Lake Bled and Vintgar Gorge

DSC_0035.JPG

After several days of rain and grey skies, there was finally a sunny day in the forecast.  It was time for the crowning jewel of Slovenia:  Lake Bled.

DSC_0065.JPG

For some crazy reason, we left Ljubljana without having coffee, so we had to stop for a caffeine break before exploring the lake.  It didn’t look very big from a distance, but one we got closer, we realized what a walk it really was.

DSC_0013.JPG

It was big, beautiful, and impossibly blue for a lake.  The adorable island with the church in the middle was just the icing on the cake.

DSC_0047.JPG

After a nice, long stroll and picnic around Lake Bled, we decided to head to nearby Vintgar Gorge.  Unfortunately, we missed the last afternoon shuttle to the entrance, so we had to walk there; however, once we got a good look at the scenery en route, we didn’t feel so bad about it.

DSC_0074.JPG

DSC_0072.JPG

DSC_0068.JPG

After what felt like forever, we finally reached the entrance to the gorge.  It was much cooler there, which was nice after such a long walk.  The gorge itself was breathtaking, with mint green water rushing beneath the wooden path.

DSC_0080.JPG

I would love to share more photos from Vintgar; however, I stupidly forgot to check if all of the photos uploaded before I left for the States and the SD card with these photos is still in Turkey, so this will have to suffice for now.

For such a tiny country, Slovenia is teeming with natural wonders to explore.  In fact, my husband and I loved it so much that we are already planning a return trip…ideally in autumn so we can see everything surrounded by colorful trees.  There are also some sights that we didn’t have time for this trip, such as Lake Bohinj, that we’d love to go back and see.

DSC_0038.JPG

Thanks for being beautiful, Slovenia.  Until next time.

Škofja Loka

DSC_0205

We had to make some adjustments to our schedule in Slovenia due to some inclement weather.  We had originally planned on visiting Lake Bled on our second day there, but because of the forecast, we decided to delay it for sunnier days.  Instead, we decided to take a day trip that was a little closer.

DSC_0173 (1).JPG

Škofja Loka is a cute little medieval village about 30 minutes away from Ljubljana. Luckily, our hotel was a short walk away from the bus station, so we didn’t have to spend too much time in the rain.  We hopped on the bus, and to our surprise, it had stopped raining when we arrived.

DSC_0166.JPG

The charming medieval houses were only made more stunning by the view of the mountains that surrounded them.  We didn’t go in with any kind of plan; we simply took off to wander all of the winding alleys.

DSC_0180.JPG

DSC_0169.JPG

Though Škofja Loka wasn’t a part of our original itinerary, we were really glad we stopped.  It was a great place to wander, escape from the rain, and stop for a coffee while enjoying the view.

DSC_0159.JPG

Ljubljana: My New Favorite City

DSC_0107.JPG

Full disclosure:  I knew practically nothing about Slovenia before I flew there last week. All I knew is that Ljubljana (pronounced loo-blee-ana) was one of the cheapest destinations on Skyscanner for the dates we were looking to travel for our end-of-the-year/anniversary trip.  That was good enough for us.  I never would have expected this tiny city in a tiny country that still seems fairly undiscovered for this part of Europe to leave such a mark on my heart.

DSC_0096.JPG

There is something so genuine about Ljubljana.  Unlike much of Europe, it hasn’t sold its entire soul to the tourism industry.  It has nothing to prove, and because of that, Ljubljana is a city that is unapologetically itself.  Despite the fact that it doesn’t have the imposing skyline or massive crowds of cities like Prague, Ljubljana is an incredible, enchanting city.  It truly felt like something of a magical secret.

DSC_0103.JPG

Ljubljana seems to be in a stage of renaissance, with an incredible contemporary art and music scene.  You can’t walk five steps without running into some kind of street performer, though not the usual fare.  In our short time there, we ran into break dancers, magicians, bongo drummers, and opera singers, in addition to more traditional bands. Amazing street art lines just about every corner of the city, but especially in the little artsy neighborhood of Metelkova.

DSC_0113.JPG

DSC_0059 (1).JPG

We ended up basing ourselves out of Ljubljana the whole time we were in Slovenia simply because we loved it so much.  It gave us time to figure out all of the best places to eat,  hang out, and take walks at sunset.

DSC_0150.JPG

DSC_0090.JPG

DSC_0087.JPG

I wish I could find the right way to describe how laid back and charming Ljubljana is. The whole time I was there, I felt so at home…so much so that I probably could have moved in right then and there.  I’m really surprised it hasn’t become overrun with tourists!

DSC_0210.JPG

Until next time, Ljubljana!