Once upon a time I visited a land far, far away.
An Irish duchess made murmurs on the Ionian Sea of a land across the Slavs where a select few travellers navigate to seek Lake Bled, in the only slightly beaten track to Slovenia.
They are rewarded with beauty like no other. A fairytale land straight from the pages of Grimm and the screens of Disney.
A place where photos don’t do justice, but they can try…
The funny thing about Bled is it’s so beautiful that people feel the need to get extreme, sweaty, dirty and wet there. Popular activities include hiking, walking or biking around the lake, sky diving, horse riding, canyoning, paragliding, and whitewater rafting.
I stay at Castle Hostel 1004 and the staff here are practically Prince Charming. Ready to look after your every whim. I walk into my room and think someone has left one of those sleep sound machines on with unreal bird and insect background noise. I was waiting to be dressed like Cinderella by the birds. In the morning I sashay out to the deck overlooking the castle and church and bask in the sunshine.
We take the free hostel tour (all you have to do is Like them on Facebook. Quick, Like them then come back. I’m not quite finished and more pretty pictures to come.). They pick you up in the bus in the morning and drive you to Vintgar Gorge where you pay a nominal fee to walk along wooden pathways showcasing clearer than clear cascades that climaxes at a stunning waterfall, rainbow included. If you’re brave, dive in. It’ll freshen you up for the next part.
And the next part is where I struggle. Inclines are not my thing. I enjoy a hike, mostly for the final reward of a break-taking view. By this stage my breath is already long gone. The hike to look over Lake Bled I did not enjoy. The view however was one of the most enjoyable moments of my trip to date. I think I might just have a new favourite.
My perfect day in Bled was rounded out on the lake. Following a lunch of giant calzone, iced coffee and hours of top conversation three newly-met made-tough princesses make our way to hire a rowboat. Beers become a great idea.
I take the first leg of rowing and am surprised that we move predominantly in the right direction. Occasionally beer sipping, photography and breather breaks are taken. I get us to the Island where the fairytale church resides. We take a look around and get in the way of a film shoot.
The other girls take turns rowing back. By now my arms are sore from rowing and my stomach muscles from laughing.
We drag our tired bodies out for a traditional dinner. Thank you to my friend for insisting way back when that I go and experience my storybook day in Bled. I could have chilled, as well as the exact opposite, there for days. I will now live happily ever after.