Tuesday, 2 September 2014

Slovenia, A Hidden Gem

I went travelling! Check me out living the high life. After a year of working in a not so glamorous job, it was well overdue that I spent some of my hard earned cash. Treated myself if you will? A very close friend and I booked tickets to Interrail Europe. It.Was.Insane. Costing £224 or 269€ we had ourselves 10 days train travel within 22 days pto get across as much of Europe as humanly possibly. Pah! F*** that, we took our sweet ass time and casually strolled across the countries, making a loop towards home. Getting lost, eating excessively and making drunken memories. But more of that later, we're here to talk Slovenia!

So the basic context to why Slovenia? We're in Budapest chatting to some Manchester girls we were bunking with. They'd not long come from Slov and showed us pictures and postcards of the breath taking Lake Bled. Having no idea of our next destination, we glanced at each other, shurgged, threw our hands in the air and thought why not?! We went to reserve train seats that day. (Reservations setting you back 10€ a seat. Relatively reasonable). The pictures as they warned were nothing on the actual views. It is with most things, you simply just have to see for yourself. Lesce Bled, as known to the locals, is  just an hours train ride from the capital Ljubljiana. But don't bother with any entertainment for this journey, sit back, preferably with snacks and enjoy the many, MANY views of Slovenia. Rolling mountains upon mountains, with small rural villages nestled between their valleys. A crystal clear turquoise river chasing the train track, giving you a small preview of Bled's incredible water.

Bled is now one of my favourite scenes. When the partying ends here and the electronic backing track is lost to the wind, you can stop. Just stop completely and be calm. Amazing.
Walking around the lake will, at a pace take 3hrs, with pauses for neccessary photography of course. Strong advice I'm sure my friend will give in hindsight, wear good shoes. Ones that dont break halfway, ending up with me using a strip of plaster as emergency surgary equiptment! But hey, great excuse to get the footwear off and take a dip. But for such still waters, the banks are quite the opposite, buzzing with life. There's rowing, canoeing, swimming, moped rental, horse carriage rides, hand gliding, craft markets, food, drinks, parties, spa's, artists, fishing, camping... It goes on.

Lake Bled, Slovenia is highly recommended in my books. A tip - getting off the station at Lesce, walk across to the opposite side of the road to catch a bus directly to the lake for 1€60. 10 minute ride, 1 stop. Cheap and efficient. The taxi service is safe, but an unnecessary expense unless you have luggage.

(Good day, Slovenian)

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