The drive from Venice to Bled was very easy in the Alfa Romeo Guillietta, the roads were good especially through Slovenia with excellent signage and everyone going at normal speed. The scenery up the wide valleys is beautiful and arriving in Bled delivered all the beauty it promised.
We checked into The Villa Preseren which is right on the lake about 400m from the town centre and is set in a park.
The music coming from the bar was a bit noisy to start with but settled down so we had a nap whilst a wild wind and rainstorm brewed outside. It was all over as fast as it came and the sun came out so we headed out for a turn around the town to get our bearings. The view from our room and balcony was just beautiful.
The water in the Lake is a vivid aqua colour, so crystal clear and surprisingly warm. The town is clearly an all year round tourist centre with big snow fields in the surrounding hills and camping, hiking, biking and lake activities for summer so there are an abundance of eateries to choose from.
We ate at the Villa restaurant in the lovely deck overlooking the Lake and watched the sun go down and then had another stroll before bed.
Day two dawned as a perfect morning and we headed out for a walk early and put in about 4 km before hunger kicked in and breakfast called but it gave us a taste for more of the beauty the lake offers.
We decided on a day at the Lido and got ourselves there in all of 10 minute walk and got our deck chairs set up and enjoyed the 25 deg beautiful water and a bit of sun.
We had booked into a 1.5 hr Thai massage each and that was so overdue as we were both feeling the effects of so much walking and our rock hard Venice bed.
The massage was brilliant so we rewarded ourselves with sharing a famous Bled cream cake at the Park Hotel Terrace overlooking the lake, talk about a treat but not something you want to have everyday.
That night we dined at the local Mexican and over ate to the max so we need to be mindful of the size of the meals here.
Up early again on day 3 and out for a circumnavigation of the lake, at 6.5 km it is a poplar walking, biking and running path. There is areal thing for sport fishing here with many people gearing up and camping out to catch the big ones and boy are they big.
Lots of people out there enjoying the beautiful morning as well as the keen rowers utilising the 2km course down the lake centre.
Again the sights around every corner kept us snapping especially when the island appears at every turn.
After breakfast we headed out to Vitnar Gorge and were suprised to see when we got there so many others had the same idea, there were cars everywhere and although the track in was thick with people it was not too bad.
The journey was well worth it as every turn and twist revealed a stunning sight of nature at its best as we snaked our way down the 2 km boardwalk and tracks.
John decided on a swim and found the water freezing cold about 10 deg apparently so a short dip is all he had.
We had lunch at the cafe near the car park and enjoyed a beautiful river caught Trout parcel, very Japanese in style.
We headed back via another route and took a drive through the farming valleys beneath the mountains through a few villages and back to Bled, we passed on dinner that night and just had an evening stroll instead.
Day 4 and it was time to visit the Church of the Madonna on the island so we rowed out in our little hired Swan boat and explored every inch we could.
We rang the bell in the lovely little church, John climbed the clock tower and we rowed back to shore, a very pleasant time indeed.
People were out and about enjoying The Lake in lots of different ways without a motor in sight.
We checked into the Lido again today and it was packed but we got a spot under a big tree, booked in for a Thai massage in the gazebo, swam and lunched before heading back for a rest.
We had booked in for dinner at Bled Castle where there was a concert on by a world famous Trio.
The dinner and show were first class not to mention the most stunning views imaginable.
Day 5 dawned as another perfect Groundhog Day event so we decided to venture a bit further afield and give the Alfa Romeo a good run.
The Lake further into the mountains looked interesting so we headed west along an excellent road that we discovered was the route to the major Ski fields if the region at Lake Bohinjsko Jetero.
All along the natural Lake shore are a number of perfect swimming beaches and we find some parking at the end of the lake and enjoyed a lovely refreshing swim near the camping ground.
The mountains go straight down about 1,000 meters to the lake and the surrounding peaks are up to 1,800 m high so we caught a big Gondola up the steepest mountain slope to the top of Vogel, a ski field on top of the mountain and grabbed an apple pie for lunch whilst we were there.
From the top the view of the Lake is spectacular and you look across the mountain range to Triglav, Slovenia’s highest peak at close to 2,900m and further onto the Austrian Alps.
We finished the day with a nice dinner in town and then had a few laughs watching a local Polka dance and music troupe playing at The Panorama before strolling back to Villa Preseren to listen to a singer and guitarist at the bar from our balcony. Saturday was our last full day in Bled so after a walk along the lake we headed over to The Grand Hotel Toplice to take in some waters at the Spa and enjoy the facilities of a day pass.
Well the water in the Mineral water pool was 22 deg and the water in the lake 25 deg so Ann was not to impressed by the chill factor inside but the Hotel Lido was great to set ourselves up for the day and just swim, read and chill between getting a massage and lunch.
That night we enjoyed a lovely dinner and of course the world famous bled cream cake for dessert .
Lake Bled and Slovenia has been an absolute delight with stunning scenery, excellent facilities, great roads, mostly friendly people and wonderful swimming so maybe one day another visit might be in order.
Beautiful photography it looked amazing place