May 3 – Bled
After a lovely sunny, warm day yesterday with a temperature of about 21C, today became cold, raining and 12C. Just like that. We seem to be on roughly a 2:3 cycle. We have two days of fine weather followed by three days of rain. Today is the first of the three days of less pleasant weather. Still…not to worry…lots to do…not to be deterred by some pesky precipitation, we set off for an outing.
I started the day with an early morning leisurely 10km run, to beat the rain that was to come and weaved my way around the paths and tracks of the lovely Tivoli Park. This park was designed in 1813 and stretches for 5 square kilometres. It has wide promenades, pebble paths and woodland tracks and I ran freestyle, going this way and that wherever the mood took me until I’d plodded my way hither and thither around its many nooks and crannies. At the far end is Cekin Mansion that was built between the 1752 and 1755 on commission from Count Leopold Lamberg.
The best part of the run…squirrels! I love squirrels because we don’t have them in Australia, so they’re a fun novelty when I see them. I rounded a corner and nearly tripped over one. So I stood and watched them play chasings and scurry this way and that. I’m not sure what kind they were because they were quite different to grey squirrels. These little fellas were dark brown and slimmer with a longer, less bushy tail. When they climbed the trees they were virtually camouflaged. They gave me some fun entertainment before I trotted off to finish my run. I had left Steve to his slumber when I set off, but he emerged at the end to grab a shot of me finishing off down the cobbles of our street. Run done, it was another great start to the day.
The main aim of exploring today, and keeping things sedate to rest that knee of Steve’s, was to take a bus trip to Bled, so off we went and…down came the rain. We arrived at the bus station in the rain and hopped on for the 50 minute ride. Elevenses was once again had on public transport, with some dried figs a suitable portable snack to chomp on as another on-the-move elevenses.
The bus deposited us right beside Lake Bled and it was pouring! The lake and surrounding hills were shrouded in mist and we were getting soaked yet again. After a few hasty photos, we set off to find some shelter to dry off and hope there might be a break in the rain. We settled ourselves into the ‘Public Bar and Vegan Kitchen’ which is an all vegan pub right near the lake and had an absolutely delicious lunch. Steve wrapped his laughing gear around an enormous burger with a side of wedges and washed it down with a beer, while I had the most delicious cauliflower soup I’ve ever had and the vegan tartare which was vegetables and herbs minced into a spreadable paste served with toast and salad. It was SO good. While we enjoyed our fare and kept watch out the window, the weather gremlins did indeed decide to abandon us temporarily and the rain eased. We high-tailed it back to the lake to pretty much reshoot all our photos again without the rain!
Lake Bled was originally a glacier and is 2120 metres long and 1380 metres wide. Within it is Bled Island, on which is the Church of the Mother of God on the Lake, which dates from the 1400’s and we could hear the bells tolling across the lake. Bled Island is the only natural island in Slovenia. Way up on the cliff sits Bled Castle, said to be the oldest castle in Slovenia, being first mentioned in 1011. We strolled around the path and took in the scenery which, even in the cold and the wet, was still quite something to behold. The hills and the lake with the low cloud actually made us think it was quite like New Zealand actually!
We even saw a reference to Australia funnily enough. In fact we’ve had the odd Australianism here and there in places we’ve been, with posters with Rebel Wilson and Natalie Imbruglia and Kylie playing in stores.
After a few hours in the scenic, if chilly and soggy Bled, we bussed it back to Ljubljana where it was once again…pouring! Oh well. A soggy plod back to our apartment with a quick detour for supplies and our outing was complete. It was a nice day despite the weather and Bled was certainly worth a visit. Oh…and there’s still snow on them thar hills…a bit more if anything!
Tomorrow we will have another day of exploring, to give Steve another day of taking it easy on his knee and then we aim to set off again on Sunday, with a forecast of heavy rain and 8C! Sigh. Still…today was another top day and we fully intend to have many more top days – soggy or not! On we shall squelch!
Notes and observations for the day:
- Squirrels are the best free entertainment ever!
- Never cease to be amazed at the flavours that can be created with the humble cauliflower.
- Even in waterproof layers, rain finds a way of sneaking its way in, to make every layer feel damp and squidgy. One of its many superpowers.
- It helps to have mastered Limbo skills when confronted with an obstacle course of incoming umbrellas at head height on a narrow path.
Distance ridden: 0 km
Distance run: 10 km
Distance roamed: 11.4 km
Tea of the day: Green tea with lemon
Time spent as spectator at squirrel Olympics: 4 minutes