Screw that, follow every path to any waterfall you can find and your heart will sing. Is it just me who loves them? It isn’t just the soothing sound of running water but the actual sight of them, just being around a waterfall makes me feel like I am in some magical world where mother nature rules the lands and humans are just mere spectators (not that it isn’t the case now, we’re just busy destroying the world simultaneously too).
Slovenia is home to some pretty impressive waterfalls, they aren’t always easy to get too – but is anything beautiful ever easy? Slovenia is becoming a more popular travel destination and it’s natural landscapes are one of it’s biggest attractions. We only had 5 days here so we decided to dedicate two days to get down and dirty with nature around the iconic lake bled. This was personally my favourite part of the trip, Ljubljana (loo-bee-ya-na) is a beautiful city but it simply does not compare to the jaw dropping views of Lake bled and Bohinj valley.
We stayed in a perfect apartment, Poklukar, with a big garden and terrace, I cannot recommend this place enough. Our host Josep was just such a delight and so extremely helpful.
So I did some research and found out that cycling around Lake bled is a must, however, because I think I am superman, we decided to cycle to the famous Vintgar Gorge. Now no one warned us about the steep climb this involved, all they said was that it would take about an hour to cycle up there, doesn’t sound too tough right?
Getting to Vintgar Gorge requires a good bike (which I can’t say I had with the old bike I borrowed), good stamina (which I also can’t say I have) and good strength ( you see where I am going here). There is the option to drive or get a bus, but hey what’s the fun in that. Once you get to the Gorge it’s a 40minute walk from the entrace (costs roughly 5euros). TIP: If you have a student card always bring it out with you as most places have student discounts. If you look young but do not have a card you can say you are a student and try your luck.
The trekking, uphill cycling, near leg breaking way to the Gorge was worth it when we came to the end…
While Vintgar Gorge is the famous thing to see around Lake Bled, don’t let that steer you away from Savica Waterfall (Slap Savica) because this is a must see beauty too. From Lake Bled you can catch a bus to Bohinj valley, have a look at Bohinj lake and then make your way to begin the next adventure, and this was an adventure indeed. The nearest bus station to get you to the beginning of your trek is called Zlatorog (don’t get off at Bohinj Lake). When you arrive, you will find signs for two walking routes to the waterfall, please please take the easier one (the shorter one). It takes you across a wooden bridge with clear mountain streams below you. The other route (which of course was the one we took) takes you through the forest, and while at first it may seem like there is a clear path to follow, this turns into forest green floors and then you get lost. So our hour walk turned into two, we realized we were lost when we came back to the same tree trunk we climbed over an hour earlier, at least we had good weather and pretty landscapes to look at….
We found some locals at a random house and asked for directions, they looked at us with such pity when we told them we were lost and then told us it was just a straight walk if we had taken the other route. Hey, ho – we stopped for the famous lake bled sponge cake because we decided we deserved it after not finding the waterfall, then we started from scratch. This time taking the other route, and we were there in 40 minutes ready to start the climb up a whole lot of stairs.
Again, although I was so frustrated, nearly cried and ran out of water, I forgot about all of that when I saw this:
I guess my main point in writing this post is that I could have just told you where to go to see mother nature in it’s most beautiful form, but I wanted to share the sweat and almost-tears that hid behind the images of pure, glistening waters. The journey to any destination is what challenges and teaches you. And when you get to the top (or bottom) of that waterfall and you hear the peaceful splash of the powerful currents against the water below, you realize that the end of a journey is worth getting to, because it is the start of something wonderful.