We spent three days up here hiking around the lake and swimming out to the island in the middle (Hugo’s idea but I’m glad we did it!). Our Australian friends also rented a car and let us tag along on an action-packed day of hiking and swimming. As the roads are windy and long, we took a “car train” through one of the mountains rather than going over it. The car drives onto what is essentially a trailer and then you get to sit in the comfort of your car while the train takes you through the tunnel. There are no lights in the tunnel though, so there was about 15 minutes of pure pitch blackness, really disconcerting, heavy claustrophobic darkness, not helped by the hand Hugo kept putting up right in front of face to see how long it would take me to notice, or by the intermittent squeals from the front seat as Camilla got the same gentlemanly treatment from Ben.
On the other side, we followed the river Soča, which has besutifully inviting water on such a hot day. We later dipped our feet in and realised it was nerve-throbbingly cold, like a brain freeze for the feet.
The itinerary we were working from came from their Airbnb host, who had suggested by this time, we might be hungry and it might be a good idea to try some local cheese. She had forgotten where exactly the cheese lady lived though and just said there weren’t that many houses around and that we should knock on the door and allow ourselves to be taken to a basement for cheese tasting. I can’t actually believe it, but we found the cheese lady and duly tasted two cheese in her basement. She was pretty grumpy though so we didn’t take our time and quickly left with our prize; a big wedge of tangy 6 month old alpine cheese. Nomnomnom!
We had a picnic at our next stop, a waterfall called Slap Kozjak. High on cheese, we decided to go swimming in the pool beneath the waterfall. Brrrrrrrrrr! It was chilly but nowhere near as cold as the Soča river, more like a Scottish Loch on a mild day in early spring. You couldn’t swim under the waterfall as the force of the water meant you just sort of swam on the spot.
Ben drove us back to Lake Bled over the mountains and we wound round and round the hills past men and women raking fields of cut grass by hand and gathering it up to dry. It’s rare to see that kind of manual labour in Europe. There were also enormous long piles of cut logs creating wooden walls beside the cottages, hinting at a pretty cold winter here.
Once in Bled, we went out for dinner and I feel obliged to admit that for desert, Hugo and I got a cake shaped like this: 💩. It turned out to be a giant tea cake. Describing the cake we wanted without saying the words “poo cake” was really difficult.