The Balkans – Day 11

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Sept 26 – Tuesday

No map today!

I had hoped that we’d wake up to sunny skies, but it wasn’t to be. But hey, at least it wasn’t raining! To celebrate this, we decided to walk around the lake. The paved trail was an easy six kilometers and would take us through the town of Bled and then on to unknown adventures! Last night we had walked to the left to get to dinner; this morning we would go right and complete the loop.

The town of Bled was small and crowded up against the northeast corner of the lake, under the shadow of the castle. We walked along the neighborhood streets until we came to a cafe, where we stopped in for a quick breakfast. From there, we came across St Martin’s Church and then on to the lake trail.

St. Martin’s Parish Church

It was a little clearer today

Looking across the lake to where we had dinner the previous night

The castle and St Martins

It started to rain – and rain hard – about two thirds of the way around the lake. Naturally we didn’t have an umbrella and there was nowhere to take shelter, so we just continued our saunter under the trees.

Rain on Lake Bled

A view of the 99 steps leading up to Assumption of Mary Church

The fickle weather had let up again just as we came across a man with a full fishing rig set up on the lake shore. He wasn’t the first fisherman we’d seen, but he was the first one who was actually catching anything. I told Dan that I’d like to see what he had caught and we stood there, watching and waiting.

Bring it in!

It looks big!

My Dad likes to fish, and while I find it boring, I’ve been out with him a couple of times. The fish we usually caught were lake perch, maybe 6 – 10 inches in length. The one that I saw being brought in today was much, much bigger. But what was it? I had no idea what species populated this lake and I was curious to see it.

Finally, into the net!

Landed!

It is a lake carp – I think

It took the fisherman at least ten minutes to bring in the big fish. He used all of the techniques I know about when it comes to “playing the fish”: letting it swim out before stopping it, pulling it back in slowly, tiring it out so that it doesn’t break the line. I am not a fan of fishing (especially sport fishing), but it was interesting to watch.

I kept taking photos because the air kept getting clearer and the colors more vibrant

A better view of the castle

Our loop was complete: we were back in our room with some time to relax. Dan had noted that the big, boxy hotel next to us had a pool and spa area – what a great way to spend a couple of hours! We grabbed our suits and towels and wandered over. We bought a three hour pass for the pools and thermal baths – what a luxury!

It was a much nicer pool and bath area than I expected, and it felt great to soak my bones in the hot water. One of the pools connected with an outdoor infinity pool, where we could soak in the warm water and enjoy the view of Castle Bled. And with it being near the end of the season, there were only a dozen or so people with whom to share the space. I snagged some pictures from TripAdvisor to share with you.

The kids liked the slide – and it kept them out of the other pools

Ignore the models (or pretend that’s Dan and me), but this is the view from the outdoor pool

After we were sufficiently pruned from water submersion, we went back to our room, changed, and went to Pension Berc, the restaurant next door, for dinner. This one also had great reviews and the meal was good, but it did not affect me like the steak at Sova.

Tomorrow we would leave Bled and meet our friends. The motorcycle portion of our journey would be put on hold once we got there, but we would have a different kind of adventure!

Day 12

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