I have HORSCHECK to thank for introducing me to the 'In Your Pocket' series of tour guides, which we first had the opportunity to 'road test' in Tallinn (when the hotel we stayed in provided a copy of Tallinn In Your Pocket in each room).
For my money, it's a much more useful travel guide than the Lonely Planet or Rough Guides that we tend to use when we travel. In many ways, it's an unfair comparison, as the 'In Your Pocket' series focus on a single city, and are updated every couple of months, so, as you would expect, it is more current - particularly on events - and can provide information on a wider range of attractions than a regional guide which is only updated every couple of years. Also, you do have to have identified the city (rather than just the country) that you want to visit before the In Your Pocket guides come into their own, so I would suggest using a conventional tour guide for your initial planning and then supplementing this with the more local insight these publications offer.
For me, the strength of this guide is that it is written by English-speaking writers who are resident in the city. This means that the descriptions are livelier than often awkwardly phrased tourist material which is clearly translated from another language. I also thought that the mix of attractions and events listed was varied and would appeal to a range of interests and ages.
At present, the In Your Pocket series tends to focus on cities in Central and Eastern Europe, although new titles are continually being added.
For the Bled guide, follow this link: http://www.inyourpocket.com/slovenia/bled
* TIC BLED
Cesta svobode 10
- Tel.. (+386) (0)4 574 11 22
- Fax: (+386) (0)4 574 15 55
- E. mail.: firstname.lastname@example.org
* Bled tourist board
Zavod za pospeševanje turizma
Cesta svobode 11
- Tel.: (+386) 4 578 05 00
- Fax. (+386) 4 578 05 01
- E. mail: email@example.com
Favorite thing: We don't travel by train much in Canada. The country is so large, it would be difficult . I really enjoyed our travel to Bled from Croatia. We passed alot of farm land with stone fences that looked like they passed the test of time.
Inside Bled castle, is this 16th century , "Functional", printing press, from Gutenburg's time. If you want , you can buy christmas cards or any cards from here. Amazing how they still use the machine and other tools they have centuries ago to make cards or prints. The master printer ( or that man in the fancy costume) even gives you the chance to take part in the printing process. The material used to make the paper are all from the local area.
Fondest memory: I HAVE THE EVIDENCE!...IN BLACK AND WHITE...as they say....literally!.... that i have been to Bled. My bestfriend and I got this card from the printing press, as our souvenir, aside from the pictures and the memories we have of the place. Coming to this place on its millennium year is an added bonus as well.
There is a tourist office in the center of the yown but you can also check the several tourist-travel agencies if you would like to do some organized tours or to find the accomodation. This is one that was very helpful to us-they found us a nice accomodation as we were not satisfied with one that we prebooked.
The Bled lake is home to lot of these wonderful and elegant birds. Numerous signs are put around a lake to worn the people not to disturb them. My advice is to follow the warnings, otherwise you can be punish by the birds themself as they can be very agressive especialy when they have the youngsters.
But if you "behave well" you can enjoy waching them walking around or glading in the water. I saw some people feeding them but I don't know is that allowed.
Many different healing events take place in Bled because of the powerful healing energies of this place, however, I would like to mention a British healer who's become a regular visitor of Bled - Stephen Turoff. He said that very powerful flows of energy are crossing Slovenia and that an amazing percentage of Slovenes are psychic.
Taken from the website...
Stephen Turoff is a contemporary healer, teacher, priest, philosopher, knight, philanthropist and mystic. For a quarter of a century he has been healing people, by the tens of thousands, of all colours, castes and creeds.They flock from the four corners of the world to see him at his Danbury Healing Clinic near Chelmsford in Essex (half an hour by train from London). For some, the journey is a pilgrimage, for others, a last chance to be healed. For most, it is an experience which will not be quickly forgotten.
Journalists, scientists, politicians, doctors and holy men of many faiths have had to admit that there is certainly something »different« about this jovial, gentle giant with his gruff voice permanent cheeky grin. When Stephen works, beautiful pastel lights descend like lightning bolts from the sky into patients' bodies, sacred ash forms on objects and people in his surgery, towels and sheets sometimes turn pink, and messages, finger-written in orange ochre, appear on photographs of saints.
Favorite thing: The Tourist Information Centre can be found opposite Bled Casino on Cesta Svobode. Here you can pick up the usual maps, guidebooks, leaflets and general info on all the attractions in and around the town. They also have helpful staff who can help out about getting to Vintgar Gorge.
Favorite thing: If you're not gonna do any hiking or mountain trekking, at least go for a walk in the surrounding hills. There's loads of beautiful scenery to take in and it makes for a great escape from the hustle and bustle of crazy, skyscraper-lined, traffic-jammed, neon-lit Ljubljana (sarcasm).
The town of Bled is rather small, it has approximately 6.000 inhabitants only. According to the founds,the first settlement around the lake was built in the early ages, probably of Halstatts.
There exist long tradition in tourism here, since 19th century when many royal families used to spend their holidays here. Nowadays, it is one of the main and best known touristic attractions of Slovenia.
..........is not this one in the picture!...this is probably a walk in the the park. This is the main, cemented road leading to Bled castle.
We came off from a small street near St. Martin Church, we asked some local the road leading to the castle and he pointed towards the hostel.Beside it is this trail carved on the side of hill where the castle is, through the woods. It might be an easy trail for those who are used to hiking.
Fondest memory: ......But not for us.....imagine hiking up, through the woods on a trail that looked like it was 100 years ago since someone walked through it. Then it started raining heavily...everytime i take a small step, my little feet slides off my flip-flops. But this was probably my most unforgettable experience on this trip....ending in the middle of nowhere, a trail where i havent' read in any guide books...nothin' beats life's little surprises.....talking and laughing with my bestfriend... the trees..... the rain.
Favorite thing: Bled lies in the extreme northwestern part of Slovenia, at the foot of the Julian Alps and between the Sava Bohinjka and Sava Dolinka rivers. The nearest international airport at Brnik is 36 km away. Bled is connected with all larger towns in Slovenia by regular bus routes.
Favorite thing: Altitude 501 m, Castle Hill 604 m, Mt. Straža 646 m. Number of inhabitants 5476. Tourist capacity 4000 beds. Lake: altitude 475 m, length 2120 m, width 1380 m, area 144 ha, maximum depth 30.6 m, maximum annual water temperature 24oC.
Favorite thing: The Lake of Bled is situated in the north-western part of Slovenia, just about 55 km from the capital of Ljubljana. It is surrounded with Julian Alps and Karavanke. Take the main road from Ljubljana in direction of Kranj and you can't miss it.
There is a 3.5 mile bike/foot path around the lake. Which gives you the chance to further explore the area and look at the lake from different sides. There are hiking paths up into the hills surrounding the lake or up to Bled's cliffside castle.
If you can't be bothered to walk or pedal your way around the lake, there is Tourist train that you can take or for a more romantic and relax way to see the area, hop on a horse drawn-carriage.
Fondest memory: ....the still, blue lake.....sleeping ducks...a group of swan....the islet in the lake....the pletnas.....looking up at the castle on the cliff..........children playing around....the smiles and hellos of fellow tourist and the locals........singing in the rain......A lifetime of memories!
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