ha! I found it that’s exactly what it is.

Of course! It’s Vintgar Gorge. Like, one of the most popular things to do along Lake Bled. We were actually staying on Lake Bohinj (about 20 minutes away), but we stopped there on our way the first day for the hike. It was nice, and unlike our hike in Costa Rica, we weren’t afraid at any point that dad might just collapse in the woods.

I was happy about the decision to stay on Lake Bohinj, and I think everyone else was too. It’s very beautiful and very quiet compared to Bled, which is a bit of a tourist hub. That said, visiting Bled was awesome too, and I totally understand the hype. We hiked up to the lookout point (Mala Osojnica), which provides you with the classic picture of Lake Bled.

Nobody makes me bleed my own bled

The family checked out the castle here and did some walking around while I posted up at a cafe and did some work. Not a lot of great cafes to work from here – definitely more of a tourist town, so I wouldn’t recommend it for working a long time.

We were looking for a hike to do along the way, but we weren’t terribly successful at it. Finally, we did find one, although we weren’t entirely prepared for it. People were carrying poles and wearing helmets and stuff, so we probably shouldn’t have just been climbing it like we were. But we did anyways, and it unsurprisingly turned out to be a bit ambitious.

My sister made it most of the way, but she didn’t love the heights, so my brother and I just made it to the top. I don’t think all these pictures were from that, but I know the last few are.

Little waterfall
More mountains
Higher in the mountains
Even higher in the mountains
From the top of the mountain the other way

So, it was a beautiful view, and we got to hang out with a couple mountain goats for a while.

As you can see from the picture below, we also went rafting on the Soca River. It was fun, if not easy. It’d be more apt to describe it as floating down a river than it would to call it rafting. So while it didn’t exactly sate our desire for adventure, it was a good time and the views of the river valley were very nice.

Not exactly dangerous rapids
Plus I had a sweet mustache at the time

Since we had a few days of aggressive site-seeing and adventure, we decided to end on a calmer note in the city of Piran, Slovenia’s tiny sliver of access to the Adriatic Sea. It was easily the most expensive place we went in Slovenia, but we had a very nice little hotel right in the harbor.

I mostly worked while the other guys wandered around the town and up to the viewpoint (where you take all the classic pictures of Piran from), so I don’t actually have a picture from here. I swear I did, at least some of the harbor, but they seem to have disappeared.

And after the relaxing (more relaxing for me than for them) day by the water, we returned to Venice where the siblings jumped on a plane. Dad and I hung out in Venice for another day before heading on a very expensive train to Germany.

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