Lake Bled, Slovenia
There’s hardly a person who wouldn’t be impressed by this area’s picturesque landscape. Lake Bled. Surprising natural surroundings, combined with an ancient castle built on a prominent rock, have turned this lake into not only one of Slovenia’s, but also one of the world’s most visited places.
Lake Bled is located in the Southern Alps at a height of 475 metres above sea level fifty km from the capital of Slovenia, Ljubljana.
The first thing to decide was to look at the lake from above the castle. Despite its high location the climb took under fifteen minutes by foot.
These are the kinds of amazing views which presented themselves from the viewing platforms! You’ve got to see it to believe it.
I highly recommend walking around the shore of the lake. The length of the route is just over five kilometres and takes about one and a half hours all the way round at a leisurely pace, during which you can have a nice look at things and relax on a bench or take photos. This is just the kind of stroll that will stay with you forever. The beautiful wooden Slovenian boats, known as Pletnas, picturesque trees along the promenade, clean air and an emerald sheen to the water’s surface.
It truly is an amazingly picturesque place. The beautiful landscapes follow you unchanged at any point along the shore.
Towards dusk, the lake, lit up by the warm glow of the setting sun, grows even more beautiful, in my opinion. Calm and peaceful.
One island in particular has several legends and mysteries connected with it; for instance, if you make a wish under the chapel’s bell then it will come true.
The bell is known as “the wishing bell” and not without good reason. According to the legend, the castle’s owner was killed by robbers and in his memory the bell was cast for the church as per his widow’s wishes. Whilst it was being transported to the island a mighty storm arose and the boat was flipped over. The grieving widow didn’t want to give in and decided to ask the Pope for support, who, having heard her story, had a new bell made. The second bell, which was made in the Italian city of Padua in 1534, reached it destination and hangs to this day in the island’s chapel.
You have to pay to enter the church, mostly because visitors have the chance to ring the bell. Therefore, its ringing over the lake only begins to quieten down towards evening when the boatmen stop ferrying visitors to the island.
There is another, legend, with perhaps more basis in reality, which has become part of wedding traditions. The groom should carry his beloved in his arms up the stairs to the chapel, which is no mean feat at 99 steps. In doing so he showed his willingness to start a family and promised they would have a long and happy life.
Photographs from this blog entry can also be seen in the album. Open»
From Ljubljana along motorway E61 it takes about 40 minutes (50 km).
If you’re coming from Austria then bear in mind that the road goes through the border at the Karavanke mountain toll tunnel. As soon as you leave the tunnel in Slovenia you come out on a toll road. If you’re only planning on visiting Bled and then going straight back to Austria, to avoid paying the toll in Slovenia you can come off the road and continue along the free road (it’s only about twenty km). The fine for travelling on the road without paying the toll is very high!