A Walk Around Lake Bled on Halloween

Hey guys,

while for most of us, October 31st is Halloween, in Slovenia, it is Reformation Day, a religious and public holidays. It is celebrated in remembrance of the Protestant Reformation.

Like many Slovenians, we took advantage of the day off and went for a beautiful “family” walk around Lake Bled. We parked at train station and started our nice walk around Lake Bled.

The weather was cold and cloudy – a typical autumn day (unfortunately, not the best day for photography).

Some courageous visitors took a Pletna boat ride to the Bled island. Other decided to rent a canoe and went by themselves. Many fishermen were stationed around the lake in hope of catching some fishes.

It was my first time walking all-around (I usually walk about half of it) Lake Bled, and at a leisure-pace, it took us approximately 3 hours. It was a very easy, family-friendly and nice walk. There was also a special Halloween event for children at the Bled Castle.


Afterward, in preparation for tomorrow’s Remembrance Day of the Dead, we went to the graveyard with floral arrangements and candles.

I had a great day and enjoyed spending time with family 🙂

Until next time,
Anna.

Dessert Weekend at Pr’ Krvin

Hey guys! (Yummmmmm!)

I’ve always been a big fan of beautiful and delicious desserts, especially chocolate mousse. I was quite sad to find out that it wasn’t that common in Slovenia until last year. The first time I went lunch at Gostilna Pr’ Krvin, a restaurant in Tržič (and near our home), I discovered that they served amazingly good desserts! I was simply overjoyed!

No need to mention that taste is crucial, but for me, appearance is equally important. I love food that are also appealing to the eyes.

Few times during the summer, Gostilna Pr’ Krvin holds a Dessert Weekend in their beautiful garden, all sorts of delicious AND beautiful desserts are served. My all-time favorite is always chocolate mousse paired with some fruit coulee or hazelnut crumble. Just thinking about it, literally makes me drool.

This weekend was this year’s last Dessert Weekend, but fortunately, they also serve delicious desserts on a daily basis, but the choices are more limited.

Updates January 2017 – I am sad to announce that Gostilna Pr’ Krvin is now closed.

Until next time,
Anna.

 

Soteska Vintgar on a Cloudy Day

On a slightly cloudy day, my husband and I wanted to go on a small izlet to Bled, but once we reached our destination, the weather wasn’t as nice as we expected. So, we had a change of plan and visited the Soteska Vintgar – Vintgar Gorge, also known as the Blejski Vintgar – Bled Gorge, instead.

The natural scenery of Soteska Vintgar along the Radovna river that flows between the hills of Hom and Boršt was  first discovered in 1891 by Jakob Žumer and Benedikt Lergetporer. Security ramps, wooden bridges and narrowed passages were constructed in 1893 for the public.

The previous rain made the flow of the Radovna river strong and roaring. At the slower and calmer part of the river, the color of the water was a beautiful shade of turquoise, which reminded me of the Tolminska Korita, and surprisingly clear – especially after so much rain.

Slower Part of Radovna river

Slower Part of Radovna river

The narrow path along the Radovna river was a bit slippery with puddles of water, but it was totally worth it!

The cleverly built walking path gave an amazingly close but safe view of the different features of the Radovna river: lovely rapids, small series of waterfalls and intriguing potholes on the side. Fishes could be easily seen through the very clear water.

The beautiful set of wooden bridges that crosses above the Radovna river are called the Žumer Galleries.

The 1,6 km path leads to the fantastic 16 m drop Šum waterfalls, the highest river waterfall in Slovenia  and also the symbol of the Soteska Vintgar.


Despite the cloudy weather and occasional small droplets of rain, I really enjoyed my little outing in the Soteska Vintgar with my husband. Visit my Gallery for more photos.

Until next time,
Anna.

A short visit in Škofja Loka

The other day I had my health check-up for my driving license in the lovely town of Škofja Loka. We (my husband and I) usually drive by the town every time we go to Tolmin, but we never actually stopped by, until this time – what a little hidden jewel!

Wooden Statue on the Way to Loka Castle

The town of Škofja Loka, built at the confluence of the  Poljanska Sora and Selška Sora rivers for more than a thousand years, is one of the best preserved medieval town of Slovenia. The town is surrounded by beautiful unspoiled nature.

There are different paths that lead to the Loka Castle, which stands on a slope just above the town.

