Thursday, 1 September 2016

Interrail Destination 6 - Part 2, Lake Bled, S(love)nia!

First things first; Lake Bled is officially the most beautiful place I've ever seen and is DEFINITELY my favourite holiday destination right now!

It took around 40 minutes on the train to get here from Ljubljana, and when we arrived at the tranquil 'Lesce Bled' railway station we both knew what was to come. It was a tiny, cosy town which makes you feel
at home straight away.

Favourite parts: 

#1 Hiring a rowing boat and going around the lake. 
#2 Lunch in the castle
#3 Bike riding around the lake. 
#4 Mexican restaurant, Chilli.
#5 Drinks in Park Cafe and trying Lake Bled cake!

We jumped in a cab from the station and it cost around 15 euros to get to where we were staying, which was just outside of the lake. We stayed in a hotel here, as we couldn't find any hostels we particularly liked, and the reason we stayed a bit far away from the lake was mostly because of the price. As we were travelling, we had to be realistic with price so couldn't afford to stay in a hotel a stones throw from the lake. To be honest I quite enjoyed our walks to and from the lake every day as It was just nice to see whats around apart from touristy areas of places! The hotel we stayed in is called Hotel Pension Pibernik Bled, and I honestly cannot recommend it enough! If, actually when... I go back and visit this amazing place I wouldn't think twice about staying here, we also had a really comfy hammock on our balcony which was great!! I recommend it 100% for families, as its actually a family friendly hotel and I can imagine it being amazing during the hottest summer months. I could really have done with a few more days here though as it was just so relaxing and peaceful in comparison to everywhere else we visited! It took us about 15-20 minutes to walk to the lake every day, I probably wouldn't recommend walking it if you have young children as it is partially up hill and a bit remote in some parts but there are cab services available!

view from our balcony.

the amazing hammock.

Once we had settled in to our hotel, we decided to walk to the lake and see what was going on! As soon as we got there we stopped for a (well needed) drink in Park cafe, and some lunch. For food Will chose the burger and I chose the chicken Caesar salad and we both enjoyed it! Then we decided to try some of Bled's home made cake! I honestly wish I could have taken this home for my family as this was AMAZING!! I had probably 3-4 slices in 2 days and kept telling my boyfriend to share it with me, then when it came I just ate it all to myself.. whoops! This cafe was lovely as it is right on the lake and if you get a balcony seat you are definitely winning! After this we decided to go on a little wander around some of the lake just to see what else was around!

Bled cream cake!!!!!

group boats you cold hire.

It honestly felt like the more I walked around it the prettier this place got! I never believed that places this beautiful actually existed! Especially in Europe, I always thought to see paradise you had to travel to somewhere like the Maldives or Bora Bora, but I was definitely wrong! I had seen photos of the lake before but I just assumed they had been photoshopped or something! We kept walking until we got to the boat hiring place next to Grajska Plaza restaurant and we decided to rent out a boat for an hour which was 15 euros. I personally don't think that's bad for boat hire, especially as we were there in June which is when It's normally getting hot! 

Will then rowed us around the lake circling the cathedral and back again! This was probably the  most memorable and favourite moment of my trip because it was just so peaceful! We didn't actually over estimate how long would take to row back and ended up being about 15-20 minutes late but luckily the man didn't notice or he would've charged us for another hour! I definitely could have done this all day and packed a picnic to have on the boat and some Prosecco!

The Cathedral in the middle of the lake.

After rowing us around Will was absolutely knackered so we stopped for a drink in Grajska Plaza restaurant! Will had a local beer and I chose a sex on the beach! Just below this restaurant was a beach part of the lake which you could pay something like 7 euros for the whole day to sit on and it had a park in for kids and you could swim in part of the lake which I really wish I had gone in! If the weather was nicer I definitely would've done this but I guess I'll just have to do it next time! After we had a few more drinks we decided to walk around the lake a bit further and find somewhere to eat dinner. We walked around another probably half of the lake until we realised there wasn't going to be any restaurants or anything for a while so decided to turn back and go to one we saw on the way to the boat hire place which was a Mexican restaurant called Chilli!

I am a big fan of Mexican food, however Will isn't! We decided to go here because we were both really hungry and well, it was basically the only place we saw haha. We decided to sit inside, there is a summer terrace but it was a but nippy and neither of us had brought jackets with us. It was really nice inside and the food was amazing! I would go back here next time I visit because its probably one of the nicest Mexican meals I've had ever. We chose a shared platter of mixed fajitas which came with courgettes in, all the dips and rice and some other things which we didn't have a clue what they were! We also each had a few glasses of wine to wash it down with! I can't remember exactly how much this was but I think it was around 30-40 euros for the both of us! 

