After enjoying the charms of Ljubljana, we decided that our next objective would be to leave behind city life for a while and head to Lake Bled in the north of the country to get some grass under our feet and do a little hiking in the Slovenian Alps. Unusually for us, we also decided to take a detour on our hitchhike in order to see the medieval town of Škofja Loka; as the distance between Ljubljana and Bled was so short we figured we would have enough time to take some photos before arriving in good time.
The first part of the trip was achieved pretty easily as a very nice Bosnian man drove out off his way to drop us in the town. Another example, if it were needed, of the good nature of so many people in this part of the world. After a nice walk through the narrow streets, up to the castle and then along the river we headed back to the road to begin the final stretch. Two rides later, one with an Slovenian guy who spoke good English and was excited about an upcoming Trumpet festival and the other with a German-speaking elderly Slovenian couple, who again drove out off their way to make sure we arrived in the city centre, and we had made it with a total time on the road of 3.5 hr.
The town of Bled and the glacial lake that shares its name, are internationally famous and it isn’t hard to see why. The iconic Bled castle standing high on the hill; omnipresent from every angle, the idyllic Assumption Church sitting proudly on an island in the middle of the lake; the crystal clear blue water and the international and relaxed atmosphere help make it an essential stop on any Balkan trip. However, we were not here just to drink beer and relax by the water (well, not too much), so after a fact finding mission to the really helpful Tourist Information Centre we decided that the walks around Bled were not challenging enough and made the decision to head to the nearby Lake Bohinj in search of higher peaks.
Our goal was the summit of Pršivec at the height of 1761 m. The walk was scheduled to take 7 hrs and despite arriving at the relatively late time of midday (lateness being a common trend in all our adventures), we still had enough time to get up and down, weather permitting.
The first hour was the toughest as we ascended 600 m to the first mountain refuge. I don’t think I have ever sweated so much. I was so wet I could have wrung out my shirt and watered an arid African field.
After that things got a little easier and the moment we arrived on top it was all worth it. The summit was completely deserted as we looked down upon the surrounding hills and the glistening lake far below us.
The descend was long and jarring especially trying to leave the top only to be confronted with a red marking arrow that directed us down what was in essence a cliff face. We spend 10 mins looking at the drop barely believing that it were possible and that there must be some kind of mistake. We edged down slowly in a backward crab position gripping on for dear life until our feet touched more solid ground. There was also the added element of fear as the evening twilight began to bath the trees in an orange glow, but obviously we got back safe as you are now reading what I have written.
written by: Jon
Follow our 2 month hitch-hiking trip across the north of Italy and the Balkan Peninsula:‘The Balkan Peninsula by Thumb 2013′. It’s happening now!
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