Sunday, August 9, 2009

Day 63, Bled Slovenia

We are now in Slovenia..

.......we are going to meet my dearest friend Spela who is celebrating her birthday with this is going be an action packed adventure for sure...

And there is the majestic Triglav Mountains.
.... the highest mountain in Slovenia and the highest peak of the Julian Alps, a mountain range of the Southern Limestone Alps that stretches from north-eastern Italy to Slovenia, where they rise to 2,864 metres at the Triglav mountain. They are named after Julius Caesar, who founded the municipium of Cividale del Friuli at the foot of the mountains.

A large part of the Julian Alps is included in the Triglav National Park, a UNESCO WHS.

The mountain is the preeminent Slovene n
ational symbol. A stylized depiction of its distinctive shape is the central element of the Slovenian coat of arms, and is in turn featured on the flag of Slovenia, and a photorealistic relief of the mountain is the design on the national side of the Slovenian 50 eurocent coin.

So what's our first stop Spela?
Oh, wow, Bled's scenery is almost im
possibly romantic, with a little white church on an island in the center of an emerald green mountain lake, Bled Castle perched high above and the peaks of the Julian Alps all around...

We simply have to go to the little island on Lake Bled.....the traditional pletna boats!
The small church on the island dates back to the 10th century, but the present building was built in the 17th century.
According to local tradition, a husband who can carry his newly married bride the 99 steps up from the dock into the church will be ensured a happy marriage, and ringing the bell in the church will fulfill one of your of course we all wanted to ring the bell.
A rope comes through the vaulted ceiling of the small chapel and hangs in the choir. It requires pulling with all your weight in order to get it to ring. Of course our attempts were witnessed by the ornate figures on the Baroque-style altar and a solitary wood carving of the Virgin and Child from the 15th century on the left side of the chapel....and they would have laughed their heads off watching us try to ring this bell...thank goodness they are inanimate!

We stopped for a quick ice its back to shore...and now we are taking a horse drawn carriage for a rides around the lake and then on to the iconic Bled Castle, a picturesque white and red castle, perched on a rock on the northern side of town.
The castle was first mentioned in 1004, which makes it one of the oldest in Slovenia. The oldest part of the castle is the romanesque tower.The buildings are arranged around two courtyards, which are connected with a staircase. There is a chapel on the upper courtyard, which was built in the 16th century, and renovated around 1700, when it was also painted with illusionist frescoes. The castle also has a drawbridge over a moat.

We found a little museum inside with an exhibition on the castle's history and the usual array of medieval pomp, pageantry and weaponry.
There is also a small wine center run by Andre, the monk. For the price of a champagne bottle Andre taught us to perform Sabrage, or Sabree, the art of cutting the top of the bottle off with a blade.We also bottled, labelled, and wax stamped our own wine right in the cellar with Andre!! This was so much fun!
Wow, the panoramic view from up here is absolutely stunning....straight out of a fairytale......

We are in the heart of the Triglav area that offers plenty of activities.... mountain biking, rafting, canyoning, fishing, climbing, riding, panoramic flights, tandem paragliding, adrenaline parks, alpine and cross-country skiing, ski safaris, snow-shoeing, sledging and ice what are we going to do next??
Yay we are going to para glide....

No comments: