Thursday, 23 February 2017

Slovenia Travel Diary

Lake Bled
I mentioned in my World Duty Free VIP post recently that I was travelling to Slovenia on the day I got pampered and preened at Duty Free. Well, I can't not write a post about Slovenia eh?

Every year me and my bestie do a holiday together and go somewhere new. 2016 was Orlando in Florida, and 2017 ended up being Slovenia due to images we had seen of the Lake Bled area. What we didn't realise though is that we booked it for January and Slovenia gets cold in January. Very cold. Like highs of 0 degrees kinda cold

Lake Bled
I planned our trip so that we paid for flights and 2 seperate Air BnB's. We spent 2 days in Bled and then 2 days in Ljubljana before coming back home. This made our trip something like £160 in total each (not including spending money)
I didn't want to just stay in Ljubljana and do day excursions to Bled like some people do. I wanted to try and experience as much of Bled as possible

In hindsight I should have maybe done this in summer as some things we wanted to do weren't available due to ice and snow. Mainly the Vintgar Gorge. But it gives me another reason to come back at some point when it isn't so cold and snowy
Lake Bled
I never hire cars when I go abroad. Mainly because I am terrified of the idea of driving on the other side of the road. I'm a good driver in the UK, but I have this fear I will drive on the wrong side elsewhere and crash and then die. I managed to find a company though that helped us get to Bled and back! Bled is about 40 minutes drive from Ljubljana airport and Zup Prevozi is a company I found who picked us up from the airport and drove us to our Air BNB in Bled for about 18 euros each. Much cheaper than a taxi. We then used them for every other journey so that includes Bled to our Ljubljana Air BNB, and then Ljubljana to the airport. The Ljubljana to the airport trip was all of 9 euros each. So cheap! It's cheaper if you pick an economy shuttle and share it with other people, but it made our travel so much easier as public transport between Bled and Ljubljana is confusing and pretty much nonexistent really

We then proceeded to walk everywhere else. So from our Air BNB to all the bits we wanted to do, we simply walked
Lake Bled
Our Air BnB in Bled was amazing. It was like this little cabin annex attached to our hosts house and had electricity and a shower, but also had a little log fire for extra heating. It had a little balcony at the front entrance and below was this little creek/stream and a view of just snowy fields. It felt like a little piece of snowy heaven and a real nice place for some RandR

It was about 40 minutes walk into Bled town centre, but totally worth it when you are walking around the edge of Lake Bled and taking in all of the beauty surrounding you. You can see mountain ranges and forestry everywhere you look and then you also have the view of the castle and the little island in Lake Bled
Frozen Lake Bled
20 minutes from our Air BNB were a couple of restaurants and a small shop, as well as a little section of boats that would take you around the lake for a small fee. We decided to get on one and take the trip. We assumed it would just take us around the lake for the views and then back

For 14 euros we actually got rowed to the little island in the middle, left there for an hour to explore, and then rowed back! An absolute bargain
Whilst being rowed we could see that parts of the lake had actually frozen up it was that cold, and we were told that if the lake ever freezes up completely the locals like to skate and walk across it. Hell no to that
Lake Bled
We then explored the island in the middle of the lake. It was a bit treacherous to walk around as us Brits aren't really designed to be walking on ice and snowy walkways, but after some careful footwork around any ice patches we made it to the church on the island. That is really all there is on that island. A church, a little cafe, and an art/gift shop

It is said ringing the bell in the Church brings good luck. I wish I knew that before I left the little island. I only found this out later in the day and any bad luck I have in 2017 I will now blame on the fact I didn't ring that damn Church bell
Lake Bled
When the boat dropped us back to land we decided it was time for some lunch and for a trek to Bled Castle
Google Maps told us it would be about a 45 minute walk to the pizza place we were recommended (FYI eat at Pizzeria Rustika, it is the bomb for pizza in Bled and so cheap), so we just walked around the lake being mindful of all the ice around and staring at the beauty surrounding us whilst also freezing our extremities off

It was so cold when we were out there that my camera decided to die whilst walking around. Once heated back up again inside it was fine. This is because camera batteries are affected by real cold and real hot weather. The cold weather basically drained the battery but once the camera had warmed back up it sprang back to life and allowed me to use it again. Thank goodness because the next stop was Bled Castle and I definitely wanted to get some pictures of this!
Lake Bled
The trek to Bled Castle was treacherous. It definitely is a Spring/Summer time kinda thing. Ice everywheeeeere and it was a good 20 minute uphill struggle! I am now jealous of all the day excursion people who had a coach take them around to all the places in Bled and who didn't have to walk the uphill trek to the castle

But once up there and in the castle, the views definitely made it worthwhile. We could see the whole of Bled and everything was so quiet and peaceful. You could see the mountains and the Bled ski slope and how vast the lake actually is

I think Bled is somewhere I want to come back to in Spring/Summer. They have campsites dotted around the lake and I think it would be amazing to be one with the natural world and camp out around this area of true beauty
Bled


Bled Castle


Bled
Our time in Bled then came to an end and it was time for us to head to our second Air BNB in Ljubljana, Slovenia's capital

We hadn't really researched what to do in Ljubljana so we didn't really know what to do or what to expect when we got there. Our Air BNB was about a 20 minute walk from the main Old Town area of Ljubljana where everything is and this is where we got into Pokemon Go again to help us on this walk. It was much safer to walk around Ljubljana though then Bled as everything was gritted and cleared away properly

One thing we had researched and definitely had to go and visit was something called Muzej Illuzij, which means Museum of Illusions. We had researched that it was a museum of optical illusions and we thought this could be a fun few hours! It was also less than 10 euros so a win if you are trying to be frugal when abroad
Muzej Iluzij
It's definitely worth a visit if you are ever in Ljubljana, and it provides a bit of silly and trippy fun! I think there is also one in Zagreb, Croatia so that will be on the list if I ever go to Zagreb
Muzej Iluzij

Muzej Iluzij

Ljubljana Castle
Like Bled, Ljubljana also has its own castle. This was a long weekend of feeling like a Queen at the top of her castle. You'd think I'd also get bored of castles after visiting two in the space of two days but not the case at all

Ljubljana's castle had more to do and exquisite views of a different kind. This was more of a cityscape view rather than a mountainous landscape view. In Summer you can walk up to the castle yourself and trek up the hill (why are Slovenia's castles all on treacherous hills?!) I imagine, but this was closed off due to so much ice and snow so we hitched a ride with the Funicular up to the castle itself. This is again another thing to do that is about 10 euros and totally worth it for the breathtaking views you can experience within the castle
Ljubljana Castle


Ljubljana Castle


Ljubljana Castle
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4 comments

  1. Beautiful photos! X

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  2. Such gorgeous photos! I can imagine it wasn't the most practical time of year to visit but surely one most beautiful!

    - Sarah
    www.moonandforest.co.uk

    ReplyDelete
  3. We decided to get on one and take the trip. We assumed it would just take us around the lake for the views and then back.travel umbrella

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  4. A mix mind and pivotal words. Precisely what I was searching for.
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