We almost got stuck in traffic on our way to Bled on a summer afternoon, and many of the cars around us had foreign licence plates. When we reached the shores of the lake, I was surprised at how small it was. Our eyes could at once see the shores of the lake, Bled Castle perched high on the cliffs, and the island which made the lake famous. Driving around it took mere minutes, and when we wanted to park on the southwestern side, we discovered this was a costly thing to do. We took a stroll on the lakeside, taking in the views around us. It is sometimes impossible to travel somewhere without having an idea of what you are going to see beforehand, and Lake Bled is a case in point. Still, despite the crowds on the shores, beaches, and on the lake itself, the charm of the lake is inevitably there.
We soon wanted to escape the crowds, and walked up to the Osojnica viewpoint. After seeing all the people at the shore, it was surprising to be alone on the top. While the climb had been in the woods, after the last scramble up the hill, we reached an open space, and the lake was now at our feet. The sun was on its way down, casting a warm light on the lake, the island, the belfry, the castle, and the mountains in a distance. We stayed a while to soak in the view, before heading down again. We had decided to escape the crowds, and stay at nearby Lake Bohinj, and after some morning exploration of that equally beautiful lake, albeit without islet, returned to Lake Bled.
The obvious thing to do was to visit Bled Island, so we rented a rowing boat, and rowed to the island. We walked up the South Staircase, a wide, stone set of stairs constructed in 1655. The history of the island is much older; the first church was built here in the 9th century, while a pagan temple was being used here before that. We had heard music from a distance, and yes: we walked right into a wedding next to the belfry. We did not have much time, and visited the baroque church, rang the bell, and walked up the stairs of the belfry where we found the recently restored, old clockwork. Our timing was perfect even though it was by chance: while working up the last stairs, the clock struck 2. The views from the top were good, and when we walked back down, we still had time to walk around the island, before it was time to row back to shore. The view of Bled Castle was great from the eastern shore, and we were tempted to visit, but decided to escape the crowds. Lake Bled certainly deserves a visit, but probably spring or autumn are better times to do so.
Personal travel impressions both in words and images from Lake Bled (Slovenia). Clicking on the pictures enlarges them and enables you to send the picture as a free e-card or download it for personal use, for instance, on your weblog. Or click on the map above to visit more places close to Lake Bled.
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