The one we took was short, easy and absolutely lovely – there was a beautifully carved wooden statue right at the beginning of the path. (Does anyone know what the statue symbolized? If you know the answer, please let me know via the comment box!)

The “stairs” to the castle had a rather unusual structure: like a stone ramp with regular convex bar that act like steps. It made the climb to the castle almost effortless – which surprised me at first.

Usually access to castles aren’t that easy, due to defensive purpose. Although, the access to Loka Castle is easy, it doesn’t mean that it is defenseless.

A defensive city wall with only five gates was erected around Škofja Loka in 1318, it provides protection, not only to the Loka Castle, but also to the old town core.

First built in the 12th century by the Bishops of Freising, the castle sits on a natural terrace. Following an earthquake in 1511, the castle was almost completely destroyed but it was rebuilt and given its current architecture. Today, the Loka Castle serves as an important local museum.

Beautiful Loka Castle in Škofja Loka

One of the things I enjoyed the most in Škofja Loka was the walk through the small garden next to the castle – the calm and quietness was simply wonderful. It gave me the impression of being completely somewhere else and very very close to the natural surroundings – yet, in reality, I was in the middle of a town!

Curious Bird in the Small Garden next to Loka Castle

The peacefulness of the garden allowed us to take nice close shoot of the birds. The trees created an interesting surroundings. It is definitively a place where I would love to spend my afternoon!


Unfortunately, we were limited in time and didn’t visit Škofja Loka as thoroughly as we wanted. We finished our short visit by a quick walk through the old town core. The another attractions will have to wait for another izlet! 😉

Until next time,
Anna.

Day 4 – Tolmin & Around

Travelling is already so expensive (the cost of transport and accommodations…), so let me show you some free/low-cost activities to do, follow my series “Slovenia on Budget”.  It is for people who will travel by car.

If you want, you can first read

Day 4 – Tolmin and Around

The Forest covers about 60% of Slovenia. When I think about Slovenia, mountains, forest and waters come to my mind. In this post, we’re going hiking and seeing a lot of water courses. We’re going to the West side of Slovenia, in the Goriška region.

Tolminska Korita in Tolmin

The drive from Tržič (where I live) to Tolmin is quite tricky, it has a tons of mountains roads and turns. I’m always a bit worried when we drive to Tolmin, as I’m not sure how my stomach will take it… but the Tolminska Korita – Tolmin Gorges is soooooooo worth it! And a plus, it’s not crowded by tour bus tourists, but hikers.

For a little fee of 4€, you can hike in the Tolmin Gorges, which is part of the Triglav National Park. The paths are well maintained, but a good pair of shoes is recommended, as it goes up and down and near the water courses.

Beautiful Tolminska Korita

The water, believe it or not, is turquoise and very very clear. You can easily see the protected marble trout in the waters. I’ve always enjoy listening to the flow of water and childishly play in it – it’s just so relaxing! Within the Tolminska Korita, you can see Thermal Spring, the “Bear’s Head”, the Devil’s Bridge and so much more. For more information, you can visit the Dolina Soče Official Website.

Hidden gem in Kobarid

On our way back, we visited small hidden gem in Kobarid: the Kozjak Slap, which consists of six succession of waterfalls, but only the two last can be seen. The Veliki Kozjak is beautiful sight of nature: a 8 m high white  waterfall, surrounded by a half dome, that drops into a pool of turquoise water. The only path there is by walking on a narrow and tiny wooden bridge and at the end, you get to stand on a platform of approximately 1 m large. Which makes taking photos a bit challenging!

We took the smoother road via  Škofja Loka/Idrija on our way to Tolmin, but we drive back by via Kranjska Gora/Vršič Pass .

Driving through Vršič Pass

The Vršič Pass is the most famous and highest mountain pass in Slovenia. It was built during World War I, with a total of 50 turns. Each turn is numbered from 1 to 50 with the elevation.

Beautiful View from the top of the Vršič Pass

Beautiful View from the top of the Vršič Pass

The sight on top is breathtaking, you can see waves of mountains in attitude. There’s also a small inns for travelers and adventures. It’s a quite famous cycle-challenger for bikers as well!

Be aware that the weather is chiller at the top (1611 masl), so wear an extra jacket.


