Slovenian and Croatian 9/13/2007-10/7/2007

Steamboat SpringsDenver BostonMilan, ItZabreb, CroatiaSamabor, CroatiaLjubljana, SloveniaBled, SloveniaBohjni, SlJulian Alps, SLBohjni, SlIzola, SlOpitja, CroatiaPlitvice, CrStarigrad-Palenica, CrZadar, CrZagreb/Samabor, CrMilanBostonDenverSteamboat Springs

 

Journal Part III

9/17/2007: Tuesday, Bled, Slovenia: It seems that every town in this area of the world is world famous for something. For Bled it is Kremna rezina, a vanilla and cream pastry. I thought that was the specialty in Samabor, but I guess that was a different country. The real mystery is, with everyone eating cream cakes, how come there are no fat people?

The other thing that Bled is famous for is the wedding chapel on the island in Lake Bled. Couples travel from all over the country to take a romantic gondola ride to a small island where you can, or should I shay may, carry your bride up 99 steps that lead from the waters edge to a 15th century chapel with a 170 foot steeple.

 

 

 

 

 

Gondola ride to the chapel with Bled Castle in the back ground above the line stone cliffs

 

 

The island lake chapel with its 99 steps to eternal love

 

 

If you can ignore some significant hotel development along the south shore, Bled is a fairy tale land. Bled Castle sits on top of a shear lime stone cliff 500 feet above the lakes edge. The lake is crystal clear due a filtering process that starts in the snows of the Julian Alps and continues down 5,000 ft through the lime stone karst caves and stream beds to Lake Bled. The shore line and surrounded hills are heavily forested with pines and beech and in the center of lake sits the 600 year old chapel of love where a 20 ft wide white stone block stair case ascends 99 steps from the water to the doors of the chapel. I had promised to carry Mo up the steps, but I got a doctors excuse due to my knee.

We found a B&B run by an old German couple (I thing they all are) and set in for a couple of relaxing days before our trek in to the Julian Alps. My knee was now two weeks post arthroscopy and still kind of gimpy so we rented bikes and rode around he lake. Toward afternoon the knee felt a little better so went up to Bled Castle for a tour. The caste was built around 1004, but has been rebuilt in pieces over time. Still very beautiful and full of history.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Upper left, Bled Castle

Upper right, Bled Castle Chapel

Lower left, shrine in Bled Castle Chapel

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

After the castle had enough day light to do one more excursion. A few miles out of Bled is the Vintgar Gorge. This deep slot was formed by the waters from the Julian Alps running over lime stone for centuries. We arrived at the parking area in the late afternoon light and were the only ones there. After descending a short ways the trail abruptly changes from a dirt path to a hanging wooden walk way secured by old sections of steel rail road track that was drilled and pounded in to the vertical rock of the gorge. For about two kilometers there was no solid ground under feet.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The trail through the Vintgar Gorge

 

There is no water on earth as clear watered that has been filtered through lime stone. A magical place.

We got back to the care just before dark and headed back to our B&B. The plan is to head to Bohinj in the AM and prepare for our trek in the Julian Alps.

 

9/18: Bohinjska Bistrica, Slovenia, Base of the Julian Alps: Woke early this AM thinking that our neighbors were taking a long hard shower. It was actually mother nature giving us a shower. We packed up and headed west to Bohinj, a small town a little further in to the bosom of the Alps. Found a very cozy place called the Triptic Penzion which was right across from the town recreation center and water park.

I dont think I have seen it rain this hard since the monsoons in India.

Spent the afternoon at the Water Park. You could do and get everything from traditional exercise equipment to massages to swimming to espresso. The most unique feature was a swimming pool which had a climbing wall overhanging the deep end of the pool. Since I had just gotten out of the cast on my right wrist from my Colles fracture, I was able to climb up as high as I could and then just fall back in to the pool.

 

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