Triglav National Park and the Soca River

From Lake Bled, we decided to explore the other side of Triglav National Park to do some walking.  Unfortunately the weather let us down again but we had some fun exploring!

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To get to our key walking spots and our accommodation, we had to drive over the Vrsic Pass which has 25 switchbacks up to the top and 25 more down the other side.  On the way up, the corners of the road are cobbled apparently to add grip (although the other side doesn’t have it).  The road is quite narrow but there are regular spots that you can pull over to look at some of the sights or let people pass.

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We used a really good guide book that we bought online (Google Play Store) by Rick Steeves which pointed out in great detail all the sites worthy of stopping for.  They included great look out spots, historical war sites, churches and other points of interest.  It is both a stunning and interesting drive.  The view from the top on a clear  day would be breathtaking.  We got a quick glimpse!

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We checked in to our next tourist farm  (Tourist Farm Jelincic) where we had booked half board (breakfast, dinner and accommodation) for 35 Euros per night.  Again it was alpine style accommodation (room with ensuite and balcony) and was good value.  Dinner was at least 2 courses and one night it was 3!  Very good value for money.

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One of the main things we wanted to do was do some walks around the Soca River.  We had allowed 2 days to do this, unfortunately it continued to pour with rain for the majority of the time that we were there.  Instead of walking, we decided to do a driving tour, which was not as good by any means but allowed us to look at the sights.  The river is stunning.  Even in its flooded state, it was a beautiful blue, green colour so I can only imagine how gorgeous it would be in sunlight.  There are loads of wire suspension bridges crossing the river so that you can get a great view and some great pictures.

 

There are also little towns scattered throughout, with museums and other points of interest.  You can even get cheese from a vending machine!  While travelling through this area It is not ideal in bad weather there is plenty to see for a couple of days.

Two Lakes: Bled and Bohinj

A disclaimer… this is a beautiful area.  We were fortunate to visit in the second week of September and unfortunate that the weather had turned cold and rainy!  As a consequence it was not crowded or overly busy and was therefore quite lovely.

Arriving from our great place in Podcetrtek, Natura Amon, we checked into another great place, a farm stay called Farm Holidays Povsin.  It is just a few minutes drive away from Lake Bled (albeit down some pretty narrow roads) and not too difficult to find…. although we did have to ask a neighbour!

Again the accommodation was Alpine Lodge type style and breakfast was included.  Breakfast included meats and cheese and a continental breakfast.  It worked out about 35 Euros a person so was quite reasonable.  We drove into town to get dinner.

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As we were foiled a bit by the weather being cold with on and off rain, we spent our time doing the following:

Boat trip to the island

We took a traditional Pletna boat trip to the island in the middle.  The boat is a traditional flat bottomed boat with a colourful awning over top.  It has a capacity of about 15 people and costs 14 Euro return.  There is no timetable and when the boat is full, the oarsman rows off.  Allow about 1.5 hours as you have time at the church, cafe and souvenir shop before you return.

You can also pay another 6 Euros to go into the church but if you are not going there for spiritual reasons you can see right in as you walk past the big plate glass windows. There are some interesting traditions for getting married at the Church.  The groom must carry his bride up all 99 steps to the top in order for the marriage to be a success.  I can attest to the steepness of the steps and would imagine even the fittest groom to require some significant training to carry his wife to be (including wedding dress puff potentially) to the top without expiring!

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Bled Castle

If you haven’t already seen loads of castles, this might be worth a look.  We didn’t spend long here but the view is nice.  There is a castle printery on site if you would like to get a souvenir.  Great views over the lake.

Look around the town

Bled is pretty small but you can look around the town – there are some interesting jewellers and artisans.  There is a really cool little shop making sunglasses and watches out of the native wood.  It is on the Main Street down from one of the large hotels.

Lake Bohinj

We drove over to Lake Bohinj in the pouring rain so really didn’t get a good view of what was on offer.  It is much larger than Bled and it seems that you can do lots of activities on and around the lake.  We saw rock climbing facilities, SUP and boat rental.  There are probably loads of other things that had packed up while it was raining.  There were some hardy souls hiking the roads while we were there and the tracks that we could see looked stunning.  Definitely worth a look for a day trip.

Vintgar Gorge

This is a must!  Preferably go when it is not raining but it is truly beautiful.  You walk alongside a river on cantilevered platforms.  The aim is to get to the large waterfall at the end of the track but the Gorge is quite stunning (even in not ideal conditions!). The track itself is not for the faint hearted but is worth going.  Wear good shoes!

We spent about a day and a half in the Lake Bled/ Bohinj areabut you could easily spend longer.  A lot of day trips go out of Bled to other areas so if you don’t have a car you could be based here.

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