Let me know how you’re liking the nature side of Slovenia by dropping me some comments below. Don’t forget to dress accordingly for hiking and to bring snack with you, but don’t forget the principle of “hiking without trace” – meaning, don’t throw your garbage in the nature.

I forgot to mention, there’s a surprise on Turn 17 of the Vršič Pass – make sure to make a stop. And if you can’t wait to find out, you can visit my Gallery for the answer. Tomorrow, we’re going around the neck of the chicken: Day 5 – Ptuj & Maribor.

(I’ve also randomly came across this post: This May Be The Most Beautiful River On Earth, from the Huffington Post.)

Let’s travel,
Anna.

Day 2 – Bled & Bohinj

I’m writing this post as being part of my series “Slovenia on Budget”, for those who likes to drive around and visit places but at an affordable price (or for free). Please note, this is about Places to Visit, and not accommodations or transports.

You can also read my previous post

Day 2: BledBohinj

Today we’re travelling to the Gorenjska region of Slovenia, situated in the Northwest part of the country. The biggest town is Kranj, but we’re not heading there this time.

Bled, the Fairy Tale Island

If you were visiting Slovenia with a tour bus, your guide will certainly bring you to Lake Bled. The view is simply breathtaking: a castle sitting on a rock hill, looking down on a lake with the sole island of Slovenia, topped with a Church. Isn’t it just simply beautiful?

Although, being such a touristic emplacement, spending will be hard to avoid, especially if you want to do the “normal” tourist routine: visit of the Bled CastleBlejski grad (9€), going to the Island with the Pletna boat (12€) and ringing the Bell in the Church of the Assumption (6€)…

We walked around the lake and took amazing photos, my parents were thrilled. We visited the Bled Castle because the view from above is a “must”, especially when you get a 50% off (we uses our Spar Discount Card). Once you’re in the castle, you MUST try the famous Slovenian Kremšnita, which is a cake pastry with layers of light cream. Yummm!

Delicious Slovenian Cream Cake, Kreamšnita, in a Paper Boat in Castle Bled, Slovenia

Delicious Slovenian Cream Cake, Kreamšnita, in a Paper Boat in Castle Bled, Slovenia

If you must pick one activity around Lake Bled, I would recommend that you go visit the Bled Castle and enjoy a Kremšnita (4€) while admiring the panoramic view of Lake Bled. Also, with your admission ticket, you get 1€ discount on food and in souvenir shop.

(For more details, you can check my post Lake Bled – the Fairy Tale Island.)

Bohinj, the Glacial Lake

Situated in the heart of the Julian Alps, Bohinj Lake is the largest natural lake in Slovenia. It’s perfect location for water activities: canoeing, rafting, kayaking, swimming and so on, although the water is usually colder than others lakes. Around the lake are hiking paths. All these activities are for free (if you have your own equipment)!

The Savica Waterfall is also close by, and it’s known to be the source of Sava Bohinjka. For a small fee of 2.50€, you can access the path to the Savica Waterfall.

Church of St. John the Baptist and Bridge

Church of St. John the Baptist and Bridge

You can also visit the 700 years old Church of St. John the Baptist, which is just next to the bridge.

The statue of the ZlatorogGoldenhorn, the legendary white chamois, can be find next to the Bohinj Lake. A summary of the Legend can be found on Wikipedia: Goldenhorn. Basically, the horn of the Zlatorog is the key to a hidden treasure in the area. A greedy hunter tracked down and shot the Zlatorog, but he revived by eating a magic flower, then he revenged himself and killed the greedy hunter.

A little Red Ant Climbing Wood in Bohinj, Slovenia

A little Red Ant Climbing Wood in Bohinj, Slovenia

My parents were satisfied just by walking around the lake, admiring the landscape and taking beautiful photos. Just being in the nature is such a wonderful feeling!

Bonus: The Stone Castle

On the way from Tržič to Bled, you can see Mount Triglav, one of the symbol of Slovenia. You will also come across a hidden little germ at the entrance of the Draga Valley in Begunje na Gorenjskem: the ruins of the Kamen Grad, the Stone Castle. You can see the skeleton of the castle, which was built in the 12th century.

It’s a little excursion, although, the visit of the premise is at your own risk, so be careful if you decide to pass by.


Activities at Lake Bled or Lake Bohinj can easily take one whole day, but I usually decide to go to both lakes during the same day as they are “in the same area”.

