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The Julian Alps in Pictures

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This is probably going to make me sound like a travel agent, but Slovenia is like a tiny best of Europe package deal. At the center you have, Ljubljana, the cutest city ever. Head South and you can absorb Balkan culture and strange Karst landscapes. Go west towards the Adriatic and you might as well be in Italy. Finally, head up north to the Julian Alps and it’s pretty much little Austria.

I’d never seen any portion of the Alps before, and the first thing I noticed hopping off the bus was the air. That clean crisp Alpine air was like nothing I’d every breathed before. I don’t usually go around thinking about air, but the crystal quality is amazing, like champagne.

Bled

Bled is really the premier attraction in Slovenia. It lives up to the hype. It’s a town for big busloads of tourists yes; but Bled is stunning.

Surrounded by snowy mountains, Bled is centered on a glassy postcard perfect lake. In the center is perched a miniature island church. To get to it you can take a touristy boat taxi, but I recommend hiring a rowboat from one of the many shore side companies. It requires a bit of muscle but it’s a beautiful and invigorating ride (If you can, do what I did and get a strong Englishman to row you around).

On the far end of the lake is Bled Castle. Perched on an absolutely massive crag of rock, it is everything an imposing mountain fortress should be.

The hike up is…challenging (luckily I’d sharpened my fortress invading skills a few weeks earlier). But the castle at the top is pleasant with a neat museum and an intriguing wine cellar (where you can bottle your own wine for a fee). The view is spectacular of course.

Vintgar Gorge

Just a small corner of Triglav National Park, the gorge is only a couple miles from Bled. We decided to walk there one day and the rich green fields, alpine farms and cows that looked like they wandered of a cream cheese box.

It was significantly cooler down in the narrow gorge. A hundred year old wooden walkway winds through gorge, cutting across velvety green rushing rapids.

I often say that I’m a city girl, but I can’t think of anything better than the crisp clarity that comes with being high in the mountains. And the air of course, my god that air.

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19 Responses to The Julian Alps in Pictures

  1. Abhi March 23, 2010 at 9:54 AM #

    Wow! Just Wow! :)
    .-= Abhi´s last blog ..Why you should not travel the way a travel-writer would suggest. =-.

  2. ayngelina March 23, 2010 at 10:25 AM #

    You don’t really hear much about Slovenia in Canada but it looks beautiful.
    .-= ayngelina´s last blog ..My Trio of Travel Secrets =-.

    • Steph March 23, 2010 at 2:34 PM #

      I had never given it any thought at all until I began planning my visit to Bosnia. It’s a hidden gem but it’s definitely becoming more popular.

  3. Marko March 23, 2010 at 11:13 AM #

    Slovenia is beautiful, and has wonderful nature…
    .-= Marko´s last blog ..Scandinavia Cruise =-.

  4. Gray March 23, 2010 at 12:06 PM #

    That is a beautiful place. Look at the color of the water in the gorge! Wow. I love how the dock has been carved out to accommodate the rowboats.
    .-= Gray´s last blog ..Freestyle Dining on NCL’s Epic: Perfect for Solos? =-.

    • Steph March 23, 2010 at 2:34 PM #

      I couldn’t get over how clean, colorful and clear the water was all over the Balkans. don’t see that in the US too often.

  5. George March 23, 2010 at 12:47 PM #

    The lake in Bohinj is amazing, and almost no tourists when I was there in June.

    • Steph March 23, 2010 at 2:35 PM #

      I didn’t make it to Bohinj but I’ve heard good things as well.

  6. Nancy March 23, 2010 at 6:51 PM #

    I LOVE Slovenia. Bled is one of all-time favorite places I’ve traveled to. Gorgeous pics!
    .-= Nancy´s last blog ..The La Quinta Escape: My Favorite Pet Travel Memory =-.

  7. @annajura March 23, 2010 at 7:25 PM #

    Ah! I love Slovenia – one of my favourite countries in Europe.

    That wooden walkway clinging to the rockface is so beautiful! Thanks for bringing back the memories Steph.

    • Steph March 23, 2010 at 10:20 PM #

      Glad you enjoyed!

  8. Ashley March 23, 2010 at 8:15 PM #

    I want to go to Slovenia so badddddly. Hopefully I’ll be able to take a former Yugoslavia trip sometime soon

  9. Joel March 23, 2010 at 11:15 PM #

    Those are some beautiful pictures! I may have to swing by there – the castle alone seems like it’s worth the miles of pedaling! :)
    .-= Joel´s last blog ..7 Ways My Trip Already Kicks Ass =-.

    • Steph March 24, 2010 at 9:33 AM #

      it is a hell of a castle. well worth a visit!

  10. Anil March 24, 2010 at 7:16 AM #

    In the mountains the air is sharp, almost like an additional kiss of life to push one along.

    The pictures are beautiful. A stunning place no doubt. I liked the cuts in the jetty to anchor boats.
    .-= Anil´s last blog ..Nashik Chivda =-.

    • Steph March 24, 2010 at 9:33 AM #

      very well put.

  11. Allison March 24, 2010 at 10:00 AM #

    Hm…now I wanna go there – it looks beautiful!

  12. Sasha March 24, 2010 at 7:47 PM #

    Oh Slovenia, so beautiful how i miss ye, although sadly i was only there for a few days!!! N Lake Bled i was only there for a few minutes!!! Your gorgeous pics are reminding me that it must feature on my itinerary next year!!! :)

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