We entered Slovenia through the charmingly named Julien Alps, at this point we had little clue about what the next few days had in store for us nor did we have the faintest idea on how to pronounce the capital city.
Our first day’s destination was the fairly touristy Lake Bled, the journey from the Austrian border to Slovenia’s top tourist attraction took us around the edge of Triglav National Park and under the shadow of the countries highest peak, Mount Triglav.
We didn’t really know long to allow for Lake Bled, we knew it would no doubtably come down to what the weather was doing, thankfully for us it was gorgeous the two days we were there. In fact we found that due to the many beaches dotted around the lakes shores, we could have easily spent a lot longer lazing around here.
Slovenia’s only island can be found in the middle of Lake Bled.
On our first morning we took in the surroundings via a short run around the lakes perimeter. The path that runs along the edge of the lake offers some great views looking out over the crystal clear water.
We were surprised by how touristy Lake Bled was, we were under the impression the whole of Slovenia was a secret European Gem, however going by the scores of tour busses arriving throughout the day it appeared the secret was already out. We found a great way to escape the crowds by renting a rowing boat and taking to the water.
“row row row your boat”.
As the morning grew on and having now completed both a run, a row and a bit of a cycle, we decided it was time for some light refreshments, thankfully Lake Bled offers the perfect late morning indulgence, a slice of it’s very own Lake Bled Cake. This creamy, vanilla, layered pastry was first served back in 1953 at the Park Hotel, we made our way to their busy lakeside terrace and shared one of the delicious cakes.
Bled cake for Elevenses
Suitably refreshed we got back on the bikes and made our way around the other side of the lake back to camp.
The following morning we woke to heavy rain, this was definitely a sign our time here had come to an end, before our departure however, we decided to climb up to the impressive Ostrica view point, despite the sudden downpour the views from the top were still incredible.
Looking down on a misty Lake Bled Morning
Upon leaving Bled we made our way to the town of Tolmin situated near the Italian border, here we explored the impressive Tolmin Gorge and Soca Valley where the water is ice cold and of the clearest blue.
Hiking through the Soca Valley
From here our plan was to head down into Croatia, however a tip from a fellow traveller in Bled had us heading to the Slovenian capitol, Ljubljana, pronounced Loo Bee Yaa Naa.
In the end we were incredibly glad we took the detour as Ljubljana turned out to be one of the most charming capital cities we’ve visited thus far. With the feel of more of a town than a city, central Ljubljana is wrapped around a canal and is brimming with restaurants and much to our delight, craft beer bars.
We parked the van in the delightful Tivoli Park and rose early the following morning to take in the autumn colours with a stroll around the parks edge. Before leaving Ljubljana we spent the morning in a cosy coffee shop drinking, at €1.30 for a flat white, some of the cheapest coffee of our trip.
That afternoon we made our way further south towards the Croatian border, our final stop before leaving this incredible country was to try and tick something off our bucket list. We’d booked onto a bear watching trip in the hope of glimpsing one of these majestic beasts. I won’t go into too much detail about this as during our 4 and half hour stint in the hide we didn’t actually see a single bear, however the tour guide was really friendly and seemed genuinely disappointed that we didn’t see anything, oh well maybe next time.