Been meaning to post these pictures for several days now and I'm finally getting it done. 'Cause I'm procrastinating about making my Christmas cards and getting packages ready to send : )
When Lee and I were in Italy early in November, we had all day Saturday to go do/see whatever we wanted, and someone suggested to Lee that we check out Lake Bled in Slovenia. So we did. It was about a 2 1/2 hour drive from where we were staying in Italy, and a lot of that was just gorgeous with views of the mountains and charming Slovenian villages. This is our first foray into any of the former Yugoslavian republics...fun fact: up until I was 11, I was 1/4 Yugoslavian. Now I'm 1/4 Croatian (and I want to visit Croatia). (As my cousin Eleni says, "I know *I* go Slavian, do YUgoslavian?" Teehee!)
So how about some pictures!
This gorgeous shot is courtesy of Lee and I am terribly jealous that he still takes better pictures than I do. The building in the foreground with all the pretty ivy is a hotel on the shore of the lake, and the building in the background up on the hill is Bled Castle. There's been a fortress on that site for over 1,000 years, though I doubt that much of what's there now dates back quite so far; looks like it's been rebuilt several times. But still, pretty cool.
So I totally love fall foliage and all the bright colors and we took a LOT of pictures as we walked around the lake. I think I read somewhere online before we went that it was only two kilometers to walk around the lake but that is a LIE, it's further than that. The lake is 1 kilometer long and 1 kilometer wide, and so okay the walk was quite pleasant but it was longer than advertised. Lucky for us, we never even got sprinkled on.
This one's for Vicki, I know how she loves the tree branch pictures : )
The island (see where the little white buildings are? Clicky da picky to make it bigger) has a church on it with 99 steps leading up to it. According to Wikipedia (yes I believe everything I read on Wikipedia, haha), Bled Island is the only natural island in Slovenia and it's considered good luck for grooms to carry their brides up the 99 steps leading to the church. I think Lee's glad we didn't get married in Slovenia. I hope those Slovene brides are pint-sized because I hate to think of a groom dropping his bride and her bouncing down all those steps and into the lake.
I think Lee took this one with the fall colors.
Closer shot of the island...we got LOTS of pictures with really nice reflections in the lake. Lee kept saying he wished it was clearer weather but seriously, I think we get really lucky with weather when we travel. The day we were here was when they had all that torrential rain in Venice and people were swimming in St. Mark's Square, so I'm happy we didn't get rained on at all.
Another picture of Bled Castle with some mountains in the background.
I really liked the architectural style here, the buildings just look so...well, I want to say cute but maybe charming would be a better word.
Lee asked me to take a picture of this building with the boats (I had the camera at the time) and he had me take it over three times till I got it zoomed in enough to suit him. Fun reflection though, right?
Ok, so this one is similar to the earlier Bled Island picture, but now with fun rowboat action! : )
Lake Bled is a major tourist attraction for Slovenia, so the lake is surrounded by hotels and such, but not so many as to spoil the natural beauty of the area. I think Lee wants to buy a house here now.
You could pay to have a boat like this take you out to the island, but we didn't do it. We just enjoyed a lovely stroll around the lake.
It was hard whittling down pictures for this post but I figured how many pictures do you want of the island and leaves and water reflections? Well, at least one more, right?
Another charming building, I liked the pattern painted on the top floor. Once we circumnavigated the lake, we got back in our car and drove it up to the castle way up on the cliff (glad we didn't walk all the way up there...not that I couldn't, I'm just lazy). The castle is okay, they've got some nice exhibits and some Madame Tussaud's style wax figures showing what people used to look and dress like when they lived there 1,000 years ago (the women were wearing fancy dangly earrings even that far back). But what you really want to see is the views of the lake from way up there.
This is when Lee was really wishing it was less hazy. Bet this place is ridiculously gorgeous on a clear summer afternoon.
There you can see a bit more of the village on the edge of the lake.
There was a little patio area or something in the castle's...uh, I don't know what you call it, but it was kind of like a plaza within the castle walls, and a small part of it was sectioned off with a decorative wall (I think they had tables there for a restaurant). Anyway, I liked the designs on the wall so I asked Lee to take pics of them for me.
Pretty, huh? Kind of country charming.
There's a part of the castle building surrounding the plaza bit or whatever you want to call it. There's a restaurant, the obligatory gift shop, the museum, and a little place where they sell wrought iron worked on the premises.
Self-portrait! 'Cause we have to do a self-portrait everywhere we go. Hope you enjoyed this little trip to Slovenia.