I arrived in lake Bled on an overcast day with clouds hiding its real beauty and hotels by a lake made it look like just another tacky resort town. I found my hard to find bed and breakfast after lots of walking around, knocked on the door and there was nobody there. I walked back in to the town and found a phone to call them but there was no answer so I walked back to the place and still nobody home. I found a tourist information centre who also tried to call them for me. Then I gave up and went looking for another room. They were all full or way over my budget. I eventually got a room online. Me and this town had seriously started off on the wrong foot!
So whats the attraction with Bled anyway I started asking myself? A castle on a hill and a church on an island, I have lived in the west of Ireland for over 20 years, I can tell you all about beautiful lakes and scenery like this. When they use the word lake they are not using it sparingly either! I suppose pond would not sound as good in the brochures I thought to myself. Anyway trying to be upbeat about it I climbed up to the castle only to discover the entrance fee was an extortionate €10. I mean they could have put a big sign up before the climb warning you of the inevitable shafting you will receive on arrival after breaking in to a sweat getting up there.
Speaking of expensive things I opted out of paying €4 for a pre packed sandwich in a country I usually find so cheap so my only other option was a kebab for lunch, which was rank! I set off to walk around the lake and the first thing I saw was a family with their children puking on the path ahead. I hope they didn’t just have kebabs for lunch I thought.
The ‘trail’ round lake Bled was more like a tarmac road. The only thing missing was a stone to kick about as a form of entertainment because I could see nothing but clouds and was getting rather bored. At this stage I started wondering how long I could sleep for, I had been working hard and traveling all week so maybe if I go back to the guest house I can sleep till its time to leave tomorrow.
The day started getting better that evening, I went out to a restaurant that had been recommended to me by the lady running the guest house and got chatting to a group of people over a stone baked pizza. Walking home I could see stars in the sky so maybe tomorrow will be a better day.
Lake Bled day two, a much better day!
I conked out as soon as my head hit the pillow and forgot to close the curtains which turned out to be a good move. I was woken early by a bright orange sunrise on a misty blue skied Sunday morning. I got up and looked out of the window to an amazing backdrop of snow covered Alps so I got dressed, grabbed coffee and walked back down to the lake. It was 7am, there was hardly a soul in sight and the water was misty and glassy. It was a stunning sight.
I climbed back up to the castle and got the most breath taking views over lake Bled and the island with the mountains and forest surrounding it. I walked back down to the lake and again did the full circle only this time stopping and taking it all in over a 2 hour hike.
I got back to Bled and sat on the terrace of a café overlooking the water eating breakfast. I took back everything I had thought the day before. As you can see below, this place is magical.