Naturally, we missed the train by about 20 seconds, but thankfully there was another train at 9:45. Off to a good start!
The train was less than an hour long, so we got to Bled right when the light got really good. The weather was absolutely extraordinary-- definitely the best weather we have seen so far in Europe.
It was sunny and warm, but there was a nice mountain breeze to keep us cool. Perfect. Ryan was hungry (he didn't eat 6 pieces of toast like we did) so we stopped at a kebab place right by the station. I think I have already talked about kebabs, but I'll explain them again just in case. Kebabs are the greatest thing ever. Thanks to the Turkish people, there are little stands all over Europe selling the Turkish equivalent of Gyros (but twice the size and with garlic sauce all over them). PLUS, they only cost like 3 Euros maximum! Fabulous.
To add a twist, Ryan is apparently allergic to gluten, lactose, and fructose!
What a disaster! He ordered a "kebab salad," which is basically a kebab strewn all over a plate with the bread on the side. He also ordered a side of french fries because he thought it wouldn't be enough food. Boy, was he wrong! The plate was probably 18 inches in diameter and piled high with goodies. All for only 6 Euros! Perfect. We ordered coffee to keep him company while eating, and they brought us cough drops to go with our cappuccinos...
It is common to get mints or cookies with your espresso/cappuccinos in Europe but cough drops? No thank you. I took a picture of it...
After eating, we walked around until we found a tourist information center and scored ourselves a nice map.
At that point, we figured out that we had to walk about 5 kilometers to get to the lake! Good thing it was a beautiful day and the scenery was amazing. Slovenia is very mountainous, and the Slovenian Alps are the most impressive peaks we have seen thus far. There were tons of flowers in bloom-- beautiful! After about an hour, we arrived in the town of Bled and continued downhill until finding the water.
Whoever built the castle/church on Lake Bled must have had tourism in mind. The lake itself was so clear that you could see little fish swimming everywhere. Plus, it was a beautiful greenish color and was surrounded by plenty of greenery. On top of that, there was a little island with a church on it and a clifftop castle that created the perfect backdrop for every picture. As if that weren't enough, the entire lake was nestled in the Alps!
I took almost 200 pictures in Bled. I know that is insane (many of them were repeats and the number decreased by almost half with some clean-up), so I'll only post around 45 for you to look through if you are interested...
Anyway, we spent most of the day walking around the lake, sitting next to the lake, ate our leftover pizza on docks on the lake, watching people row around the lake. Apparently Lake Bled is the home of the world championships in rowing!
It would be so difficult to try and compete on this lake and focus on rowing! I would just want to stare around and all the beauty. There were cute little boats everywhere.
Plus, there were ducks and swans all over the place. I took a ton of pictures of one swan before got pissed off and took it's charging stance, so I ran away before it attacked me.
We decided to take the tourist bus back to the train station to go back to Ljubljana. The bus got to the train station literally right before the train left, so we just made it! At least we had better luck with the trains on the way home.
Jenna and I ran by the grocery store to pick up eggs to boil and some bread/cheese for our next train, then got some kebabs for ourselves. Ryan's kebab feast made us pretty jealous.
We went back to the hostel and started the process of trying to kill time before our train to Venice The train schedule from Ljubljana to Venice has to be the most illogical thing ever. There are two different train routes: direct (4.5 hours) and through Austria (8 hours). Obviously, the choice is clear-- direct! NOT-- there is only one direct train per day and it leaves Ljubljana at 2:28 AM and arrives in Venice at 7:00 AM. Horrible. Thankfully the hostel was pretty social so we were able to talk to people/mess around on the internet until it was time to go to the station. So I will post about the train and Venice sometime in the next two days or so! Adijo!
We woke up early to catch the 9:12 train to Lake Bled. Our hostel provided delicious breakfast, which was the first time we have had complimentary breakfast in a long time. Our new Australian friend Ryan didn't have a train pass, so we had to go kind of early to buy the tickets..