A Travellerspoint blog

Row, row, row your boat

To the island on a Pletna

overcast 23 °C
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There are various ways to take a trip across Lake Bled or to the island. One of them includes a trip with the traditional boat made by locals which is only known at Bled – the Pletna boat. The origins of the Pletna boat go back to 1590, whilst it size allows safe transportation of 20 persons. The Pletna boat is a wooden flat-bottom boat with a pointed bow and the stern widened with a step to enable passengers to enter. The boat is propelled with the special »stehrudder« technique where the oarsman is standing and rowing with two oars. We met a very nice couple from Boston on the way to the island. Another lady just about tipped us more than once as she decided she needed a photo on the other side of the pletna.

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Slovenia's only natural island is home to the Church of the Assumption of Mary dating back to the 1400's.The church is a favourite for weddings and it is customary for the groom to carry the bride up the 99 steps leading up to the church...come on Dave!!

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After climbing the 99 steps to the church, you can ring the bell three times and make a wish. It also costs €6 to have a chance to ring the bell. I guess we are lucky enough already.

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I had the best dessert of my life in a new restaurant that just opened five weeks ago. It was perfection on a plate. What wouldn't be perfect with mangos and chocolate. It was a taste sensation.

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Posted by beachbuddies 08:45 Archived in Slovenia Comments (0)

A Perfect Hike

Vintgar Gorge

overcast 21 °C
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Rushing water, a canopy of green, perfect temperature, great views, my travel buddy....all the elements for a wonderful hike. Vintgar Gorge is 4km north of Bled which is where we started our day. Along the narrow passage, where the Radovna river thrashes loudly against its rocky confines, there are paths and bridges constructed in the rock. The trail runs through the 1600 m long gorge. The Radovna flows over cascades and rapids, and in clear pools it finds peace for a few moments.

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The Vintgar gorge ends at Šum waterfall, the highest river fall in Slovenia.

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At the waterfall the trail leaves the Radovna and rises up a trail through the forest heading south-east to the chapel of St Catherine above Zasip. From here there is one of the finest views over the entire area of Bled. The way back goes down to Zasip, a pretty little village, and then along the road to Bled.

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Posted by beachbuddies 21:29 Archived in Slovenia Comments (0)

Oh what a view!!

Lake Bled Beauty

semi-overcast 23 °C
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Bled is an alpine town alongside Lake Bled in northwestern Slovenia. Walking around the lake would lead us to the castle that towered above the lake.

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After climbing the steep mountain path, we reached the castle. Excited to see the famous view, we gazed in awed silence at the stunning scenery that spread itself below us. The sun was high in the sky as I took many photos of the beauty before us.

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There were a number of weddings at the castle today. Can you imagine the photos?

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Anyone for swim in the lake?

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After walking back down from the castle, we continued the 6km walk around the lake. I took pictures of the island as we walked along even when it started to rain. I walked with the rain gently coming down on me and Dave with his red Canada umbrella.

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The famous Slovenian poet Preseren called the island of Bled a Slavic Sanctuary and, as I gazed down at the lake from the castle wall, the beauty of the place did make me feel at peace.

Posted by beachbuddies 13:15 Archived in Slovenia Comments (1)

Postojnska Jama

One drop at a time....

sunny 25 °C
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We took a short bus ride out of Ljubljana to the Postojnska Jama. Jama means cave in Slovene. As we drove through the countryside, we saw the devastation caused to all the trees from the ice storm in February. The trees top of many of the tress simply snapped off from the weight of the ice. We could see the trees by the entrance to the caves were also damaged.

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There is just something about being in a cave, as water droplets hit you unexpectedly from above. You feel chilly and damp from the ten degree temperature and 90% humidity. You look with wonder at what has been created by water. The Postojnska Cave is one of the world's largest cave systems being 21km long. Our journey through them today was about 5km. The caves are three million years old and were formed one tiny drop of water at a time. Our guide told us that it takes a hundred years for a 1cm addition to the stalactites and stalagmites.

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It's one of those timeless questions that plague us from elementary school on, What exactly is the difference between stalactites and stalagmites? Which one hangs above and which one stands up from the ground? I looked this up because neither of us could remember! Stalactites are the formations that hang from the ceilings of caves like icicles, while stalagmites look like they're emerging from the ground and stand up like a traffic cone. The two formations are also sometimes referred to collectively as dripstone.

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Our guide told us about the Old Cave and the Beautiful Cave which included the Spaghetti Room, the White Room (formed only with limestone) and the Red Room (formed with iron which makes it brown and red). We took a small train of sorts deep into the cave and then had about an hours guided tour inside.

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I know this is many photos but I just couldn't decide how to capture what we experienced. I guess you can't!

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Posted by beachbuddies 10:03 Archived in Slovenia Comments (1)

Ljubljana Castle or Ljubljanski Grad

....and a walk in the rain

rain 15 °C
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We were talking about how often it has rained on our holidays. Very rare indeed but I must say it didn't really matter much. There were a sea of umbrellas this morning in Prešeren Square as group of people joined the free city tours.

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There is a market every day with fresh fruits and veggies. The vendors looked cold and wet.

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We decided to take the funicular up to the castle for a tour. We were surprised that we spent almost three hours up there learning some history about the castle, Ljubljana and Slovenia. The site has had a settlement on it since prehistoric times. We climbed the tower for a panoramic view. Displays have been incorporated within the castle walls which we enjoyed seeing. In the chapel, a man was doing calligraphy and he made me a bookmark with my name on it. For Dave, a saying, "Happy wife, happy life." Dave says, "I'm going to frame that!"

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There was a special photographic exhibit in the castle of the National Geographics 50 Greatests Photos. Amazing stories about how the photos were taken and the story behind them.

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Stopped for a famous sausage and home for a piece of Lenček cream cake. We do love our food!

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Another beautiful walk through the quaint streets with a wonderful atmosphere.

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Posted by beachbuddies 14:08 Archived in Slovenia Comments (0)

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