Monday, May 21, 2012

Lake Bled/Where I Died

Ahh! This is one of the posts that didn't save! It was pretty funny the first time around... so sad but here is the do over!

Do you know what it is like finding internet? It is the most random thing, in some countries, there is literally wifi seeping out of the pavement. I believe that was the Czech Republic. That and free bathrooms. In others.... it will say there is internet and really there is nothing! So deceiving those five white bars can be! But that is okay, I press on.

Right now I am standing and blogging at this computer workstation because my laptop won't connect. 

However, besides the standing, the keyboard is American for some reason, which I appreciate more than I can say. Who knew that switching the z and y keys could through me off as much as it did. 

Nope, now currently, I have unplugged the Ethernet cable from the hostel computer and plugged it into mine! Superfast!

Before I get to my picture commentary here's some news. (Because the 20 minute blog posts aren't enough. 

First, who said they wanted to watch The Sound of Music together when I get home? I would love to, I just have no clue who you are. Let me know! :)

Second, I am well fed and my legs are ripped! Ripped I tell you. I think that I have said that already but after all the stairs combined with getting lost while carrying my lb backpack and having to walk around with it for an hour is really doing wonders for my "ready position." Why didn't all my coaches send me to Europe to get in shape rather than making me life weights and jumps stairs! Europe is way more fun.

But onto the story.

The second night in the hostel was a bit better. Snoring dude was there as well as crazy Canadian man, who also snored, but thanks to my new iphone app with sleep sounds, I didn't hear a thing. Thank you oscillating fan. Best idea ever downloading that. It has become my new best friend. 

Our train left for Slovenia pretty early so we got up and made our way to the train station. Our eurail passes are supposed to let us into the train lounges but so far we can't find any. We looked it up and finally Salzburg had a lounge. Our plan was to eat breakfast there. 

However, when we arrived, our plan was soon foiled by a well built Austrian man who spoke no English. He wouldn't let us in and we had no interest in trying to convince him. I think we would have lost quickly although Brandon is a black belt in Karate.

It was getting close to our train leaving and we still hadn't eaten. We ran across the street to a mall and thankfully there was a grocery store inside. I got a banana and a box of granola bars which would prove to be a very wise decision. 

I am so tired of eating apples and bananas! They are like the only two grab and go fruits!

We ran back to train just in time to get on. Lake Bled here we come!

We rode the train from Salzburg to Villach in Southern Austria. It was an absolutely stunning ride through the Austrian countryside. So so pretty. Our train was running a bit late and we had to make our connection! Thankfully we came into Villach with 5 minutes to spare. We jumped off our beautiful Austrian train, which was complete with food menus and magazines.... and hopped onto our, um, Slovenian train. In a word, it was not as nice. But at least we were getting there.

So we have been on this train for a while and Brandon looks at me and says, "So do you know what time we get off" As he says this, I look outside and see the sign for "Lesce/Beld," our stop. So one thing we have learned about Slovenian trains is that they stop for maybe 30 seconds. Well, by the time I see the sign we have already lost about 15 seconds. To top if off, our stuff is scattered everywhere in our cabin!

Literally, we grab everything and fall out of the train... into the middle of nowhere. The train conductor thought it was hysterical. So here we are, in this tiny tiny town, stuff is scattered everywhere on the ground, the train leaves, and we are left to be watched by a few old men in a cafe. I try to keep my cool and gather my stuff. Granola bars are everywhere, jackets are everywhere, backpacks are everywhere.

Brandon easily picks up his two backpacks. I on the other hand am having a bit more trouble. I attach myself to my big backpack, put my purse strap over my head, and try to stand up, only to be pulled off balance by my backpack and then to fall to the ground with my arms and legs flailing like a bug on its back. I can only imagine how funny that must have been for the coffee audience. Brandon who meanwhile was being attacked by a taxi driver who wanted to charge him 30 euro to take us 2 km, came over to free me from my bondage.

Back on my feet, we walked over to the tourism office which just happened to appear out of nowhere. At this point, we entered the "lost zone." This town is small, however for some reason we could not find a thing. We got lost going from the tourism office to the bus stop, which was about 15 meters.

We skipped the 30 euro taxi and opted for the 1.30euro bus.

Here it is! There was no one on it! We rode the bus from Lesce, the train station, to Lake Bled, where we were staying. It was about 5 minutes

Then we proceeded to get lost again. We were supposed to walk two hundred meters from the bus stop to the hostel, but even that was trouble! I don't know what the issue was but ha! Maybe it was us! After a good 20 minutes, we found it.

