‘While the lake is a fairytale spot for walking, swimming or just relaxing,
it is no sleeping beauty’ – Natalie Paris
Day 24: Ljubljana – Lake Bled – Salzburg 08.09.15
Plan of Action:
- Arrive at Lake Bled
- Explore the Lake and Bled Castle
- Arrive in Salzburg
Lake Bled is, without doubt, one of the closest things to paradise here on Earth. Whilst it’s only a 30 minute train journey from Ljubljana, when the lake first comes into sight it feels like you have been transported to another world entirely.
It was a leisurely walk from our hostel back to the station in the early morning sun. We arrived with time to spare so Faye grabbed a cuppa (seriously, why do so many Brits enjoy a cuppa in warm weather?) whilst I topped up my sun-cream. It was a pleasant journey from there, passing through the countryside – a calm atmosphere filled with an underlying excitement at what was ahead. After all, Faye had been to Lake Bled before and my friends Mike & Sophie basically told me in no uncertain terms that I had to find a way to include it in my trip.
So yeah, I was excited by what they day had in store.
Shortly after pulling into Bled train station we sorted out our evening train to Salzburg and soon found ourselves on a bus to the lake, surrounded by the sort of scenery that I had previously thought could only be painted by the words of writer. No sooner had we arrived at our destination, we found ourselves in a little mexican restaurant eating a burrito and drinking beer whilst over-looking the lake. There was barely any cloud cover and the water sparkled, lending itself kindly to the idea of Lake Bled being like a fairytale.
A short walk around the lake edge brought us to the boathouse where you could hire out a little boat in which you could row to a spot known as “The Church on the Island“. There’s actually quite an interesting mythological back-story to the island which is briefly mentioned if you click the link.
It took somewhere between 30-40mins to row across at a leisurely pace and, though the lake seemed quiet, as we went to dock we realised otherwise due to the vast amount of rowboats already there. When most people visit the island they go to ring the bell as – rumour has it – it is supposed to bring good luck. Rather than do that however, I bought some ice-cream and just gazed out aimlessly at the sight before me. It was all just so calm, so peaceful. That’s how Slovenia was in general really – so far removed from the busy cities like Budapest, Prague and Berlin that we had visited earlier in our trip.
Feeling at ease and refreshed we decided to head back to shore, knowing that the day was escaping us. We had already missed the chance to visit Bled Castle because we decided to get the “earlier” train to Salzburg (which would get us in at 9.30pm), but weren’t too disappointed about that.
Since Faye had rowed us to the church, it was my job to row us back whilst I tentatively lent her my camera, which led to a rare picture of me being taken whilst on this trip.
The beard has since gone, but the joy on my face captured in that moment lingers warmly in my mind.
The rest of the day was a bit of a non-event. We caught the train to Salzburg, found our hostel (where we learn they played the Sound of Music DVD at 8pm every evening), then hurriedly looked for a restaurant to eat in before everywhere stopped serving.
We only had one full day in Salzburg, so it was an early night. We wanted to make the most of it after all.