Slovenia, what an amazingly green country! That was what I kept thinking on the bus from Venice the other day, rolling hills of forests and mountains in the background made for quite a journey here. I spent a day in the capital city of Ljubljana before traveling further north to spend some time up around the beautiful Lake Bled.
Ljubljana (pronounced Lyoo-bya-na) has just been named the greenest city in Europe and it’s seemingly a well deserved title. Trees all through the city, a huge park within ten minutes walk from the center and a castle overlooking the town which is lit up with green light at night. It has a small European town feel to it even though it’s a capital city, and the many different looking bridges spanning the main river are cool to look at.
The Tivoli Park was about a five minute walk from my hostel, so the morning before leaving for Bled I spent a couple of hours strolling around here. It really sticks to the whole green thing that Ljubljana is promoting, very relaxing and nice place to walk through especially after being in the hostel bed in Venice for the past few days.
When I was getting a kebab for tea my first night here I heard about a place called the Open Kitchen which I think runs every Friday, which just so happened to be the day I was there. It’s basically a big set of stalls set up by local restaurants to promote some of their best food. So many delicious smells and nice looking dishes, really hard to decide what to get. In the end I got a beef and brie burger from Hood Burger and then a delicious white chocolate mousse and strawberry sauce cake.
After Ljubljana I took a bus about an hour north to the town of Bled, situated right next to Lake Bled. After jumping around from city to city for most of this trip, this place is a really nice breath of fresh air. Surrounding the area numerous snow capped mountains and the lake itself has a small island in it which is home to a church, very picturesque.
I spent a very relaxing day just walking around the lake, beautiful weather and not very many people made it a really nice day. For a sunny patch of grass around the western side and read my book for several hours. Oh and made sure to try the cream slice that Bled is known for, called Kremna Reviza. Which is basically like a proper custard square with cream on top, freaking delicious.
One morning I got up relatively early and walked up from my hostel to the Vingtar Gorge about an hour or so away. Really peaceful walk through the countryside and through a couple of small villages, and the views of the mountains were great. The gorge is about 1500 meters long and has a path which runs along its entire length, crossing back and forth several times. As I came early in the morning I had the whole place pretty much to myself, very serene.
There are several sets of rapids as the canyon walls change shape and the water weaves through them. Some of my favorite spots were when the floor of the gorge drops after these rapids and the water turns to a really pretty dark aqua color while also being remarkably clear. I stood at a few of these spots and watched the trout which were visible near the surface.