22nd, 23rd, 24th June
You can't spell slovenia without oven, I realise that this fact is irrelevant but don't worry little readers all will become clear!
Train from budapest started in a great way, a lovely man (when I say lovely I mean a power hungry idiot) he asked if we had tickets when we said 'no' he said 'this is problem' when we said no to reservation 'this is problem' we eventually got some great seats and made sure we waved everytime he came past our carriage to which he was not impressed.
The connection from salzburg to slovenia was 8 minutes we knew we already were pushing it and when the train was delayed we knew we had missed it. We had no clue of our next move, stuck in salzburg 3 in the morning until we saw a coach, now this couldve been one of our bravest hours, it seemed all too coincidental that a bus would be waiting for us??
Several groups were in the same situation. So we thought safety in numbers and we all baorded the newly named 'rapey bus' to our surprise nothing came of it and they dropped us off at another station where a train was waiting. No casualties and we felt bad for not trusting the lovely Austrian authorities!
Another 6 hours and an hour long bus
- runs every hour on the hour from ljubljana to bled for €6.30
and we arrived in bled!! The one word to describe it is breathtaking, it was a far cry from any of the city life we had been living before, lots of scenery and sunshine. We knew we needed more than one night there
Our hostel, castle 1004 (review at the end) wasn't far from the bus station, and as soon as we arrived we booked another night, we got lucky and checked in early and found three girls we'd already met in budapest in our hostel room!! (Seems to be happening more and more) they told us about grassy beach area on the other side of the lake. It was a very hot day so we decided to take their advice and head around (which took at least 35 mins whichever way you take,)
The lake is beautiful, please search it on google and be jealous of the views we had absolutely stunning. To have to all day was bliss. We found the grassy area and set up camp! The best part of the day had to be when the girls joined us and we tried to take timed pictures as we jumped off a small pier! Several attempts later using two cameras we still weren't any closer to a decent picture. Such a good day by the lake with the sun beaming down....
This is where the oven reference occurs. We as brits do not take well to sun. Andrew and I both lacked in suncream on that day and ended up royally baked! Our backs literally stung with burn! Cream up people!
We went out for food and found a lovely pizzeria just around the corner that was both cheap and gave us huge pizzas! Really good evening meal we were stuffed.
The evening was spent at the bar next door, nightlife in bled isn't....huge let's say, but we still managed to have a couple and tell some good stories with some aussies who did not take well to being asked if they'd all starred in neighbours!
The next morning was the day of advernture.
- It was called the emerald river adventure run by a company called 3glav. We spent 90 euros all together but well worth it.
We set out at 8 for a twelve hour day, it included hiking up mountains, traversing a risky part of a waterfall to find its source (which definetly wouldn't be allowed in england!)where we filled our bottles with its water! We moved above the clouds to journey some of the highest slovenian peaks. Then onto lunch which was a hearty meal filling us up ready for white water rafting down the soca river and swimming under waterfalls. The best thing for us though was the 12m high jump into the river, we video evidence, we both agree it was a huge adrenalin rush.
The day ended with our third surreal moment as our car pulled onto to a train! It wasn't the eurotunnel but it was good, open air and bumpy through some funny tunnels (nearly a good rhyme) and across some fantastic scenery. With a celebratory beer in hand it was an utterly epic day.
Extremely tired we headed back and again found another friend from budapest in our room! (Told you it happens a lot) we didn't feel like doing much at all... So we went to bed
Final day started sadly as we looked out of the window and saw dark clouds. We decided to rent bikes and head over the gorge, which was a good decision!
- 8 euros from a place called fun rafting for a half day (6 hours)
The gorge was 4km away which took half an hour only because it was all up hill! We looked forward for the return journey, it was well worth the trek
- 3 euros for student, 4 for adults
It was at least 2 miles long full of walkways and paths that lead through the gorge, following its most powerful places and biggest waterfalls, it was a morning well spent. Throughout the time it was raining which actually made it a bit more dangerous and therefore for us more fun!
The rain continued as we set off back downhill towards Bled! With the intention of riding around the lake and the excitement of moving onto a new city in the evening we sped down the country lanes, through the rain that was pouring down and the wind that blew with us. We rocketed through the straights and the sweeping bends until....I fell!! Crashed out slipped round a corner! Fretty came down aswell after trying to swerve round my crumpled mess! eventually round. After several minutes of expletives and an innocent woman showing concern we laughed about the childlike grazes on knees and arms!
Needless to say our plan to ride the lake was abandoned and we returned the bikes pretty quickly!
Few hours to spare before the bus we decided to sample lake bleds gambling lifestyle(The casino) we both left with 15 euros less but also we had sampled as much of the free food this casino had to offer.
Little fact actually is the reason slovenia has so many casinos on its border is because gambling in italy is illegal so they all come over the slovenian border! Clever eh!
7.10 train and we were out of there, such a beautiful place we both agree wee could've spent several more days there.
Frets regret (which was started in the budapest blog about the thing andrew fretwell regrets) in slovenia is..... Letting david todd lead the bike home from the gorge and eventually causing him to fall! He realises now this is why he loves cars so much!
- Castle hostel was an easy hostel, not so sociable although the BBQ area had potential, the location was perfect, supermarket, bus station and lake all very close. Good for advice aswell!
- bled is a must see, we at first had not planned to go but for sheer beauty and range of things to do it would've been a huge regret if we hadn't gone! Still need to tick off canyoning on our list as well as skiing and boat hiring.