Lake Bled, Bled
On the road, and heading towards Bled Castle, I happened to see these Sheep in a paddock.
Different to the Merino, and I thought they were rather pretty!
I think people may have stopped many times before me, as they were more interested in what I was doing, to running away! Perhaps, people had stopped with their children.
Some of these Sheep were the Brillenschaf breed, that were bred locally in Slovenia. I wished they were purebreds, as these are known as the "Spectacles sheep" because of the black around the eyes.
Lake Bled Island impressis with its simplicity. 99 stairs lead to the top of the island. Once on the top, it's "a must" to visit St.Mary's Church, there are a Wishing bell, a restaurant, a souvenir shop...
This magical island is also a romantic place for wedding ceremony.
The local customs say - the groom has to carry the bride up the 99 stairs in order to have happy marriage. (Pretty hard work, indeed)
Lake Bled is rather small, it is about 2000 meters long, 1000 meters bride and its deepest part is 31 meters. The temperature of the water can get around 24 C degrees in the summer, which is very refreshing.
In the winter time, only if very cold, the water front freezes up becaming ice-shating paradise. However, stay close to the lakeshore because the ice is pretty fragile.
Fondest memory: We arrived on Bled's islet via the backdoor. After going up a steep flight of steps, this is what awaits for us at the top, a breathtaking view. Mind you , its a 360 degree amazing view anywhere in the islet. Anywhere you turn you'd just go snap mad with your camera. If not for the cold and rain that day, it would be difficult not to take a dip on the cold blue-green water of the lake.
Favorite thing: When we arrrived in Bled it was getting dark, it was raining and the snow was on the way. Regardless of the weather, there was something almost fairytale about Lake Bled, what with Bled Island in the distance, the Castle on the cliff and the Cathedral in the foreground.
Fondest memory: Once the snow had cleared, we started our walk around the Lake. After a couple of miles we came across a place renting boats for the island. You can either row their yourself or take the more expensive option of being ferried there. It's much more fun making your own way there, though it did take a while to get used to the rowing.
Favorite thing: The Lake. It takes about an hour to walk around the lake, a leisurely stroll. There are many facets to the lake from a small water park for the family on one side, to the local houses on the far side, to the beach/boat rentals, to the manors and restaurants right back into town.
As you walk round the lake, you'll come across a little collection of statues as you pass the Zaka Rowing Centre. This one, depicting a muscular rower, was crafted by Slovenian sculptor Boris Kalin, and is reputedly one of his finest works. It dates from the period between the wars.
By the boathouse you can also see a bust of Boris Kocijanèiè, who was apparently a former president of the Slovenian Rowing Association. It was sculpted by Stojan Batiè.
On the boathouse itself there is a memorial to the former president of the international rowing federation (FISA), Swiss citizen, Thomas Keller. His legacy to the world of rowing is the Thomas Keller Medal, the sport's highest honour, awarded each year to recognise an "outstanding career in rowing" as a competitor and as a sports personality.
Fondest memory: I do love places with fine works of art that are set in the great outdoors for all the public to see. Needless to say, my insatiable curiosity leads me to undertaking hours of research to find out who the people were who are commemorated, and who the artists were. Slovenia is rich in such statues and memorials and for that, it will always have a place in my heart :-)
Favorite thing: Lake Bled; the castle on the hill at night, seen from the southcoast of the lake. This is probably the most beautiful that Slovenia has to offer.