So, did you have a swim in Lake Bled or Lake Bohinj? Let me know via the comment box, and thanks for reading my post. You can follow me to the next stop: Day 3 – Predjama Castle, Lipica & Piran, and be sure to look at my Gallery as well!

Let’s travel,
Anna.

Slovenia on Budget in Pictures

 

These photos were taken all around Slovenia, when my parents came visit me, at the end of August 2015.

Photo Hunting with Foto Klub Tržič – in Photos

These photos were taken during a Photo Hunting Activity with Foto Klub Tržič (Fotolov – Zahajajoče Sonce), Summer 2015.

Photo Hunting with Foto Klub Tržič

At the end of May, I’ve participated to a Photo Hunting, Fotolov, activity organized by the Foto Klub Tržič.

I was pretty nervous in meeting new Slovene-only speakers and actually wondered if I would understand them at all, but everything turn out awesome. People were impressed that I spoke Slovene and I got to meet and learn from awesome and passionate photography lovers!

The activity was called Zahajajoče Sonce, which means Sunset, and it was all about finding the natural lighting. We went to various places for the activity.

Beautiful Wild Flowers with Lake Bled and the City in the back

Beautiful Wild Flowers with Lake Bled and the City in the back

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First stop, we went to a spot that overlook on Lake Bled, the view was fantastic! It looked like a little hidden spot for photography lovers, and despite the hot weather, in the attitude, it was pretty cold (wearing a parka is advised!).

I practiced my Composition, which means how to arrange elements in your photo’s frame. There’s a lot of rules, but what’s important is how you feel about what you want to photograph.

There was many lovely right flowers were I was standing, then I could see the forest, Lake Bled and the Church of the Assumption, the city, the mountains and the sky.

Looking up the Trees above the Blueberries Field

Looking up the Trees above the Blueberries Field

Second stop, we went to a blueberries clearing in Pokljuka. Another secret spot, I would say! Apparently, a lot of people go up there to collect blueberries during the summer.

Nice spotlight next to a Tree in a Blueberries Field

Nice spotlight next to a Tree in a Blueberries Field

There I practiced my Lighting and started to play with my Exposure settings for the first time (yes, I’m a big time beginner at Photography! But hey, practice makes perfect – eventually!). The place just seemed perfect for testing the different effects while using different exposure settings.

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I’ve also tried using different angles, depending on what I wanted to demonstrate.

For example, here’s a photo of our teacher Aleš Zdešar, who had the kindness to guide us all around.

At first, he looks buried into the blueberries field within the tall tree, right?

Actually, he was sitting on a rock and not into the field. I used an angle so that the blueberries (in the front) would hide the rock and make him look like he’s engulfed in the field.

Knowing how to use the correct angle to photograph what you want to show is indeed crucial, and I still have a tons to learn!

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Third stop, we drove to a plains up in the mountain, a Planina.

During summer, cows are putting in there, but some people also go there for a small holidays, that’s what the cabins are for. It is also free to access, so any visitors are welcomed.

We practice photographing in Macro the flowers on the plains, while waiting for the sunset. I didn’t like the macro function somehow, so I mostly used the Focus to take photos. I’m pretty happy with the result.

Green Field with Beautiful Purple Wild Flowers with Sunshine in Planina, Slovenia

Green Field with Beautiful Purple Wild Flowers with Sunshine in Planina, Slovenia

Unfortunately, I didn’t bring my tripod with me (I know, totally silly me…) and I wasn’t able to take good photo of the golden hour (the short moment before sunset – or sunrise) at all.

Last stop, to conclude the Fotolov, we went to Lake Bled for a night shoot of the Church of the Assumption.

Beautiful Evening View and Reflection of the Church of the Assumption in Lake Bled, Slovenia

Beautiful Evening View and Reflection of the Church of the Assumption in Lake Bled, Slovenia

I didn’t bring my tripod, but a very kind person lend me his! 🙂 He also took the time to teach me how to shoot in Manual Mode and how to set the Speed to increase the exposure time for night photography. And… surprisingly, I think the result was fantastic!


Despite my worries at the beginning of the activity, I truly enjoyed myself and met some awesome people, who loves photography with passion! I learnt a lot and can’t wait for next time.

More photos of my photo hunting can be found in my Gallery.

Until next time,
Anna.