At this point, as the title says, I died. I was so tired. Not just tired from the day, but from everything. I had absolutely no idea that being on vacation could be so exhausting. I have no clue how the Australians do this for months or years at a time. Brandon wanted to go on a bike ride, I decided to visit my new bed. It was a glorious 5 hours with my computer. I read, I emailed, I ate granola bars, it was amazing.

Later, Brandon came back and we headed down to the lake. So there is really no much to do in Bled, it's a Slovenian resort town that became popular when people couldn't leave Slovenia during some war or something. Actually this whole area is really outdoorsy... so if you are into the outdoors, you would love sLOVEnia.

However, the lake is stunning. It looks fake! It is so bizarre. You feel like you are watching a movie or that you are in Disney world or something. So pretty.

A sign in Slovenian if you have an interest.

So apparently this is the rowing capital of Slovenia. This is where all the Olympic athletes practice.

In the middle of the lake is an island with a castle. You can take a boat out there if you like, we didn't but it would have been fun.

After that we headed back and I made some terrible couscous for dinner. Honestly, I have no idea how it tasted so bland with all the stuff I put in it! Anyway, that was okay. We talked to the one other girl that was staying at the hostel, Nicole from Singapore. She was travelling around Eastern Europe by herself, this is the second trip she had done alone. I have no clue how people do it! I could never that, I would get so lonely.

End Day 1 in Bled.

Day 2 in Bled.

On the reasons we wanted to come to Bled was for the Vingar Gorge. The hostel lady, Andreja was really nice and helpful, but she was nuts. She kept saying things like, "Oh yeah! You can walk there, it's about 1.5 hours. Or, Oh yeah, walk there, it's about three hours." Um, no thanks. I am totally into walking but three hours seems a bit excessive.

We decided to ride bikes to the gorge. It was good weather, finally!

So after going the wrong way several times, riding up steep hills and then back down them, we found the right road. Which was under construction. Up and over!

This led us to the steepest hill! Oh my gosh it was so steep!!! I had to get off my bike and walk. Brandon did too but he was way ahead.

Almost there...

Made it!

I'm dying it's so hot!

But the view was amazing. For those of you who are discouraged by getting here, please know you can drive. Haha, but we have no car.

We went to go lock our bikes and who did we see but a woman who rode up the same hill as we did, but with a child in a carriage attached. Okay, she is amazing! Apparently she does this everyday. Can you say, in shape?

We locked our bikes and we were off to the gorge!

You had to hike down through the forest to get to the gorge entrance.

After meeting some lost Germans, we made it!

Here's where we went!

My amazing shoes. Everyone, go buy yourself a pair of Nike Free's. They are the best shoes ever! They kick Adidas, Asics, and Mizuno out of the water.

Milds! I saw this cute old house and thought you would like it!

To get back you have a choice or walking back through the gorge, or you can finish out the trail loop. We decided to finish out the loop. However, soon we came to a fork in the path with only this sign to help us decide which way to go. Hmmm....

Left into the woods or right up the hill? We went right.

Can you see the slope we were walking against! I kept saying it reminded me of that scene in The Princess Bride where they roll down the hill.

Beautiful view.

So we are walking and then in the distance I see cows. Hmm...

Yep, there are cows. We are in a cow pasture. Great! I begin to freak out and the only way out of here is through the cows.

Now I am not sure if you can tell, but these things are huge! Massive! I was freaking out!

Made it out alive!

After narrowly escaping death, we headed back to town. Grabbed lunch at the grocery store and then Brandon wanted to go on a hike. I hit my bed. It again was awesome. I am telling you, I just needed a break. I had reached the point of nothing that I was going to see, or that I was going to miss, would be better than doing nothing. So I did nothing. It was great.

Lake Bled is famous for this cake they make. Which of course we had to try! Around 5 we headed down to the lake for some cake. Nice rhyme!

It was really good!

After that, shocking, we were hungry.

And so we found this restaurant. Let me just say, this was one of the best meals yet on this trip! Ahhhh it was so good. We caved and ordered wine for the first time in days... um, yum!

I had trout with these spinach potatoes! It was out of this world.

And then we headed back to the hostel.

So that was Bled. To be honest, I didn't see too much of it, the lake and the gorge, which I think are actually what I really needed to see. But it was a great time to recharge and gear up! We still have two weeks to go! I can't be tired yet! Tomorrow we are headed to another part of Slovenia... get pumped!

1 comment:

  1. I wanted to see the Sound of Music with you. Loved the lake pictures, and of course the lovely house. I need a picture of you toned legs. A must have!