We are staying in Vila Bled, which was Marshall Tito’s Summer residence on the shores of Lake Bled. It is now apparent we’re not going to have a white Christmas, but, on the positive side, the Sun has come out and the skies are largely blue.
It took less than an hour to drive from Ljubljana to Bled so we were there and in our hotel by midday. Lake Bled is surrounded by Mountains, snow-capped but not much more at the moment, and sitting just off-centre is a lovely church on an island. The combination is incredibly beautiful, especially when the Sun and skies turn the placid lake waters blue.
We went on a traditional flat-bottomed boat, calmly pushed along by an oarsman at the rear, out to the island. The island has a church and clock tower and a small coffee shop and souvenir shop. The view from the clock tower is disappointing, there’s really no clear view out. But the church is a very pretty combination of whitewashed walls and gilded features. inside you can pull on a rope to ring the bell – apparently if you are a believer a wish made while ringing the bell will come true. We rang the bell but all lacked the other criteria necessary to testing this out.
Back on the Lake shore, Declan left us to return to the hotel to talk to his friends via the Internet. Cal, Jennifer and I set out to circumnavigate the Lake. First we had to stop for food which included the special Bled cake which resembles a vanilla-slice with cream.
Strolling round the lake on the flat path only took an hour or so even with countless stops for photographs, This is another place I wish I had a proper camera instead of just my phone – in spite of all the photos we took, looking at them now doesn’t really do the place justice. Really this is a stunningly beautiful place.
After a cosy drink and game of 500 in the hotel bar, that used to be Tito’s garage, we walked around the Lake by night to the main town for dinner. It may not be snowy, but it does feel like Christmas Eve as the sounds of carols drift over water shimmering with the reflections of lights.