(This article is also available in Italian and 日本語)
Lake Bled has been one of my travel dreams and I have been dreaming of visiting it for a long time. I finally had a chance to visit it just some days after New Year’s Eve, during my trip to Ljubljana. In fact, Beld is very close to the small Slovenian capital city. So, how can I miss a day trip to the most instagramed lake of all time?
Visiting Lake Blad in one day
The hotel I stayed during my Slovenian holday was Ljubljana and, even before the departure, I planned to visit Lake Bled in one day.
After a good breakfast at the hotel, we left by car to the Slovenian town. Indeed, Bled is connected to the capital by the highway and it takes less than 50 minutes by car. The alternative is the bus, which leaves from the Ljubljana train station (€ 14 for a / r) and takes a little longer.
We parked the car near the tourism office: the parking ticket costs about € 3 every 2 hours.
Unfortunately it was early January and that day, despite the sun, a very strong and cold wind blew, which didn’t allow us to do some activities, that I wanted to do instead.
As many of you already know, the main attraction in Bled is the small island the the middle of the lake. Here there are bars, souvenir shops and the famous church of Saint Mary, portrayed in any photo you’ll find. Inside, there is bell: it is said that, if you can play it, your wishes come true. And I have a lot of wishes to come true!
However, the island can only be reached with the typical Pletna boats (15€/person). Made of wooden, these rowing boats date back to the end of 1500. Unfortunately, due to the strong wind, the service was suspended that day.
So, we decided to take a walk around the lake. The tour lasts about 1 hour and it consists of a cement road, mostly flat, and very well maintained.
In summer, the activities to do here are certainly varied. Besides the boats that you can rent and the possibility to swim in the lake, we also noticed that there is a tennis club and a rowing center. Rowing seems to be very popular in Bled, and many national, international and world championships take place here!
The Lake of Love and Legends
In Bled there are a lot of symbols related to love!
In fact, the legend has it that once upon a time, instead of the Saint Mary church, there was a pagan temple dedicated to the Goddess Živa, the Slavic goddess of love, protected by a priest and her daughter, Bogomila. When the island was visited by the leader of the pagans, Črtomir, Bogomila fell in love with him. Thus, in the battle between pagans and Christians, in 745, for the fear that his beloved may loose his life, Bogomila converted to the Christian religion and remained with his father in the new church, built in place of the Temple of the Goddess Živa. Subsequently, also Črtomir converted to Christianity and became a missionary.
Then, another legend has it that in the castle of Bled lived a rich widow who had melted a bell for the church of the island, in memory of her dead husband. Unfortunately, due to a strong storm, the boat capsized with all the crew and the bell, whose sound can still be heard coming from the bottom of the lake. When she died, the Pope sent a new bell to the church. It is for this reason that if you can play it, your wishes come true.
Bled Cream Cake
Besides the lake, Bled is also very famous for its traditional cream cake, Blejska Kremna Rezina, omnipresent on the walk path around the lake and in the surrounding area. But it is from the kitchens of the Hotel Park that, in the 50s, this gem of Slovenian pastry was born.
It consists in two layers of puff pastry that contain a thick filling of vanilla custard cream and whipped cream. All sprinkled with icing sugar. The peculiarity is that the custard is made with durum wheat flour.
I know, it is as delicious as heavy! But I recommend you to try it after the walk around the lake!
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Unfortunately, our visit to Bled is over. I would also have liked to visit the castle and the Vintagar gorge, but the wind was so strong and the polar cold un bearable.
Surely, I’d like to come back to Bled, maybe in summer or early fall, to be able to enjoy the lake more and visit the island in the middle of it.
And, do you know what this place has reminded me of? The Lake of Kawaguchi-ko, one of the five lakes of Mount Fuji, in Japan, which I visited in August 2018! I’ll talk about it soon on the blog! So, stay tuned!