Monday, May 28, 2007

Bled and Ljubljana

The day after walking around Bohinj Lake I caught a bus to the town of Bled on Bled lake to walk around Bled lake. Bled has a lot more tourist and is really a picture perfect type of place with a turquoise colored lake. In the middle of the lake is a island with a church on it and high above a castle over looking the lake and church.

Bled Lake

I was about 1/4 to 1/2 of the way on walking around the lake when I saw a path with a sign Grad. I set down and pulled out my book to find out if this was the path to the castle. I was setting there when I heard a girl scream. There was a snake crossing the path that went around the lake. I was not the only one to go over and look at the snake and with all these people around the snake decided he no longer wanted to go accrose the path and headed back up the hill and into a hole.

The path was to the castle so up I went. It was a hard hike up with forks in the path with no signs so I just the pick the path that was always going up. I did not see anyone on this path since I had left the lake. I finally got to a fork where one path went down and another set of stairs went up but there was a sign at the stairs that I thought said private. After all that climbing up I did not really want to go down so was standing there thinking about it and all of a sudden 2 people came over a rock above the stairs. When they got down to where I was I asked castle and pointed up the way they had just come down. The guy said yes but very difficult. OK thanks I said and down they went and up I went. At the top of the stairs there was a locked door and on the other side the place where I had first seen the 2 people there was a huge rock. I could not see what was on top of the rock and I decided the man was correct and this was to difficult for me. I went back down the stairs and via the path down to the entrance of the castle. Later looking at the castle I starting thinking where did those people come from. There was only one enterence into the castle and it was on the right side. There was no way in on the left side of the castle where we had been and the only thing on the left side was a cliff.

Bled Castle

I had made the hard hike up to the base of the castle to find a big car park loaded with tour buses. Loads of people and I walked up to the entrance and paid the 6 euros to enter. I fought my way along with the crowd into the castle. All these people looking at me with sweat pouring off of me like I had just steeped out of the shower. It seemed the people were thinking the walk from the parking lot was hard but he must have some kind of a problem. Inside the castle was really crowed and they had a group of people dressed in costumes dancing for all the tourist. All the tourist standing around snapping pictures of the dancers and me just standing there hoping my shirt would quickly dry from all my sweat. I did not stay in the castle long and fought my way back through the crowd and out of the castle.

On the way back down from the castle the same way I came up I ran into some people at the base of the steps and they ask me which was to the castle. I pointed at the path down not at the stairs going up. I still don't know where those 2 people came from but hope they didn't have to pay the 6 euros to go into the crowed castle.

I walked the rest of the way around the lake and it seemed like I took tons of pictures of the lake and church in the middle. I caught the bus back to Bohinj Lake in the early evening and the way the sun was hitting the mountains made for a amazing site. This was the 3rd time I had been along this stretch of road but in this light it was breathtaking. I ended up going via this same road the following day at the same time of day but the light was not the same and it did not compare.

I had decided to stay another day in Ribcev Laz and just pick a day and make Ljubljana a day trip from there. I ended up picking the right day to do Ljubljana since it ended up raining most of the day around the lakes and was dry in Ljubljana. It may have been because it was a Sunday but Ljubljana seemed to have a really laidback sort of feel to it and I think I enjoyed the city more than most of the big cities that I had been to on this trip. The building are like the types in Rijeka or Zagreb but seemed brighter and more cheerful to me.

Town Hall

I walked up to the castle and it had a great view over the city. On my way to the castle I meet an old man who seemed to want to talk so we stood on the hill up to the castle and talked for a few minutes. He ask where I was from and finding out I was from Colorado he told me about his grandfather. His grandfather had lived and died in Leadville Colorado. His grandfather had gone there for silver mining and even thought this man had never been to Colorado it still seems like a small world.

Castle about Ljubljana

The following day I would also come through Ljubljana on my way to Zagreb and had some time and spent it walking around this enjoyable city while wait for my train.

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