Bled in June...

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Bled castle on the top of the hill with breathtaking views of the surrounding valley and the Julian Alps
... was imposing, green and so refreshing! After a couple of scorching hot days in Zagreb we found this densely forested area at the Northwest of Slovenia to be exactly what we needed to cool down and recharge, even if it was only for a day.

St. Martin's Church from a distance
It felt good to be on the road, travelling again, with George and our little black Volvo. It felt good, but if I want to be completely honest with myself, my eagerness for exploration and new experiences was somewhat  covered by a thin, yet potent, layer of anxiety.

I am not the world's most relaxed traveller and as much as I want to let myself experience the exhilaration of the unexpected, there is always a part of me that wants to, or at least wants to be able to, be in control. That means you will never find me with a backpack, wandering the trails, sleeping under the stars. As romantic as this sounds I need a proper bed to sleep at night and a fixed destination for next morning.

Little porcelain bells around the church tower 
I am not going to go into the whys and hows of this - if an eager therapist out there wants to contact me by all means I am always open to suggestions :) :)  I am kidding, off course, but seriously when we left Zagreb on Saturday morning I was definitely starting to feel the familiar embrace of this unpleasant emotion...

We headed north of Zagreb towards the Slovenian border. It was really a lovely Saturday morning a bit on the hot side but that was not a problem; we knew that in a couple of hours we were going to arrive at a place where the landscape and the dense forest prevents the temperature to rise to more than 30 degrees C. We were on our way to Triglav National Park, part for the Julian Alps at the border between north-eastern Italy and Slovenia. After Ljubljana the landscape changed and I could see the imposing mountains at the end of the horizon. Some of the mountain picks were still white with snow.
Imposting rocks massifs
Maybe it was the beauty of the nature or the fact that we were having so much fun with George in the car making jokes and talking about how much we missed each other while we were apart that I forgot about my concerns. The blanket of fear and anxiety had lifted and I was able to enjoy this miraculous place with my whole heart!

Charming boat house by the lake 

Ducks cruising the lake with the Julian Alps in the background 

Bled Town Hall they could not get the colour of the flowers more right!

Horse carriages for hire for rides along the shore 

Calm and beautiful

Water-lilies like those in my painting

Ducks reign supreme in lake Bled

Fairytale castle and lake

Lake Bled and the small village that surrounds it is one of the most beautiful and picturesque places I have visited. Ducks, swans and water-lilies prevail here - there are places where people can swim but thankfully the rest of the lake is off limits and guarded so there are no sweaty tourists jumping in where ever they fancy. Overlooking the lake, Bled Castle makes the whole scenery seem like it was copied from a fairytale book. And the view from the castle....simply breathtaking!

On the island there is a church 

Boats come and go between the shore and the small island

Lone boat on its way to the island

High up in the castle

Well at the castle courtyard

Bled castle is one of the most popular wedding venues in Slovenia!

The power of green

Twenty kilometres from Lake Bled there is another lake. Lake Bohinj is longer, deeper and untamed. The mountain above commanded my attention. And the nature around the lake was imposing and aerie. We drove along the shore for about 11km and then climbed the 850 metres to the spot where you can see the spectacular waterfall that constantly feeds water to the lake. The sound of the waterfall in my ears; the fresh air caressing my face; climbing up the steep path; the magnificent views of the lake and the valley with the huge mass of bare rock hanging menacingly over our heads; it was an experience I will always remember!

The perfect coexistence

Imposing and menacing  

Force of nature

View of the lake valley on our way to the waterfall

The Julian Alps in all their glory

A statue of the elusive chamois a type of goat the grassy slopes of the Julian Alps

Lake Bohinj at dusk