Trip Start Apr 07, 2009
15Trip End Apr 25, 2009
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Slovenia is truly beautiful. In addition to its overwhelming natural beauty, the neatly manicured medians and tidy villages sat well with Mike's obsessive compulsive disorder and stood in sharp contrast the garish rest stops along the Italian autostrada. The Tom Tom that had up until that point given us less than stellar directions had now totally failed us (Slovenia and most of the rest of the former Yugoslavia was a solid block of blue), but after a quick stop to refuel we made it to the iconic Lake Bled, our first stop.
Lake Bled is one of many glacial lakes in Slovenia's Upper Carniola region. The highlights are the glorious alpine vistas, the historic Bled Castle dating back to the late 10th century, and the Assumption of Mary Pilgrimage Church which sits on the small island in the middle of the lake.
We hiked up to Bled Castle and then took the scenic walk around the perimeter of the lake. We rented a row boat and headed for the island but turned back near the dock as it suddenly became very stormy and the water got awful choppy (at least that's how we remember it--conveniently the pictures seem to show a nice spring day). Towards the end of our walk we ran into a local painter named Drogoljub "Drago" Rakinic who was selling small water colors of Lake Bled in its various seasonal moods. They were pretty and cheap so we bought one for the house and Drago proceeded to paint a picture of the three of us on the back while telling us about Bled, Ljubljana, and life under Tito. He was a great guy. He ended every sentence with the word "understand" followed by a maniacal laugh. We liked him so much that we turned back and bought two more for souvenirs. We told him he didn't need to paint anything on the back, but he insisted--more paintings. . . more stories.
Bled was beautiful but we were in a hurry to leave for our next stop, Leskovec.
Mike and Steph