Slovenia is the most underrated country I have ever witnessed. When I said I was heading to Bled only a handful of people had heard of it and all of them considered Slovenia a skip over. Everyone goes from Austria or Hungary straight to Croatia. I could not be happier that I stopped by and saw this amazing country. It was definitely a more laid back, cheaper Canada right on the east side of Europe.
The people: they could all speak english. I didn’t go to any of the major towns like Ljubljana, Maribor or Piran but no matter where you were everyone had average and better english. When I was in Brno in Czech only the hostel workers and my generation could speak english. They were also all incredibly kind. Our taxi driver made us laugh the ten minutes drive to the airport and definitely didn’t overcharge and my hostel owner gave us more than enough information to get around and see everything. There was only one boat operator who was incredibly rude and we decided he wasn’t actually Slovenian.
The scenery and what to do: I stayed in Bled, not on the lake but a ten minute walk away. Obviously the lake is a must see. There’s a church in the middle on an island and the castle is on a cliff overlooking the lake. I wouldn’t bother going to the church unless you want to pay 6€ and ring the wishing bell. Both the castle and the church are fully lit up at night. We also went to a Gorge called Vintgar Gorge. We walked but took a wrong turn so instead of 3 km it turned out to be more like 5 km. The gorge is stunning though. A must see in my books. I suggest walking back to the entrance you started at though, we took a different trail and went for an alpine hike in flip flops. The mountains are the Slovenia alps and I can only compare them to the Rockies. The lakes are a beautiful turquoise blue and clear. One side of the lake is more built up and touristy, attracting Germans, Slovenians and Italians. The other side is peaceful with trees and little resting spots. There’s a look out point with a tobogganing hill across from the castle. It’s 9€ to take the chair lift up and toboggan down. The toboggans have hand held breaks so you can go as fast or as slow as you’d like. It’s possible to walk up the hill but it is quite steep. The view from the top is amazing and worth ever euro.
Day trips? Lake Bohinj, with a bus it’s 3.60€ one way but definitely worth it. Get off at the last stop and hike the hour and twenty minutes through the valley to see the Slap Savica waterfall. It’s quite an amazing site. You can also just hang out at the lake. It’s less touristy than Bled and has more camping then hotels. If I’d stayed longer I probably would’ve gone to the Postojna caves because I love caves. Or tried white water rafting or sky diving. They also offer kayaking, canyoning and paragliding at the tourist huts.
Overall this stop on my trip was way past due. Hiking mountains was the perfect head clearing atmosphere for dealing with my recent heart break. Laying on the beach helped me get some colour back that I’d lost in the cities and I needed a break from the city. I do love all these European cities but even in Vancouver, I don’t live downtown. I can’t keep up with the constant hustle and bustle and everyone loves a good waterfall. I’ve even converted a friend to go there for as long as he can. Three nights in not enough, even with the four nights I did, I felt I could see more.
So my conclusion is everyone needs to witness Slovenia. For the people, scenery and adventure.
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