February 22, 2024

Lake Bled: gondolas, gorgeous gondoliers and a church

Following from this morning of glorious sunshine at Lake Bohinj, it was ho! to Lake Bled. The good weather held and the narrow country roads had come to life by the time we drove back, bringing upon us multiple angry car honks and angry shouts each time we stopped for a quick photograph. Oh, well.

The sun had come out in full force on our first evening at Lake Bled and the colours of the gondolas on the banks shimmered in the late evening sunshine. The castle was then not the dull grey forbidding presence it turned out to be for the next couple of days.

Our first evening

Clearly that was too much to expect again (although I am willing to bet it was all chirpy and sunshiny from the day we left) – there were heavy clouds in the sky but the sun did peep out from time to time. And no rain was good enough for us by that point.

To the church

The Bled castle

Really, the way we went on and on about the sun, you would think we were British. And to think that in India, all we do is complain about the heat. So we gondola’d ourselves to the church in the middle of the lake, the church filling a million postcards from Slovenia. We argued about which celebrity the gondolier most resembled – my friend really excelled herself by voting for Denny Duquette (and really, who knew his name? or cared?) – I personally thought he could have been any handsome Aussie cricketer on tour about to be unfaithful to his wife.

A word about Slovenian men. Not just the gondoliers. They are all good-looking. And charming. Very Italian, without the attitude.

After an all too short half hour there, we headed for lunch to Okarina, which comes recommended by every guidebook: Okarina serves Indian food (all my “tourist” antennae went up and I was once again pleased that I had made it to Slovenia before the Bollywood crews and tour groups discovered it) and had a sign in Hindi “kripaya dhumrapan na karein.” In the next couple of years, I expect there will be signs in Mandarin too.

Bled was beautiful that Saturday morning, with the snow capped mountains surrounding the town making themselves visible for the first time. Sunday turned out to be even better, a blessing given that we drove via Vrsic Pass, with its fifty – yes 50 – hairpin bends down to the Soca valley on the other side.

On the top

Vrsic Pass

9 thoughts on “Lake Bled: gondolas, gorgeous gondoliers and a church

  1. What a lovely place!

    I have only heard of Slovenia in books. So good to see it through your pictures. 🙂 Wow, there is a sign in Hindi in Slovenia? The world is truly getting smaller.

    1. Glad you enjoyed the Slovenia introduction 🙂

      And yes, the world is getting smaller – and I’m not sure if it’s entirely a good thing…

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