Today (Sunday) we drove to Vintgar Gorge which is approximately 4km North West of Bled.
The 1.6 km long Vintgar gorge carves its way through the vertical rocks of the Hom and Bort hills and is graced by the Radovna with its waterfalls, pools and rapids.
The educational trail leads you over wooden bridges and Žumr’s galleries, and ends with a bridge overlooking the mighty 13 m high Šum waterfall.
The Vintgar gorge also includes two man-made sights. The single-arch stone bridge of the Bohinj railway, constructed in 1906, which crosses the gorge 33.5 m above the trail, and the dam from which the water is routed to the small Vintgar hydroelectric power plant under the Šum waterfall.
Despite the temperature at the campsite around 21 degrees, as we should have anticipated, the gorge itself was much cooler. Remember to take a jacket!
In the afternoon we visited Bled Castle. Bled Castle (Slovenian, Blejski grad) is a medieval castle built on a precipice above the city of Bled in Slovenia, overlooking Lake Bled.
According to written sources, it is the oldest Slovenian castle and is currently one of the most visited tourist attractions in Slovenia.
View of Bled Island from Bled Castle.
We bought a couple of bottles of Bled red wine from the Wine Cellars and noted the traditional manner in which they open the bottles – slicing the glass neck with a large sabre.
This evening we will be dining at Restaurant Sova, a recommendation from an American Professor we met at the bar yesterday. Sova is ranked number 3 in the TripAdvisor list for Bled.
Saturday and we are now settled into Camping Bled, just a few hundred metres from the shoreline of Lake Bled. We have a large pitch and electricity, primarily due to the fact we carry two large extension cables – note for next year, do what the Europeans do and carry a large 50m DIY extension reel.
In fact we have a lot of “practical” things to take care of when we arrive back in Blighty so I’ll likely add a few blog entries.
Today we walked around Lake Bled which is an easy 4 mile hike. We stopped half way round the Lake for a beer and a toasted sandwich at Devil Caffe and Bar – the sandwich was utterly uninspiring but they had a huge selection of bottled real ales from Blighty.
Unfortunately they were right out of Punk IPA but they did have half litre bottles of Fullers ESB, so all was not lost.
We chatted to an American couple at the bar and they recommended a nice restaurant near to the Lake. We booked a table for tomorrow evening so will report back in due course. Hope it isn’t big Mac and fries…
After our walk, we took one of the traditional boats across to Bled Island which has a number of notable historic buildings.
The main one being the pilgrimage church dedicated to the Assumption of Mary, which was built in its current form near the end of the seventeenth century.
The church has a 52 m tower and there is a Baroque stairway from 1655 with 99 stone steps leading up to the building. The church is frequently visited and weddings are held there regularly.
Traditionally it is considered good luck for the groom to carry his bride up the steps on the day of their wedding before ringing the bell and making a wish inside the church. Good luck with that!
The weather during the day was excellent but much cooler than Croatia. Nevertheless it was still warm enough for an evening BBQ.