Pretty but expensive.

Trip Start May 04, 2013
Trip End Jul 07, 2013

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Saturday, June 15, 2013

We left Lienz after breakfast and headed for Slovenija – a new destination for us. Greg plotted his course on Tom Tom and told us he would need to reset it at Hopscotch. We discovered at the designated stopping time that he really meant Kotschach – close enough!

Morning tea today was in Hermagor. We knew nothing about this town; it was just time for a coffee. We parked the bikes, found our bakery and could hear a loud speaker coming from the direction of the next street. After a quick walk we discovered the local school very busily involved in a Fun Run. The P&C ladies (Kerrie's guess) were marking off tally sheets as the children ran to the tables that were set up. The PE teacher (again Kerrie’s guess) was interviewing students as they came to the table. We watched for a while and then it was back on the bikes and off to Slovenija.

After crossing the border from Austria to Slovenija– only distinguished by the sign on the side of the road – our first impression was that joining the EU must have bought many changes for the locals. Roads were in great condition, there were signs of many new apartment blocks and supermarkets were too numerous to count. Harvey Norman even had advertisements for furniture on many billboards that we passed. The scenery was as spectacular as we have come to expect – sweeping corners, beside running streams through pine forests. The main mountain pass today was Wurzen Pass only 1072m - more scenic than challenging and the ride was totally enjoyable.

Our destination for the next two nights was Bled, about 60km north west of the capital city – Ljubljana. We had booked rooms in a guesthouse only about 300m from Lake Bled. We arrived too early to book in so it was off for a walk to find a cold beer and lunch. This achieved, we returned to unpack the bikes and have a wash – finally the weather was supplying us with some warmth and consequently we were a bit smelly after our ride!

The afternoon was spent exploring this pretty spot. There was a rowing regatta on the lake so Chris and Kerrie watched several races while Greg had his afternoon nap in the sun on a bench. After dinner we wandered through the local craft markets and watched the ducks and swans on the lake – very relaxing.

We decided to catch a bus in to Ljubljana the next morning to give Greg a break from the responsibility of organizing our riding days. This proved to be a very good decision. The bus trip took us through several small villages and gave Greg a chance to see the countryside that he sometimes misses when he is riding – just as well Kerrie takes many photos!

After getting off the bus, it was off to explore the city. The first thing we encountered was a police crime scene! Someone had obviously left a bag unattended outside one of the hotels and the bomb squad had just blown it up – clothes and pieces of suitcase where strewn all over the footpath and the bomb exploding robot was just being loaded back in to its van. We remembered what our police friend from Northern Ireland had told us – that the first incident is sometimes a ploy to get police and people gathered in a large group so that the REAL incident will have more casualties – so we got out of the area as quick as we could.

Ljubljana is a very picturesque city with many bridges crossing the river. As it was Saturday, we happened upon a large farmer’s market selling their produce to the locals and tourists alike. The fruit, cheese and bread was fresh and delicious – as we discovered when we sampled all that was offered.

After wandering through the marketplace and listening to the local bands and buskers, we took the Funicular up the side of the hill to the castle at the top. We explored the towers and walls before retiring to the shaded area for a cold beer and a rest. We were surprised at how hot the day had become – we certainly did not need the umbrellas and jumpers that we carried around all day in the backpack!

Back to bus station to get the 3pm bus back to Bled. We were a little early so took advantage of the McDonalds at the station and had an ice cream while we waited. Greg slept the whole trip back to Bled – 75 minutes – this holidaying is hard work!

Tonight we were determined to try some of the local fare but the only thing that we could find was Bled Cream Cake – this famous concoction has been made locally since 1953 - it did not disappoint, light, sweet and delicious!

Tomorrow we head back to Austria for our visit to Vienna – Greg says he might try out for the Vienna Boy’s Choir – heaven help us!
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parkdel on

That cream cake looks magnificent! (Oh - the natural scenery was pretty good too!)

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