After crossing the border from Croatia into Slovenia, the environment was noticeably different. Slovenia is noticeably more affluent (probably because it is in the EU and didn’t have a six year long war that sucked up a lot of money). We moved from countryside in which houses were pock marked with holes from machine gun and small arms fire, to carefully tended farms with houses dressed with bright window boxes.
We were almost instantly comfortable in Lubljiana (the capital of Slovenia). It has a nice comfortable feel, a quaint old town and modern commercial centre.
Nearby is the town of Bled. Here, President Tito had a mansion in which he kept his wife and a number of mistresses (apparently without a great deal of conflict). Lake Bled has a beautiful lake that is backed by the Julian Alps and Mt Triglav which is the highest mountain in Slovenia.
The lake is 2,120 m long and 1,380 m wide, with a maximum depth of 30.6 metres. The lake is situated in a picturesque environment, surrounded by mountains and forests. A medieval castle stands above the lake on the north shore. The lake surrounds Bled Island, the only natural island in Slovenia. The island has several buildings, the main one being the Pilgrimage Church of the Assumption of Mary which was built in the 15th century. The church has a 52-metre tower and there is a stairway with 99 steps leading up to the building. To reach the island, one travelks by row boat.
The lake is also well known among rowers because it hosted the World Rowing Championships in 1966, 1979, and 1989. It will host them again in again in 2011.
Cathy & Chris, along with David, had visited this lake on their honeymoon and I have always been excited by the beautiful photos that they have of this area. It was wonderful for us to visit as well and I now feel as if we have shared a little of that great trip that Cathy & Chris had after their wedding.