Let’s start with a teaser image of Bled lake, Slovenia.
And then let’s move on to my breakfast at Park Hotel– Kremsnita.
Oh, sorry, here’s the close up. Drool, anybody?
Kremsnita is a dessert typical to Bled. The recipe was developed in Hotel Park (though all of Bled sells imitations and variations of it), and that’s why I was sitting there and not anywhere else. Marjeta, who had given me a ride into Ljubljana while I was hitchhiking there from Budapest, told me about this. Thank you, Marjeta!!
Kremsnita, or the Bled Cream Cake, is a layered dessert- layers of vanilla, custard and puff pastry. What’s not to like?
Anyway 😉 after breakfast, I went on a walk around the lake. There’s a lot to do in Bled- hikes and water sports, but I just had a day, not even a full 24 hours. And I knew that walking the whole circumference and a visit to Vintgar Gorge would pretty much take up my entire day.
So, content and satiated after my indulgent breakfast, off I went. It was a constant scenic walk. Pathways, parks, campgrounds, playgrounds and even little beaches. And, yes, the water really is that blue.
I had a map of the town which marked quite a few hikes along the way. I randomly chose one and decided to go for it. I didn’t have many experiences with hiking till I started out on this trip. So I really don’t know how to tackle such situations when there seems to be no discernible path. I’m not too scared of falling or anything. I mean, even if I do begin rolling down, a tree is bound to stop me. Though if I break a leg or something, I probably won’t be found for a while (thanks to Europe’s super low population). No tension of all that in India. As Raj from The Big Bang Theory puts it, ‘…and there’s so many people. You have no idea, they’re everywhere.‘ 😀
But what I AM worried about, though, is coming face to face with a dog or monkey or something. It hasn’t happened yet, but the idea seriously terrifies the hell out of me. Imagine a bear standing there in front of me. *Dead*
It took me about half an hour to get to a point which seemed like the end. I didn’t know how to get beyond that place. Maybe I could have climbed further, but it was really steep, an the possibility of falling while running away from bears increased exponentially. So I decided to play chicken.
I did get a magnificent view though.
After a few more short hikes, I was almost back to where I started, near my hostel. Since there was still plenty of time till it got dark, I set off towards Vintgar Gorge.
It was while walking on this stretch of road that my musical side took over and I decided to belt out some ‘on the road’ kind of songs at the top of my lungs (after making sure there was no sign of human life anywhere around me). Tanha Dil and Yeh Hawa Kehti Hai Kya types. Of course, I found someone crouching with a bicycle on the side of the road while I was mid-phrase. Which means she had heard most of what my musical prowess had to offer.
I was only red because of the heat, okay? Not that I was embarrassed or anything.
Vintgar Gorge was SUPPOSED to be about 3kms away. So it should have taken me a maximum of 45 minutes maybe? But it took me well over 2 hours because I kept getting lost and going in circles. The number of times I saw the same houses over and over and over again… Sheesh. There were, of course, no people out on the streets who I could ask for directions, and no cars going in any direction, which would give me a hint.
I did eventually make it though. Spectacular place.
Silly selfie time, of course.
Excusable side effects of being alone for extended periods of time. It’s okay. No one’s judging.
I found out after reaching that there was a fee to get in. I contemplated for a while, then I felt really cheap and paid up. It was worth it.
The whole route took me about an hour. And then it was time for the long walk back. Most people visit the gorge by car so the walking trail wasn’t very well worn and it was quite difficult to figure out the path more traveled.
And then I found myself standing at a crossroads.
No, I’m not going all philosopher on you. I was literally facing a crossroads. Which street shall I taaaake? (Sing in Rebecca Black style- Which Seat Shall I Taaaake?)
(I crack myself up sometimes 😛 )
It was quite easy though. The sign said ‘Bled’ and pointed to the left. I walked back to the town, ate dinner at a less than remarkable place. I judge restaurants by the ‘Price-Taste’ ratio, this one was waayyyy sub-par even for a tourist trap, atleast among all I’ve been to. Damn.
All done for the day and utterly exhausted (I think I walked well over 30kms that day by conservative estimates), I fell into the hostel bed at night. Thankfully (though I wasn’t so thankful at that time) the wifi there was terrible- I got to sleep in peace. Next morning? An early morning bus back to Ljubljana, and a ride to Zagreb, Croatia.
Bled is an hour away from Ljubljana, and there are regular buses in both directions. I stayed at the Bled Youth Hostel (I wanted to stay at Jazz Hostel, but it was completely booked 😦 ). This one offered good value for money, but not one of those amazing ones that stay with you. Basic and comfortable, and really TERRIBLE wifi.
There’s another lake slightly further away that I didn’t have time to go to- Bohinj– less touristy and even more beautiful apparently (is that even possible?). If you had just one day, which one would you go to? Bled? Bohinj? Or another day in the gorgeous Ljubljana?