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23 June 2017


if you've read my previous post on the day we spent in ljubljana, you'll know just how much we fit in in such a short amount of time. as a big fan of busy city breaks, that's kinda how i like to spend them: busy. i want to see, do, taste, and experience it all, so the more we can fit in: the better. we definitely got our fill in the capital; topping the pastel city was going to be tough, especially when all we had planned for our two days in lake bled was: relaxing by the lake. 

i'm not really sure i've ever really relaxed, nor would i know how to relax, so that plan sort of had me nervous. thankfully, the minute we made it down the trail from the train station, we realised there was far more on offer to us than just relaxing. so, if you're anything like me and the idea of doing nothing isn't for you, then read on; i've got a few things you might just fancy doing when you'd quite like to do nothing.

row a boat across to bled island 

ok so, i'm not athletic in the slightest. in fact, i sort of have an aversion to sports in general, but once we'd checked into our room and grabbed that first ice cream of the stay, we noted a few semi sporty activities we wanted to try. the first of which was rowing out to bled island. now, there's literally not another way out there except by water, so you're limited to paddle board, row boat, or group boat across. we decided on renting a two-person row boat, and figured we'd each row in one direction out to the island to both get a turn. 

i took the second turn, and was a bit scared because i'm not very strong and bex is, and she managed to get us stuck on a bank of reeds for a little bit. but, once i managed to put my nerves to the side and got the boat on course, it was quite fun! it wasn't too strenuous either, which was a relief. the whole event took no more than 15 mins in each direction, and was weeeell worth the trip.

boat rental from 10 euro an hour, from a few places on the lake.

cycle around the lake

this one definitely shocked me the most. i haven't actually ridden a bike since i was a kid - except for a twenty minute blip on the radar a few summers ago when i fell victim to a boris bike ploy, yet i thought it looked easy enough, and that old saying must be an old saying for a reason. so, i literally got back on my bike, and had a go. the bikes we hired from the reception of our hotel were hideous, and nothing like the cute, bronzed, basked-laden biked i saw us pedalling around the lake on, but still, it was worth a go! 

the lake is reeeeally big, and we were forewarned that a "morning run" around it would take us about an hour and a half. like we had plans to run, ha! but still, we definitely wanted to get the whole way around it and see what else was hiding on the other side, so we figured cycling was the best way to get through the whole 6.7kms in as little time as possible. we hired the bikes for two hours, which was plenty of time to do the trail with a few pit stops here and there (and adjust the seat on mine when i realised it was the reason i was so uncomfortable); the trail was pretty easy too, with more down-hills than up-ones!

hire a bike from your hotel for a good rate, about 10 euros for 2 hours

climb up to the castle grounds

like i said in my last post about ljubljana: once you've seen one castle, you've sort of seen them all, but! at lake-level, there's not a lot of things to see that isn't the lake. for good old fashion austro-alpine architecture, you have to climb. we too the castle path up towards the castle, and then veered off, toward the st. martin's church. you can see the spire from most points along the lake, a wee bit lower down the hill than the castle. yet, we managed to cycle right past it, then have to walk back.

just as well we'd dropped the bikes off, as i wouldn't have liked to carry those up the side of that hill! the gothic church is not to be missed, though sadly, we weren't able to get in to see its many frescoes inside. we did wander the streets surrounding the parish church, grateful to have made the find on our last day, and truly being able to appreciate seeing something other than water for a little bit. the view of the lake from the top was utterly stunning, and the panoramic view of the alps on the horizon need to be seen to be believed; the scenery alone is well worth the climb (which only takes about 10 minutes!).

totally free to take the trail up and have a wander. there are hostels and b&bs up there too!

if you literally are only going to bled to relax, then i commend you; you've accomplished something i literally could not, and i wish i had your life. but, in between the relaxing and chilling out you plan to do while in bled, let me tell you a few things you ought to do, to really fulfil your life:

eat all the cream cakes

bled cream cakes are a tradition - nay, a staple, in any visitor's meal plan. the unofficial icon of bled is these layered pastries, and for good reason: they're fricken delicious. think butter dough pastry, vanilla cream custard, whipped cream, more crispy dough, then a sprinkling of icing sugar. riiiight? over the last 60 years more than 12 million cream cakes have been sold on lake bled, and we added to that number by at least six in our two days there. am i mad? am i fuck. don't miss out, you'll regret it!

between 2.50 and 4 euros depending on where you're eating.

swim in the lake

because why the hell are you at the lake if you don't plan to get in the lake? it's a combination of glacial and tectonic water, and it's as clear as the sky is blue. actually, it's as blue as the sky is blue, too. but be warned: it's also really bloody cold. on the first day, bex jumped in because creeping in limb-by-limb was too hard. on the second day, after a day of riding bikes in the sun and lounging on the jetty, we simply slipped our clothes of, and slipped in the lake without anyone noticing. granted, it was still cold, but really refreshing, and the perrrrfect way to end the idyllic weekend by the lake.

so you see, there's really something for everyone in bled. and if i still haven't convinced you to book a trip to slovenia after this, then really, you're can't be helped. do you even like puppies?

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