Unreal lakes and beer!
Trip Start Jun 25, 2011
17Trip End Jul 20, 2011
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After about an hour of driving, we stopped at one of the nicest service stations in Europe. It was cottage-styled and had a great view over the mountains in the back patio. many people got something to eat even though we just had breakfast an hour ago, but we weren't even close to being hungry at this point and took some nice photos and made use of their free (gasp) washrooms.
Our next stop was about 2 hours later at the scenic Lake Worth, which reminded me a lot of lakes in Canada like Kelowna and Lake Louise, as the color and sizes were similar
We got on the bus again for approximately an hour. The view in the Alpes that we were driving through were definitely beautiful, and there were many tunnels, some of which Stefano told us were simply sound barriers. They countryside view was definitely incredible, and impossible to take photos of that would have expressed the beauty we saw with our eyes. We also passed through a very long tunnel that went on for at least 10 minutes. Stefano gave us a history lecture about Slovenia's independence from Yugoslavia and other stuff I tuned out as I often do in history class.
Anyways, we got to Lake Bled around 3. Bled is by far one of the most beautiful lakes I have ever seen, and I went photo crazy! It was so hot there though, to the point where I wanted to faint, as I had dressed like I had for the past 2 weeks where the weather was warm-cool everyday, and was very rainy. Therefore, decked in black, I was literally sizzling to death whenever I stepped into the sun. Thankfully a large cloud came soon after, and we got more ice cream. This time I got black currant sorbet, which was even cheaper at one euro
Anyways, Lake Bled is huge and its surface dazzles under the sun. It is blue-greenish, and has a church on an island right in the middle of the lake. A boat takes people back and forth for 12 euros, which we did not have time for. However, it is definitely incredible how they built that huge church on such a small island, and so far away too! I can't even imagine how they managed to ship all the materials over to build it. There is also a castle thing on a high cliff by the edge of the lake, which was also very pretty. There are also tons of swans and fat ducks floating around on the lake, and plenty of people sunbathing and just enjoying the scenery on a bench or piece of grass, reading a book or having some ice cream, or some of lake Bled's famous dessert- the creamschitten (sp?), which has a very funny name! I'm always amazed at how Europeans are able to just enjoy life so easily, whether in a cafe or at a park, they always seem so relaxed and to be taking life easy. I really envy them! Anyways, we headed back to our bus and arrived in Ljubljana only half an hour later. The city did not seem very pretty at first, and was full of the identical block shaped communist buildings we've seen in many cities previously. However, once we got to the city center it was like an entirely different world
We were then given free time, approx 45 minutes to explore the city and meet back on the bridge. I wanted to ride up the gondola to the castle and get some nice views, but my mom was too tired and we were pressed for time, so we sat down at one of the hundreds of pubs/cafes lining the roads beside the canal
The name of the place we rank at as Cafe Petcovsek, and we ordered one of each of their beer specialties. One was a Union and the other was a Lasko, the Union being a Ljubljana specialty. It was very good, and the specialty was much stronger than the other one. I felt very dizzy after, and so did my mom, most likely because we both drank on an empty stomach! I could barely walk straight after! but I was very relaxed and happy.
Our group picked us up since our cafe was right by the bridge, and we all walked back to the coach bus together. We were told that Ljubljana is a university city and full of young people during the school year, but something I noticed even in the summer. Anyways, we got to our hotel around 6:15 and our included dinner was at 7:15. I took a shower and changed, and enjoyed their free wifi. Every hotel we'd stayed in so far had wifi if not at least internet service somewhere, so I was very glad as that had been one of my main concerns about this tour! Doug's blog (he went on this same trip last year) noted that many hotels did not have internet, but I guess most of those hotels upgraded since last year, thank goodness! Anyways, our included buffet dinner was very good. I loved the schnitzel and fries the most, and by the time I was done those I had little room for anything else
Ljubljana is a very safe city I noticed, and I felt comfortable in the streets there, unlike in London. Or perhaps I'm just getting used to it now! Anyways, tomorrow we leave for Venice, which I expect will be my favorite as so many classic novels like Death in Venice and the Merchant of Venice are among my favorites. I hope I won't be disappointed despite only having half a day there! Anyways, good night!