Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Slovenian Summer

Our home sweet Hungary shares it's western border with Austria and Slovenia.  While we have road tripped to Austria many times, we have never ventured over to Slovenia.  How dumb of us!  

This place is beautiful!  Tucked away in the Julian Alps is the small, quiet town of Bled. Hiding within Bled is the beautiful, tear shaped Lake Bled, which looks like it is made of greenish-blue sea glass.  Floating in the middle of Lake Bled is a storybook island, Bled Island.  Perched atop Bled Island, 99 steps high, is a beautiful little church, the Assumption of Mary Pilgrimage Church.  Inside the church is a sweet little wishing bell.  I rang that bell and wished that I would always remember how beautiful this place is. 
 
Luckily, I took lots of pictures, so they will remind me when my memory fails.



To reach Bled Island, you ride a pletna, a small, flat bottomed, traditional Slovenian boat.  It takes you right to the 99 steps of the island.  The church is built where an eighth century pagan temple once stood, built to honor the Slavic goddess of love and fertility.  


To this day, brides and grooms still row out to the island, where grooms carry the bride up the 99 steps to the church.  You can see the staircase behind us here... so steep!







We stayed at a hotel with history.  Villa Bled is most noted as being the former summer home of the Yugoslavian president for life, Josip Broz Tito.  Tito, who enjoyed a very lasting, colorful dictatorship entertained numerous dignitaries here.  Daddyboy sat at his desk and Claudia took a rest here and proclaimed to be "bored!"   If you don't know much about Tito (which I did not), he is worth a Google search.  He was a dictator with a flair for the dramatic.

The villa itself is a time capsule.  Nothing has been changed since it was Tito's summer place.  It is filled with Communist art and simple but well kept mid-century furniture and furnishings.  What it lacks in air conditioning and modern conveniences, it makes up for in delicious food, attentive staff and a colorful past.   
The best part was the garden and the grounds.  Lots of places for the little ones to run, explore and swim.  


And the Vintgar Gorge was the icing on the Slovenian Bled Cake (note, this traditional Slovenian cake is one of the most delicious cakes I've ever had and I want to learn how to make it).



You can follow the gorge for about 1.5 kilometers, walking along wooden footbridges that track alongside and even cross over the gorge at various points. 

I think (?) this place really made an impression on Claudia. 



9 comments:

  1. Gorgeous. Gorgeous! Looks like Disney.

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  2. Beautiful pictures as usual!! Looks like a fun trip :)

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  3. Slovenia looks like such a beautiful place, Meryl! I know what you mean though, it's not a place that would come on my list for visiting either, and how wrong that is! After seeing your photos, it definitely makes me want to travel there one day. The gorge looks impressive and Tito sounds like quite a character! Thanks for sharing your travels with us once again. :))

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  4. Wow! That looks like such an amazing place to visit definitely going on my list! Gorgeous pics it looks like you had a wonderful time.

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  5. Can I come visit? ;) I REALLY want to go everywhere that you guys go! Absolutely beautiful pictures, as always!

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  6. This looks stunning. Seriously, I am wondering why we never went to Slovenia! We made some friends from there who used to rave about it's beauty (but I honestly thought they were over exaggerating). Your pictures say otherwise! That gorge in particular, just beautiful.

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  7. Pic #3 from bottom is my fav! We, too, loved Bled. Have you checked out Croatia's Plitvice Lakes? If not, you must add that to your list, also. Miss you mucho!

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  8. its very informative please post more blogs........

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  9. Nice pics..beautiful family..
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