Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Lake Bled

I get up early to take morning pictures of the town and walk to the Triple Bridge, Dragon Bridge, down to the Riverside Market and the market colonnade. In the square, a man sitting along the side iss playing the accordion. People aere walking and biking on their way to work. Breakfast at the Hotel Emonec is a bit of a disappointment. Located in the basement level, with white bread, cold cuts and a coffee machine. I choose to spend my calories on fresh bakery delights from the market and walk back to the market colonnade and practically have to tie my hands together to keep from buying too much. There are 5 glass counters, each displaying a different selection of crusty breads, soft breads, sweet cakes, cheese, etc. What I buy is far superior to the hotel offerings!

Our next task of the day is to pick up our rental car at the train station, which really ended up being at the bus station-you would have thought they would have said that in the first place. Auto Europe, we discovered is only a broker and actually works through Sixt Cars in Slovenia. That explains why I got the same operator on the phone when I called Hertz, Avis, Auto Europe and a bunch of other companies from the US. At the Sixt office, the guy proceeds to tell me that the computer shows our drop off charge as being $360, not the $160 on our voucher- some confusion between the 2 companies apparently - and after a half an hour, I am finally able to convince him to let us leave and not charge the higher rate. Our car, a low, low end Opel is pretty basic with lots of dents and scratches, hmm-the radio doesn't even have a display! Car rented-we head onto the open road toward Lake Bled.

The scenery, breathtaking - lush green hills and forests, with snowcapped granite alps framing the background. I can't imagine a more beautiful backdrop. Lake Bled is only 30 min. from Ljubljana, a clear blue lake resort town, with a medieval castle and a fairytale island. It is truly idyllic. This pretty much undiscovered part of the world is pristine and the people so friendly and relaxed. Our bed and breakfast, the Penzion Berc has been in the Berc family for 50 years. The hotel and B&B are run by 2 brothers. Luka, our host is a friendly guy, who we met at the front door, trying to calm his newborn twins who are crying in unison.

After settling in, we take a drive to Lake Bohinj, an alpine lake, and ride the cable car up Vogel Mountain, a ski area with a fantastic view of the Julian Alps. We then continue our adventure to Slap Savica, the waterfall at the end of the lake, reached by a hike up the trail and 553 stairs. Ray gets a chance to examine the river in preparation for his highly anticipated fishing trip with a guide tomorrow. I have high hopes that he would catch record numbers of trout, huge ones, so that he will be as interested in coming back to Slovenia as I am. Back at the hotel, I crash - Ray and Jen gp to the local pub, Gostilna Pri Planincu, for huge portions of food.


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