Lake Bled

Our first excursion away from Ljubljana was to Bled, which is northwest of Ljubljana and close to the border with Austria. Bled is famous for its beautiful lake, which has an island with a church and belltower.
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As you can see in the foreground of the photo above, one common way to visit the island is by pletna boat, powered by a single (very adept) oarsman. This is a job that tends to be passed down within families; our rower had a brother working on the lake, both following prior generations of their family.
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One must climb 99 steps to reach the church.
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The current form of the church dates from the the 17th century but there has been a Christian church at the site since the 12th century. In earlier times, it is believed that a temple to a Slavic goddess stood at the site. The church is dedicated to the Assumption of Mary, but is sometimes called, for obvious reasons, Our Lady of the Lake. Here is the main altar in the Baroque style; on the side walls are fresco remnants of the prior Gothic-style church, which was damaged in an earthquake. img_0180

After spending some time in the church, we climbed the belltower.
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B took this interesting shot as we ascended the stairs, showing the weights that make the clock work.
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We were in the tower at noon. Unlike many clocktowers which would just ring the hour, these bells rang for several minutes. It was a bit loud, being that close to the bells, but it was interesting to watch the mechanism work.
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After our time on the island and the return to shore by pletna, we took our buses up to Bled Castle. And I do mean up! Here is what Bled Castle looked like from our boat.
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And here is what Lake Bled looked like from the castle.
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The castle paths were quite steep, but we were rewarded with a fancy lunch at the restaurant. It was the first time I have had trout caviar; probably the first time I have had caviar at all.
menu from Bled Castle

And because it never hurts to end a post with dessert…
dessert at Bled Castle

Centered in Ljubljana

One of the nice features of the Smith College Alumnae Chorus’s tour of Slovenia was that we stayed for the whole week in Ljubljana in the City Hotel, just on the edge of the (mostly) pedestrian-only Old City. It was nice to be able to settle into our hotel rooms and walk to rehearsals, meals, shops, etc. in the Old City, only using our buses when we ventured further afield for sight-seeing or singing.

Because I needed to be in rehearsal, B had the chance to do more exploring than I did. I happily delegated picture-taking to him and want to share a few photos of places he/we visited.

One of the really nice features of our hotel rooms were that they had large murals of black and white photographs of Ljubljana by Slovenian photographer Žiga Koritnik. Here is the one in our room: CIty Hotel Ljubljana

While walking around the city, B found the exact location and took this photo, with the river walls in the foreground and the castle on the hill above:
matching our hotel room mural

While I did get to go to the castle on the hill by funicular,
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B walked up several times, enabling him to get some shots of the city and the Alps beyond:
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And a close-up of the castle clocktower, flying the flags of Slovenia and Ljubljana:
tower of Ljubjlana castle

The Ljubljanica River flows through the heart of the Old City:
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where it is crossed by many bridges, including the Triple Bridges:
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One of the most famous of the bridges is the Dragon Bridge, guarded by this fellow:
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with the help of some griffins:
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Every day in the Old City, there are farmers and artisans selling their wares from shaded booths:
Ljubljana open air market

And sometimes, just the walkway itself is interesting:
sidewalk in Ljubljana

 

 

One-Liner Wednesday: in case you’ve been wondering where I’ve been…

Taken by my spouse B in the “Old City” of Ljubljana, Slovenia, where I was singing with the Smith College Alumnae Chorus in Ljubljana and Koper; blog posts will be trickling in over the coming days.
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Join us for Linda’s One-Liner Wednesdays! Find out how here:  https://lindaghill.com/2019/07/24/one-liner-wednesday-creepy/

Badge by Laura @ riddlefromthemiddle.com