Gotta keep moving, and so exactly one week after I arrived, I boarded a bus to a location that is even more popular than the capital of this country. LAKE BLED… one of the most romantic and picturesque landscapes in Europe.
With a brilliantly bright turquoise lake.
With a medieval church on an island, in the lake.
With a medieval castle overlooking the church, on an island, in the lake.
With the snow-capped Alps overlooking the castle, overlooking the church, on an island, in the lake.
5X more popular than the capital.
2X as expensive as the capital.
But I found an amazing hostel online that wasn’t expensive and just outside the center of town. I was hoping that the ‘1A ADVENTURE HOSTEL‘ would somehow reignite the adventure aspect of my trip to Slovenia.
However, 10 minutes before I arrived in Bled, the bus slowly passed a DINO-PARK, complete with massive, animated, dinosaurs. From the road, it was actually quite impressive and everyone on the bus got out of their seats and took photos as we passed. I knew I had to go. Not just because of TRAMPOSAURUS TREKS, but because when I was younger I remember reading in some kids magazine about a Dino Park in Oregon, and at the time I desperately wanted to go. But Oregon was many thousands of miles away from where I lived in Florida, and I had at that point, never left the State, so there wasn’t a chance. So Dino-Park has been added to the top of the list of things to do while I am here.
Long story short. I arrived at the hostel and it is the BEST hostel I have stayed at so far this summer. Everyone talks to each other and gets together for drinks at the end of the day. As I am speaking with some of the employees at the hostel, one of them asks me what I am doing the next day. Answers that could be expected at the “ADVENTURE HOSTEL” would include ‘rafting,’ ‘canyoning,’ ‘climbing,’ ‘ballooning,’ ‘paragliding,’ etc.
My response was “I am so excited to go to the Dino-Park!” ——- The man I was talking to at that moment just happened to be the owner of the Dino-Park. Seeing that I have experience working in entertainment and theme parks, he asked that I give him my honest opinion of the park after I returned the next day.
So then, the next day I walked the short distance to the Dino-Park and I was quite impressed. The man that I had met told me that half of the dinosaurs that were on display were from a factory in Japan, and the other half, he and his team had made themselves. Impressed indeed. I took turns seeing the park as both a tourist and a critic. It was hard to find fault in something I was enjoying so much.
I walked the entire park 2X. The second time was solely to get photos and videos of Trampy interacting with some of his cousins. The dialogue I created between Trampy and some of the massive, animatronic creatures had me laughing at myself, and I am sure anyone watching me take photos of my own plastic dinosaur interacting with the displays thought I was a complete mental case.
After my Jurassic adventure, I continued a one-hour walk to the famous Lake Bled. As the trees parted and I got my first glimpse of Bled Castle looming over the bright, turquoise lake, I just stopped breathing for a moment. This collaboration of man and nature to create this fairytale-like landscape can easily take your breath away at first sight. I had thought that the church on the island in the lake was going to be what inspired me about this place. But no. It is absolutely Bled Castle on the cliff that I absolutely love.
At the foot of the Alps, the sun for the last few days has been intense, and it has been very difficult to get photos that do not have a washed-out look to them. That is a real shame. Even in the intense sun and heat, I climbed several of the small hills surrounding the lake to get better photos. Several times I just sat down to absorb the magical landscape. As I sat there staring at the lake, castle, and hills, my eyes kept getting drawn to the magnificent Alps soaring high above everything and I came up with a plan to get there.
I had fallen completely in love with the people and atmosphere at the 1A Adventure Hostel, and I was pretty sure that they would hold my backpack for me if I wanted to head into the mountains with the bare minimum supplies. I began to piece together a route that would take me to some magnificent sights, and get me back to Lake Bled within 10 days so that I could retrieve my bag and make it to the airport in Ljubljana to catch my flight to the Faroe Islands on July 4.
But I had two days booked at the hostel still, so I let the guys that worked there talk me into some side adventures of canyoning and rafting with them before I headed out. ABSOLUTELY FANTASTIC getting into a harness and abseiling into a beautiful, deep mountain gorge, and then just a hours later spending the second half of the day rafting down some tame rapids, jumping into the water and talking and laughing with the others on the raft.
I bought a bit of meat last night for a BBQ, to thank the guys at the hostel for taking care of my backpack for the 10 days I am gone. Tonight we eat. Tomorrow morning I set out to continue this Slovenian Adventure and climb some massive mountains.
All I will be carrying:
– 3 pairs of socks
– 3 pairs of underwear
– 3 shirts
– bar of soap
– phone (for GPS)
– rain jacket
(That should be about 4 kilos.)
I will not have my computer with me, but I may still check in on my phone while at a mountain hut.
Otherwise, see you in July with some amazing photos from my walk through the Alps.
I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t once again scared. Heading into the mountains without my massive backpack filled with everything I could possibly need to survive in the wilderness. But I will have clean underwear, and that is something to be thankful for! 🙂
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