After a rainy few days in Salzburg - which was quite charming, contrary to Walker's musings, although at times felt like a Tesco Value Munich, we jumped onto the train to Slovenia.
Perhaps due to the torrential rain, perhaps due to some European quirk or perhaps due to our own stupidity, what had initially appeared to be a simple direct train turned out to involve three changes and a bus ride. I am glad it did, as we ended up winding through the Austrian country side and mountain scales, once emerging from a tunnel to discover we were now above cloud level.
Arriving in Slovenia, we were excited to hopefully end up in a dorm and find lots of people like us. Alas, it wasn't to be. Not a single bed at a hostel anywhere in Bled and we end up in what appears to be the spare room of a family's house which we were given little choice about!
Bled itself is a stunning little town. Nestled somewhere in the Slovenian alps, it embodies the gorgeous scenery you expect to see in the background of the Sound of Music. The lake itself is looked down upon by a quant little castle and has a church sitting on an island in the middle.
After a beer (or two) with lunch, we summoned the courage to take a dip in the gorgeous blue waters of the lake. Considering the mountains are snow peaked it was surprisingly pleasant.
Slovenia is by far my favourite of the three countries we have visited so far (no doubt Jack disagrees!!). It seems to have achieved a great mix of western and eastern Europe. The pints may be priced in Euros, but a five euro note might get you a round!
As I sit in a roadside bar next to or lodging which has no reason to be placed where it is yet is suprisingly busy, the locals seem happy to chat. I am reminded we are on the edge of the traditional Eurozone as men enjoy a few of the local pints then stumble to their cars to drive home. But I am more than happy to be here and feel fully relaxed for perhaps the first time since leaving for Europe.
Tomorrow - Ljubljana.