Still More Good Days in Slovenia
Bled Travel Blog› entry 19 of 20 › view all entries
June 8th, 2008 – by: kangaroodent
I gave into the 8-year-old-self in the back of my mind and got some bulk candy at the bus station, then we made our way via the every-hour-on-the-hour bus to Bled. Our hostel, Traveller's Haven, was less than 5 minutes from the bus station, and it is without question the best hostel I've stayed in. There's every luxury you could ask for: free laundry, free interwebs, a dishwasher (unprecedented!), and nice, clean rooms. Unfortunately, local bylaws stipulate that the place shuts down for 10pm, although you can certainly go have fun elsewhere after the common room closes.
Anyways, I got my crap in my room and then we all started walking. Walking is a much more entertaining activity in Bled than anywhere else in Europe. For one, you have scenery unlike anywhere else: there's a castle perched on top of a cliff, overlooking the lake. Right in the middle of said lake, there's an island on which a church is prominently displayed. It's worth it to go up the ski hill and take the silly luge ride down to the bottom, all the while offering you a great view of the lake and area around Bled.
Before this, though, we had booked our adventure tour of the Triglav national park which Bled is on the verge of through 3glav Adventures. That's tomorrow: it's basically a power tour of the best scenery you're likely to see ever, and I decided to join on the whitewater rafting too. At the 3glav building, we ran into a group who had what looked like the most delicious hot dogs in the world (and most gigantic), and that's how I encountered the first example I'd noticed of Slovenian modesty. Having got some vague directions to the location of the hot dog sellers, we passed and looked in the same place three times, went back and asked the group with the hot dogs again, and then finally returned, all because we were completely unable to believe that the silly looking and weak hot dog pictured on the window of the store could at all compare to the brilliant and beautiful sandwich that we'd seen earlier. When we told them they really ought to stop underselling their hot dogs, the clerk gave a shrug that sums up what I love most about this place: they let things speak for themselves. The scenery, the hot dogs, the hostels; they all are fantastic, affordable, and definitely worth going to.
After trecking a long while around the lake (and with many dozens of photos of the lillies, and many more dozens of photos of every possible angle of the castle and the church on the lake), we ventured up to the castle after losing Jae for a bit. The castle, like everything else you can see in and around Bled, is perfectly ridiculous in a very photogenic way.
We'd check out the next most aesthetically appealing part of Bled via rowboat: the church island. This would be a bit of a challenge, since we only had an hour to row there and back, or risk losing our deposit of 10E. It ended up being very close. When we were barely a hundred feet from the island, the spontaneous mountain weather brought down rain and hurricane force winds, but we made it there. Unfortunately, that left us all of 5 minutes to see what was on the island, and then we headed back, with me rowing. It turns out that I kinda suck at rowing. By splashing a lot, I ended up soaking Aaron more than he already was. Poor guy. We managed to make it back though.
We ate at "At The Mountaineers" - a bit of a traditional Austrian-Slovenian-Italian eatery with everything from wienerschnitzel to cepakcici to pizza, and the servings were properly enormous. With 15E I was more stuffed than I'd frequently been with double that amount to spend. I had fried cheese and then the cepakcici (I think that's what they were called... spicy sausage-like things), and they were quite good.
I'm really liking this place. While most of my days are usually spent wandering around and seeing enough sights to fill up enough of my day that I can justify going to find something to eat ("should I eat now?" is usually my top consideration at any one time), Bled has enough to do that you simply couldn't make yourself stay still. It's also all close enough together that it doesn't seem to intimidating to do as much as you want, and there's enough friendly and awesome people that you don't have to worry about being bored by your lonesome. Mealtimes aren't the highlights of my day as they sometimes are, instead, here they appear to be the perfect capper to a great and engaging and unforgettable experience.
Tomorrow, more adventures will follow.
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