In this second part of a four part series, a lucky competition winner and her travel buddy endure the bitter Slovenian winter weather as they journey from Bled to Bohinj.
The trip – A lakes and cities cycling tour of Slovenia from Bled through the Triglav National Park to Ljubljana including overnight accommodation in each location, cycling equipment and a map. Wish us luck!
Lake Bohinj – Arriving at Lake Bohinj in a taxi after a difficult day, we entered the log cabin family-run lodge without looking around outside. Warm and revived I later ventured out to the balcony and discovered a quiet alpine village resort perfect for skis and snowboards alike. Bohinj is a firm favourite with Slovenians and tourists alike. Nestled into its mountain top location with the vast glacial lake, Bohinj is known locally as the doorway to the Julian Alps. Bohinj has some small town charm, being the best place to see traditional farming methods and produce of all that we visited in Slovenia.
The nearby ski resort of Vogel sits above Bohinj and is the perfect natural environment to get to grips with some Winter sports or Summer activities depending on the time of your visit. The Julian Alps surround the area, as part of the Triglav National Park. Mount Triglav, the highest peak in the park, towers at 2,864m with a recognisable bend to its snowy cap. The Pokljuka Plateau, slightly lower down also offers some spectacular views of the surrounding landscape.
Should you choose to explore outside the town you will find even more hidden gems. The Emerald river sits in a neighbouring valley with the Savica waterfall also close by. The Soca Valley is a short and picturesque train journey away, famed for being one of the filming locations of The Chronicles of Narnia: Prince Caspian but absolutely beautiful in its own right.
While we didn’t uncover much of this quiet town, the lodges have everything needed for a cosy and comfortable overnight stay. We were lucky enough to have a restaurant complete with dessert displays and chocolate tasting menus. Something I understand is often provided by lodges here as an extra bonus. Recommendations included chocolate orange layer cake, the local Bohinj cheese chocolate truffle and white chocolate and tarragon truffles which emerged as the surprising favourite.
We learnt that evening that Slovenians do not know the meaning of the phrase “can I have a small portion please” but with everything being so delicious, we could not fault them for it. They know how to treat their tired and weather-beaten guests in this town and it was a real pleasure to stay there.
Having cycled from Bled in the freezing pouring rain (one person in shorts, don’t ask), getting lost by following the wrong map (don’t ask) and found our way through the resulting temper tantrum (please don’t ask), we missed out on a lot of the free time we should have had here.
Saying this our short stay left us well-rested and eager to explore before leaving. There is so much to do in Bohinj that there is no danger of being caught with time on your hands. The area is just stunning, whatever the time of year.
Favourite moment? – I very nearly opted for the chocolate tasting, but one other moment stands out in my memory and it was one I experienced alone. Emerging onto the chalet balcony, I stood in the quiet admiring the colossal fir trees just beyond the lodge garden when I noticed something move. And then move again. It was a white hare. It was my first white hare and he noticed me just as I realised what he was. We both froze, not wanting to move. For what felt like ages we stared at each other, until a sound in the background distracted the hare and it casually hopped away.
To me it was one of those remarkably rare moments when you get to observe something wild in nature, to my travel buddy who was awoken by me and my story, not so much….
Join us in part 3 where we travel onwards to the medieval town of Škofja Loka!