One of the reasons for selecting a resort in the location we did was for the proximity to other sights of interest. Those who know us, know that hours upon hours of sitting on our bottoms is not exactly our idea of “wellness,” so it was important to have balance. Wörthersee sits in the corner of Austria near to Italy and Slovenia, and the pretty cities of Bled and Ljubljana were each but an equally pretty hours’ drive from the resort (and ended up being the best part of our “wellness” weekend.)
Just gazing at this scenery on our way to Slovenia relaxed us.
One of the retro border crossings from Austria into the Slovenian part of the former Yugoslavia. Another for my ever expanding photo collection.
Bled on Easter Sunday was busy with visitors, and the stores and restaurants were open and welcoming. Many, many hikers, both human and canine made the switchback trek up and down to tour Bled Castle, the three of us among them. Everyone was so friendly to Clayton Theodore, too!
St. Martin’s Church against the backdrop of an early spring day.
Bled Castle from the ground level.
The traditional Pletna boats were available to take visitors across the lake to the island church. Though the calendar reads “Spring,” the temperatures were still a bit cool for us to appreciate the experience.
It is conceivable to walk around the lake, but we opted to walk perhaps just half before being drawn to a restaurant serving Slovenian fare for lunch, including one of my favorites, grilled squid from the Dalmatian coast. (Far tastier than lukewarm steamed mussels from the previous night, if I do say so.)
Clayton Theodore was himself a little tired from castle climbing, and relished his lunchtime nap at the restaurant.
On our departure day we took another detour into Slovenia to visit its capital city, Ljubljana. Legend holds that the city was founded by the Greek hero Jason, who along with fellow Argonauts ventured up into the Ljubljanica marshes and slayed the dragon monster. The Dragon Bridge is adorned with four of these beasts.
Along the river is the culturally protected old butcher’s market, an arcaded expanse now home to small stores and cafes, and an extension of the city farmer’s market.
“Butcher’s Bridge” with love locks and all, adjacent to the old market.
Beautiful sights and friendly shopkeepers greeted us as we wandered through Ljubljana’s Old City. And the sunshine didn’t hurt, either.
A milk dispenser! How novel.
Some of the architecture recalled that of what we have seen in Italy and Croatia, with lots of Adriatic and Mediterranean influence.
Perhaps the resort we had left behind should consider this strategy?
By mid afternoon we had crossed back into snowy and miserable Austria, not the best, “Welcome Home.”
No matter, though. We all FEEL “SLOVENIA!”