Lake Bled – 5

After half-an-hour of fairly vigorous oarsmanship, we landed on the island. One other boat was leaving as we arrived, so we had the island and the bell all to ourselves. We walked up the stairway, built in the 17th Century, past the Chaplain’s House and the Provost’s House towards the 14th century Baroque church andContinue reading “Lake Bled – 5”

Plum Brandy – 2

The door opened and a lady of around fifty-five appeared, patting down her graying hair, as though I had arrived ten seconds too early. She gave a slight curtsy and beckoned me in very trustingly. “Yullian?” she said. “That is me,” I said, “Julian.” “Me Yulchka,” she said, “Your room there,” and pointed down theContinue reading “Plum Brandy – 2”

Lake Bled – 4

Luckily for our gondolier, after 9 minutes and 59 seconds, a friend of a friend brought 5 more people for the trip and we were off, albeit rather slowly. The gondolier was using just one of his two oars and was keeping close to the shore, as he was still looking for more business fromContinue reading “Lake Bled – 4”

Plum Brandy – 1

In certain parts of Bulgaria there is a scheme where travellers can stay with villagers in their homes. This is an excellent idea, rather like a homestay. The village I stayed in was near the town of Pernik… In the late afternoon sun I stood before the house where I was staying. A vine wasContinue reading “Plum Brandy – 1”

Lake Bled – 3

Unfortunately, no boatmen appeared to be working where we were, so we hurried round to the Casino, where according to our map, there was another landing stage.  Thankfully, a worried looking elderly man was asking everyone, who was walking by him, whether they wanted to visit the island. We did of course, as did aContinue reading “Lake Bled – 3”

Lake Bled – 2

My travelling companion and I arrived on the shore of Lake Bled near the Castle Baths in mid-afternoon with plenty of time, we thought, to visit the church and ring the bell. Unless you swim, the only way of getting to the island is by gondola, which normally holds around 16 people. Gondoliers ferry peopleContinue reading “Lake Bled – 2”

Plitvice Lakes – 7

The red spot route, starting from Entrance 2 goes around all the lakes in a clockwise direction. Yellow and Blue spots denoted different routes, which go around the Lower Lakes in either direction. The Grey and Orange square routes are designed for groups to use; these paths are slightly higher on some of the hillsidesContinue reading “Plitvice Lakes – 7”

Lake Bled – 1

Visit the only real island in Slovenia,” said the tourist information brochure, “and ring the wishing bell in the church”. Like kissing the Blarney Stone in Ireland, it sounded very touristy, but was something that a visitor just has to do. The island in question, Blejski Otok, is in Lake Bled. The forested slopes aroundContinue reading “Lake Bled – 1”

Plitvice Lakes – 6

As you walk around the Plitvice Lakes, there is no information on the birds now present in the National Park. This was once an excellent site for grouse, owls, woodpeckers and other forest birds. Eagle Owl is present and perhaps also Ural Owl and there at least eight species of woodpecker. All in all aboutContinue reading “Plitvice Lakes – 6”

Plitvice Lakes – 5

Extract from Julian’s Journeys The Plitvice Lakes (Plitvicka jezera) are one of Croatia’s most popular tourist attractions. An amazing natural phenomenon and no more than 4000 years old, Plitvice is a protected UNESCO world natural heritage site. They were declared a national park in 1949 and accepted as a World Heritage site in 1979. DueContinue reading “Plitvice Lakes – 5”