Bled, Slovenia is our kind of town. Mountains, a lake, a few bars and cafes, and we were able to rent an apartment
right in town with a garden and beautiful view of the Julian Alps.
 We started our first day with a bang.
After waking up and having breakfast,
complete with filtered coffee (which
may have contributed to my love of
the place) we headed to Vintgar
Gorge, located about an hour’s hike
from Bled. The Radovna River slices
right through the mountains, creating
a fun series of rapids, waterfalls, and
pools to explore. We stopped back by
our apartment at midday for our now
familiar lunch—bread, nutella and jam.

Then we headed out for hike #2 of
the day. Lake Bled is surrounded by
several hills which provide panoramic
views of the lake, island and castle.
We made our way to the beginning of
the path to the tallest hill (for the best
view!) and made it a few steps before
I had a big scare. Ever since our hike
in Austria, my left knee has been
giving me trouble. Nothing serious,
Vintgar Gorge in Slovenia
just a constant soreness and the feeling that my kneecap is a little loose. I bought a brace in Croatia and have
been doing pretty good since. But it’s been awhile since I’ve done two hikes in one day, and this hike to the top of
the hill was reputed to be pretty steep. With that knowledge, I was already a little apprehensive both about the
strenuousness of the hike and how my knee would hold up.

After only a few minutes I started to hear a horrendous crackling noise every time I took a step. It sounded like my
bones were grinding together! Funny thing was, I didn’t feel any additional pain. Yes, my knee was noticeably sore,
but it had been that way for a few weeks. I didn’t say anything to Jarrod as I didn’t want to scare him until I figured
what the heck was going on. A few more minutes of listening to this frightening noise coming from my leg and I
stopped to inspect my knee. Nothing seemed to be askew. No swelling or redness or anything. As I straightened
up to catch up to Jarrod, I heard the awful noise again. But wait, I wasn’t even moving my knee now. Taking a step,
and listening extra carefully, I realized the noise was coming from my pocket. My pocket? What the….?  I quickly
inspected the contents of my pants pocket and found the culprit--the plastic wrapper of a granola bar that I had
shoved in there before leaving our apartment. Who knew a granola bar wrapper and knee joints could sound so
similar? Regardless, I was relieved that I was just facing a slightly smushed granola bar instead of major knee
The view from the top of the hill was 100% worth the climb.
Lake Bled has a single, small island in the very center. The only
thing on the island is the Church of the Assumption, built in the
17th century. It seems to just float on top of the water. The
commute to church must be quite strenuous though, as the
only way to reach it seemed to be via canoe or kayak! There is
also a grand castle built on one of the cliffs surrounding the
lake. The whole scene looked like something out of a fairytale!

After our first ultra fun day in Bled we eagerly mapped out the
plan for our remaining two days. Tomorrow would consist of a
bike ride to Lake Bohinj, and the day after we would rent a
kayak and toodle around the lake.  The next day we awoke to
weather that completely crushed our carefully made plan. So
much for making plans! As sheets of rain fell against our
window, we quickly reorganized the day’s activities to include
drinking coffee in the morning at the nearby café, beer in the
afternoon, and something stronger in the evening to drown
our disappointment.

Due to the inclement weather we only scratched the surface of
Bled’s numerous outdoor activities. If we had our way we
would spend a week here. I can’t imagine ever growing tired of
looking at Lake Bled or partaking in the hiking, biking, rafting,
rock climbing and kayaking options available. If you ever find
yourself in Slovenia (hey…who knows? We never thought we’d
find ourselves here!), I heartily endorse a visit to Bled.
Bird's eye view of Lake Bled, Bled Castle
and the Church of the Assumption
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Hiking in Bled
Lake Bled