Lake Bled is in the Julian Alps in northern Slovenia, close to the Austrian border.
It was neat to leave an area that had a warm and Mediterranean feel with palm trees and flowers, and to arrive a few hours north into pine trees and snow covered peaks.
The thing to see in the small town of Bled is Lake Bled and the little island in the middle of it, Bled Island. There are ferries that go back and forth between the shore and the island every half hour.
On the day that we were there, there was a really strong wind and we were a little afraid our small ferry would capsize and dump us all into the beautiful, but really cold Lake Bled.
Here is Bled Island with the Assumption of Mary church on it. The church was built in the late 1600's. I can't imagine having to row all those stones and building materials across the lake in the late 1600's. Ugh.
We made it across dry!
Bled Island is quite small and you can walk the circumference in about 20 minutes. But don't think you can skip this island just because it's small. There is a lot of Slovenian beauty packed into this small island. Just take a look.
My little American beauty in a beautiful, Slovenian place.
I love this cute little building with the green stone windows and tulips.
Here is the bell tower of the church. When the bells would ring out, they would echo and reverberate in the small valley encircled by towering mountains. The echo would last a minute or two and made it feel like you were surrounded by bell towers.
The church on Bled Island is still open and functioning (if you feel the need to get in a quick little prayer). Even though the majority of the church dates to the 1600's, the nave was consecrated in 1465. And pictures done inside the church date from 1470.
I just fell in love with these stone steps. I am fascinated with things covered in moss. I grew up in a relatively dry climate. Nothing ever was green or had moss grow on it unless you ran a hose on it for days at a time. I love old, stone, moss covered steps and castles and streets and since almost everything in Europe is old, made of stone and covered in moss, it makes my time here fantastic.
We were really enjoying our quiet visit to Bled Island. We were almost the only people there. Seeing this great little island made us want to see some more of Bled and Slovenia.
Good bye Bled Island! Side note - Bled Island is the only natural island in all of Slovenia. Whatcha think about that?
Hello Bled Castle!
Bled Castle is really amazing. Nobody really knows when it was built, but the earliest mention of it is in a deed dated in 1011. That's right, 1,003 years ago. And in the 1,003 years it has never been bombed, or burned, or torn down. It seems that the Slovenians could teach the rest of Europe a thing or two about property management.
The castle is intact and complete with covered walls and a moat.
Bled Castle is beautiful and old and fantastic, but it is also expensive to go in and see. So we were fine with standing outside the castle grounds like poor paupers, admiring the ramparts and moss covered walls.
Even though we didn't see the inside of the castle, the hill the castle was on provided us with great views of the mountains and the little village of Bled.
As we stood on the hill and gazed out at the snow covered mountains, we felt them call to us. We had to get in our car and drive up and stand in the snow on some of those peaks.
We found it! Snow!
We also found some great views of the Julian Alps.
We only saw a small, tiny piece of Slovenia. But we were absolutely awestruck by this quiet and quaint little corner of the world.
From Slovenia, to me, to you. Are the mountains calling you here too?
I know I hear their call. Until next time, Slovenia.