Europe Trip Highlights Part 3

I'm finally back to continue recapping our amazing Europe trip today! It's been nice to break it up so much because it feels like I'm reliving the trip every time I get to talk about it. We left off in part 2 in Bovec with some incredible excursions and mountain views, and are heading to Lake Bled. If you've ever seen an image of Slovenia (or if you Google it right now), this is the place that you'll see.

This lake sits right by the border of Austria and is a quick bus ride from the capital city of Ljubliana, so it's a very popular day trip. We decided to stay here for a few days though, and I'm really glad that we did! We stayed at the Penzion Berc, which had a great location and was the most charming place we stayed in during this entire trip. This is a family-owned B&B, which started out as a farm and developed into the amazing place that it is today. We had the best hospitality here, along with a delicious breakfast every morning! The location was great too- we were just minutes from the lake and were able to borrow e-bikes for free to get around town.


Our first day here was spent enjoying the lake. There's a trail that goes around it that's about 4 miles, so we strolled around, taking in the views. We decided to rent a row boat to get out to the island in the middle of the lake, where the Assumption of Mary sits. It was such a cool experience to row out and dock our boat with all the other tourists, then climb up to the church! 


We ended the day with dinner at an Asian restaurant along the water. It was fine but definitely overpriced- we got used to smaller town prices but at this restaurant there was a "placemat fee" charged per person- which I'm assuming is basically a tourist tax. I wasn't expecting that, so if you're eating in this area be prepared to pay a bit extra! Luckily the night was saved with some beautiful skies that we enjoyed on our walk back to the B&B.


Our first full day in Bled was probably the best day of my life. It almost turned out to be a dud though- I knew that Dan had planned for us to go paragliding, but it's extremely weather-dependent. The weather wasn't looking too great, so we were told that we had to go to a lower level to launch (the upper level was still covered in snow and unsafe), and likely would only get a short ride since it was cloudy and rainy out. That was fine with me- it still would be the best paragliding trip of my life! Before we did that though, we went to a nearby park called Korita Mostnice for a little hike. The views and the gorge were amazing, and it was a great way to start the day.


Next we headed to the meet-up spot for paragliding. Dan picked the company KumulusParagliding, and I could not recommend them highly enough!  We were with one other person (who is from Texas and was an awesome travel companion for the day) and we all got paired up with one of their pilots. Side note- It's funny because we all seemed to be paired with the perfect pilot for our personalities- mine was a crazy guy who kept calling me his princess and said we were best friends, Dan's was the owner of the company and talked about the physics of paragliding, and the Texan had a rebel guy who did all kinds of tricks! Once we started heading up to the launch point, the most miraculous thing happened- all of the clouds parted and the sun started to shine! It was the most perfect weather for gliding- the sun helps create warm air streams to help lift up the glider, so you can keep going as long as you want to stay in the air. I mean- just look at this view-


Once I got hooked in to the parachute with my guide, he let me know that when the wind was right he would tell me to walk, and I just have to walk straight off the mountain! It was the most incredible experience- once you start walking, the parachute fills with air, and you're lifted off the ground and can sit back and relax. From there, we just floated around, getting the most amazing views of the mountains around us. I seriously can't put into words how life changing the experience was- it was the best thing that I've ever done in my life and I want to do it again and again! (if you want to see videos of me taking off, I posted it on Instagram and TikTok!)


Nothing could really top that experience, but we kept the fun going with a short hike at a nearby waterfall called Slap Savica and lunch at the restaurant there (which was amazing and had great views! Plus- I thought the price was very reasonable for the area). We ended the day with a quick kayak rental in the lake- we were in Lake Bohinj for this day, which is like a less touristy version of Lake Bled!


The next day was our final day in Bled! We started it by doing one of the most popular things to do in this area- visit Vintgar Gorge. This was highly recommended by everyone and I would definitely say it's worth it. I was worried that since we've already been to a bunch of gorges and waterfalls that this more busy one would be a disappointment, but it's popular for a reason! The views are incredible along the entire park, with great boardwalks crossing over the water and hugging the rock walls. 


At the end of the park (which is a one-way trail), we were treated to a beautiful waterfall view, and had two trail options to get back to the parking lot. Honestly, this part might have been my favorite! The trail was a lot more quiet, and we got to pass through little villages, farms, and had great views of Bled and the countryside.


On the way back to Bled, we stopped at the Bled Castle (you can see it in the distance in my first photo, near the right-hand side). This was a really neat place to walk around- it felt like a little village with shops you could explore, museums with artifacts, and restaurants. We ended up getting a piece of freshly made paper, stamped with the castle and a wax stamp- Cool souvenir!


After the castle, we stopped for some food at the coolest restaurant called Tavci Vegan Cafe, which was also a tattoo shop. I was prepared to get another tattoo but unfortunately they didn't take walk-ins (I was also trying to convince Dan to get one!). Our food was delicious though, and they also had a great selection of local beers! Next up we explored the area around our hotel more, checking out the alpine coaster and taking the B&B's e-bikes for a ride around town, before getting back and packing up for our next stop. Stay tuned for the big adventure we had next....





Comments

  1. Your blog is like a travelogue to places I will never experience. It is so wonderful that you are able to do so much traveling.

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  2. Thank you for reminding me of one of MY best experiences - I paraglided during a family trip to the Grand Tetons in... 2016? It was transformative. Walking off a mountain and then following the air currents. Wow. Just, wow. I loved every minute and would give anything to be able to do it again. I'm so glad you got to do it, too. :)

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    Replies
    1. That sounds amazing! I would love to go in other places and Grand Tetons sounds like an incredible place to go.

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