Outdoor Fun in Slovenia
After saying goodbye to the friends I made in the hostel in Budapest I hopped aboard a train towards Slovenia. I chose Slovenia because I’ve heard great things about the outdoor activities. My trip included lots of hiking, so much that I had to take a day off of my feet!
My train trek lasted over 8 hours and for the first time I had dinner in a dining car. I got something cheap, with chips. Kebab chips to be exact! They were actually quite tasty!
Once off of the train I eventually found my hostel and looked at what I wanted to do the next morning. I decided to travel to Lake Bled, a beautiful lake situated about two hours north of Ljubljana.
I got off the train stop early to check out The Museum of Beekeeping in the city of Radovljica. Once off the train I knew I had made the right decision to stop, the scenery was breathtaking!
Beekeeping is something my mom and I love to do together. The museum was quite interesting, filled with ancient beekeeping hives made out of tree trunks. It also included a large collection of bee hive box panels that are painted in a special manner. The paintings on the panels included biblical and historical events.
After The Beekeeping Museum I headed to the tourist office and was told I could hike to Lake Bled along the river. I got two maps of the area and felt confident after getting some quick directions that I could make it. I headed out with half a water bottle of water and a salad for lunch.
I started walking down on the side of the river and decided to stop and eat lunch. While I was eating I got to watch fisherman in the river. It was very peaceful and not too warm near the river.
Once I started hiking farther the river it started to warm back up. I continued to drink water and hike farther into the great looking meadows, forest, and farm lands.
After awhile of hiking, looking at my map, and the signs I realized I was heading in the wrong direction. I was on the wrong side of the river and on the wrong trail. I looked at the sign which said the train station was 55 minutes away and looked at the train time table which said the train was 35 minutes away. I decided to try to make it to the train in time then hike some more once I got to Lake Bled. I hiked and jogged at a moderate pace for about 36 minutes. Just fast enough to watch the train leave the station.
I was told the hike to Lake Bled should only take about an hour and the next train wasn’t for another hour and half. So, I decided to cross the river and hike down the correct side of the river to Lake Bled.
Once across the river I started hiking and realized it was a lot hotter on the other side of the river. I had about a fourth of a water bottle left of water, I thought I should be fine. I got about 45 minutes into my hike before I realized I was quite lost- with very minimal signs and no one to ask for directions I continued down the river following my map.
About an hour and a half into my hike I found another bridge, with a dam, and some signs to point me in the right direction. However, I was out of water and growing quite exhausted!
I looked on the map and saw there was a small village near by with a tourist farm. I continued to wander until I ran into some cows, then I knew I was close to the farm. I walked into their reception with an empty water bottle and a sweaty face. The receptionist helped me out and filled my water bottle with fresh cold water!
I was back on the trail towards Lake Bled, with water, a known location, and a better attitude. After hiking through a meadow I saw a sign for the city of Bled, I knew I was walking in the right direction- which was a great feeling.
Once I walked through Bled I was immediately greeted with a great view of the lake and an ice cream stand. I thought I deserved an ice cream bar after hiking for nearly three hours in the searing sun. It was the best ice cream bar I had ever ate.
After the ice cream break I had to get to the train station on the other side of the lake, I opted for the longer scenic route even though I had already been walking all day. It was well worth it, the lake was magnificent!
I finally got back to my hostel around 10pm, what a day! I got food, a shower, and lots of rest for the next adventure the next day- The Skocjan Caves.
After missing the first bus to the caves I caught a free walking tour of Ljubljana. After the walking tour I took my first Eurail bus to the town outside of where the The Skocjan Cave Park was located. After another quite long hike to the park I was ready for the cave tour. The tour was filled with massive rooms and rock features in the cave that took million of years to form- it was well worth the hike.
These lime stone pools were formed from a spring above. The spring has stopped flowing leaving the pools to dry out making them fragile and susceptible to erosion.
Once the cave tour was over I took the bus back to Ljubljana and got back to the hostel at 11pm. I looked at the train map and time tables to decide where my next stop would be. I was looking for somewhere to relax after a high energy stop in Ljubljana. I decided to visit Trieste, Italy- a port town that will allow me to take the ferry to Greece.
Slovenia had so many outdoor activities it nearly cost me my feet! I had a great time learning more about the city of Ljubljana on the free walking tour. Slovenia, was filled with great sights and outdoor fun.