After this it was starting to get dark so we decided to walk back to our hotel and get some sleep before a busy day the next day!

When we woke up the next day the weather wasn't looking promising and it was raining a bit so we waited for the rain to die down before heading off to the lake. We had already pre-booked lunch in the castle in a restaurant called Sezersek which serves "Local and Regional dishes served in a contemporary and sophisticated way". We were booked in for around 12:00 so we headed there with time to walk up there and some time to spare to look around before eating. There isn't really much up there apart from a little cafe and the restaurant we went to but the view is insane!! The main reason we decided to go here for lunch was because we was toying with where to spend our last day in Lake bled, we chose between going to the cathedral in the middle of the lake or going up the castle and lucky for us we chose the castle! We worked out that it was 15 euros entry each just to get in the castle OR, if you're eating lunch there you get in for free!

It took around 30 minutes to walk up there for us because were both pretty unfit and I kept stopping to take photos every 10 seconds but once we got up there it was all worth it! This is quite a bold statement for me but I think this may be the nicest meal I've ever had. I felt like I was a princess whilst in this restaurant and we were treated like royals! We had a table quite far away from everyone else and it was right up against the wall so we could see over to the lake.. it was beautiful! We firstly ordered a bottle of white wine with our meal and some water, and whilst we were deciding what to eat they brought us out an appetiser on the house which was these bread cups filled with a creamy paste and caviar. We both had a starter of soup, I chose asparagus and will chose truffle and they were both so yummy! I actually preferred wills to mine, as asparagus soup is pretty mainstream, and truffle was amazing! For main Will chose Stag Chateaubriand which was wrapped in pastry and served with green beans and a chutney and I chose chicken wings which came with mash potato and a sauce. Both of our main courses were absolutely incredible and we were both stuffed by the end we couldn't squeeze in a dessert, not even some Bled creme cake! They did however, bring us some macaroons on the house which were lovely! I'm not normally a lover of macaroons as I'm not too keen on the texture but the taste of these was spot on! This was probably the most expensive meal we had whilst on our trip but it was definitely worth it! 





After we had basically stuffed our faces we had another wander around the castle, took some photos and headed back down again to choose what we wanted to do/see next! On our way down we wandered into the beautiful church (┼Żupnijska cerkev sv. Martina) which was about 2/3s of the way down and had a look around and lit some candles. When we finally got down we were toying between going to Vintgar Gorge, a famous gorge not too far away too look around.. hiring out a paddle board or bike riding around the whole lake and looking at what else there was around. We decided to hire out bikes, mostly because the weather wasn't nice enough to get a paddle board and we decided that next time we come we will travel a bit further to see the gorge! 

We hired bikes from the same company we hired boats from the day before and headed off around the lake. It takes roughly an hour and a half to walk around the whole lake and it took around 25 minutes to cycle, so we stopped for a drink half way in a place near Zaka bus station, just next to the public swimming pool. It was bliss. I had a mojito and will had a beer and we just sat there for about 30 minutes just taking in the view. No matter where you're looking at this place from it is still beautiful! If we were there in July/august I definitely would've spent a day here, swimming by the lake and sunbathing. 

We then got back on our bikes and rode around the other half of the lake to make it back in time to give our bikes back! We stopped one more time and just sat with our feet in the water for a while and chilled. After giving our bikes back we went back to an ice cream shop we saw earlier and each got an ice cream! These were so good, they tasted like proper Italian gelato! 

my new pal.

Theres a photo point around the lake with a love heart in meaning for couples or families or anyone in love to take a photo in so we did that after. We saw it the day before but it was really busy so thought we'd wait until a time when it was empty. There is also a bit of fence/wire where people have started hanging locks on there where we tied a bit of string on (We didn't have a lock haha!). After snapping a few photos here we decided to find somewhere to eat. 

We both fancied pizza so we looked around on our phone maps for a pizzeria and found one a few minutes walk away. We only saw this when we were looking for the pizzeria but there's like a mini complex which has a bar in, a rent a car, a clothing shop, a vegan cafe, a supermarket and some other restaurants in! This is probably a cheaper alternative than eating somewhere around/basically on the lake so If you're thinking of travelling here on a budget, here is definitely the place to go to eat!

The pizzeria we went to was called Pizzeria Gallus and was divine! They were proper stone baked pizzas and they were less than 10 euros each! After eating here we headed back to our hotel as we needed to pack for our extremely early train to Venice the next morning! We both definitely over estimated how hungry we were so we brought the rest of our pizzas back in a pizza box and had them when we were feeling peckish a bit later on! 

Thanks for reading! Speak soon!

Annie ­čî╗


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