Okay, so maybe we weren’t really on our honeymoon… but it was okay for us to pretend, wasn’t it! 😍
Now we understand exactly why so many couples are attracted to Bled; to get married, honeymoon there or simply enjoy some romantic moments. Bled is only about a 90 minute drive north of Ljubljana. The lake is renowned for its curative thermal waters and mild temperature throughout the year.
After spending a couple of days in Bled, we would also have to say that just being there has a healing effect. The beauty of the crystal clear turquoise water against the snow top Julian Alps is absolutely mesmerizing.
The lake water is beyond tempting to jump in with its clear turquoise tiny ripples of waves.
A couple of years ago I had seen a photo in a magazine of Lake Bled. When planning for this trip that photo convinced me that we would have to make Slovenia a part of this journey.
We had booked a room at Vila Alice even before leaving Canada. This Alpine Villa has only 7 bedrooms and a beautiful garden in the back with a view of the mountains. Our room as well had beautiful mountains views. We would absolutely recommend this place while vacationing in Bled.
So our first mission when we arrived in Bled other than getting wine, 🍷 was to find the iconic cake of Bled known as the Kremšnita. This sweet and creamy dessert reminded us of the one we had eaten in Samobor in Croatia, which was called the samoborska kremšnita cream cake. There is a slight variation between the two, and we would have to say that the Bled version was a bit lighter & creamier. Both are too die for! 😊 We visited this café and pastry shop a few times during our stay in Bled, Slaščičarna Šmon. They serve a deadly macchiato, done to perfection.
After the cake we decided to burn off the calories by taking a hike up to Bled castle.
From up there we were rewarded by amazing views of the lake and the the small Bled Island in the middle of it. The island is just sitting there in this beautiful setting and has a pilgrimage church resting on its highest peak.
The church also has a stairway with 99 stone steps leading up to it. Weddings are regularly held here. It must be absolutely amazing. Traditionally, it is considered good luck for the groom to carry his bride up the 99 steps on the day of their wedding. Then the couple gets to ring the bell and make a wish inside the church (back to this later).
There is a 6 km walk that goes around the lake. It usually takes people between an hour and a half to two hours to get around. It took us a good two hours as we stopped often to appreciate every view and we were blown away by the beauty of the place and its peacefulness. Some of the private villas along this walk are amazing.
Here’s a few photos we took on our walk in order for us to revisit this place through these photos and memories at least.
The last day we were there, we had one last thing we wanted to do. We needed to get over to the church on Bled island, ring the church bell and make a wish.
We had basically three options to get to the small island –
First we could have rented a small dinky boat and paddle out ourselves to the island. How romantic, but my hubby wasn’t so keen on that option. 😊
Secondly, there are also traditional wooden boats called pletnas – they have been taking people to the island for centuries. These boats are operated by standing rowers known as pletnars. These guys are certainly in top shape as they need to row these wooden boats full of people by themselves. They are beautiful to see against the turquoise Lake. However the down side of this option is that it’s rather expensive to do the trip over there on one of these.
All of the pletnas have a name. This one below is, Eva.
We opted to swim over 🤣! Not quite. The option we took was getting over there with a small motorized boat. With our bus ticket to Bled we were able to get a package deal that included the entrance fee to the castle, the boat ticket to the island with drinks and dessert at the island’s café.
Below we are on our way to Bled island with a view of the church in the distance as we were coming up to it. The motorized boat wasn’t going very fast but it only took us about 15-20 minutes to get there. As we were crossing over we passed one of the pletnas and I was actually happy we had not chosen that option. The wooden boat seemed to be barely afloat with all the people inside!
We spotted the 99 steps leading up to the church.
I was hoping my hubby, as per tradition, would carry me up the stairs. But he didn’t seem quite up to it!🤣
Once there we got inside the beautiful church, said a few prayers and rang the bell to make our wish!
It was just so peaceful and serene on this little island. We got a couple of chairs and sat under a big old tree and enjoyed the tranquility with our two glasses of rosé. Another one of those “pinch me” moments and so grateful to be experiencing it together.
Later we couldn’t leave without having our special treat!
Eventually it was time for us to go back to Ljubljana and leave this amazing place behind. Hopefully we can honeymoon there again someday. 😊