Vikki: We have had a fabulous couple of days in Bled, it has certainly made up
for the crap before and now we are once again all relaxed and full of smiles. First off a big thanks to Liz from work, as it was her saying, "you have to go to Lake Bled" which saw us adding it to the itinerary for which we are eternally grateful. Lake Bled is beautiful, a small quaint village, by a large lake surrounded by mountains. Its's picturesque and there is loads to do. Highlights for me would have to be swimming in the lake, walking the Vintgar Gorge and eating the fabulous Bled Cake. Add to that a visit to Bled Castle, evening concert in the park, free tickets to the lake pool & mazes and you get the idea that we've had a fab time. I have to say to all those gardeners, walking along the gorge with wild astilbes, aquilegias, cinerarias, cyclamen and more growing along the edges, made me incredibly envious and with small rapids and waterfalls along the way it reminded me very much of New Zealand.
The swimming in the lake was great, beautiful blue clear water, cooler and more refreshing than we've had recently and lots of fish. Probably the most swimming and deepest I've been in so far on this trip.
To finish the day Bled Cake and coffee (for me) hit the spot. Like a decadent custard square, it was exactly what the doctor ordered (ha ha) and was the perfect ending for me at this place. Would love to come back one day and maybe see it in winter, where there is snow to the ground and parts of the lake ice over.
Raj: I don't have much to add other than reiterating our stay in Bled has been awesome. In a short time we've managed to squeeze in lots of fun things in an idyllic setting. Pretty perfect I'd say following my last blog entry. We entered a competition to win a trip to Bled so who knows, we might be back again!
Tomorrow we drive to Austria and I'll be sure to get the Austrian Road Tax sticker at the border if not before!
Harley: One highlight of Slovenia has been Labirint Bled. It was 3 different mazes and you had to complete 20 different nature based challenges. Some of the challenges were puzzles, facts, music but my most favourite was creating a nature artwork - we made a scarecrow from sticks and rocks. Another highlight was getting free tickets to a swimming park on the lake. There was a hydroslide, 4 pools, and a diving board. I did 8 flips off the diving board. Also we got 2 lots of free ice cream! This morning we drove to Vintgar Gorge. It is a 2km long gorge which walked along. When I went down to touch the water it was freezing, about 10 degrees, way too cold to swim. We think we saw some trout in the water (we saw lots of different types of fish). We also saw 2 water falls. Lastly today we took a rowing boat out for 2 hours on Lake Bled. My awesome dad rowed us to the island and back which was about 4 km! As a treat we had a late afternoon tea at a restaurant. We had Bled Cake, it was like a custard square with crispy pastry on top, cream in the middle and custard at the bottom. It was delicious! Anouk had a chocolate pie with raspberries inside. It was about 70% cocoa and was soooooo rich!!!
Anouk: Over the last few days in Bled the highlights have been great fun. Today I enjoyed doing a variety of things such as walking along the Vintgar Gorge and seeing water falls, rowing out to an island and best of all eating dessert at a restaurant. The first thing we did was walking along the gorge. It was cold because all the trees were blocking the sun and it was early in the morning. Along the way we saw lots of fish swimming in the deep parts of the river and big and small waterfalls. I took a video of my favourite waterfall which at the end of the walk. There was some still parts away from the waterfalls and some quite rough parts. Harley and I walked down by the edge and felt the water temperature and it was absolutely freezing cold. The next exciting thing we did was renting a rowing boat and rowing to an island and around the lake. Dad was very nice and did all the rowing for us. He first had to get used to it and then he managed to row all around the lake. The first stop was the island with the church on it. All we did there was look around but didn't go inside the church because we thought that we wouldn't have enough time to visit other places. Then we got back on the rowing boat and went to a path were we could get into the water from. The water was so cold so I ducked my shoulders under then got straight out. The last and best part of the day was going to a restaurant and having Bled Cake. My family all got Bled Cake so I decided to get something different which was chocolate pie with raspberries. It tasted like chocolate mousse on a biscuit crumb base with raspberries inside it. It was amazingly strong with chocolate and one thing that made it so chocolatey was all the cocoa sprinkled on top. I loved it!
Today on the Raj Factor: Now I know it's been a while but himself hasn't really got up to anything too diabolical lately (other than the fine for not having the toll sticker and he blames me as co-pilot) so I thought I'd share our boating trip on the lake today. We hired a wooden row boat for a couple of hours, heading out to the small island in the middle of the lake. Raj had expressed his desire to row, and when I asked if I could have a turn I was politely turned down, advised this was a mans job and that he would row. So be it.
Not one for sitting back and being quiet (I don't think any Muxlow is) I couldn't help but try to provide helpful advice as we zig zagged along the lake.This was not overly appreciated. Given you row backwards, I was required to give guidance with direction so in all fairness couldn't be quiet all the time. At one point I must admit to tears of laughter as he paddled, working hard to keep the oars working together at the same time. Surrounding the lake and on the island are a number of churches which ring their bells all day and night regardless of time, (much to Raj's annoyance). So it was a further joke on him that even on the water every time we neared one of them, the bells would start tolling.
All in all though we had a great time, saw lots of the lake and Raj rowed a good few kilometres. In fairness, Raj is a kayaker and while great at this, it is a different type of stroke needed for rowing (not that he could be told). Only 15 minutes late back and now with a couple of blisters on his hands he will tell you that it was the weight at the front of the boat (me) that made it more difficult and being one not to argue (yeah right) I just scoffed at that, added my personal opinion of his lack of technique and then off we went for coffee and cake.
Part Two of the Raj Factor has to do with a nature lesson (part of the information that we learnt going through the mazes). I was astounded and somewhat ashamed when neither of the kids could tell me what deciduous meant and the difference between that and evergreen. Further yet appalled when Raj didn't know. Maybe I'm biased with a gardening background but I would have thought that was common knowledge and something you learnt early on. So out came the biology lesson from me and then the testing throughout the day to make sure it was remembered.
Unbelievably Raj still can't get the word and keeps saying "indigenous". Another good word all in all, but not the winner. At least he now knows what they all mean - he just needs to remember the word! Note Reshma, I've added this to the spelling lists for the kids and set one up for Raj until he gets it!