June 23, 2015
Lifting the Bled Curse, Tea with Tito and an Ewok River
Slovenia is a tiny country wedged between Austria, Italy and Croatia. Mostly mountainous, it is more forest than not. We are here to see its natural beauty as well as some of the historic places. Unfortunately, rain is on the agenda today. We will see how it goes. There is a Bee Museum that might have some Interest.
We have returned from the day’s adventures. Yes, it rained this morning with almost Biblical intensity. We thought we might as well start with the fortress castle that is perched on a rock. From the parking lot to the entrance was almost like swimming upstream. It was made even more interesting by the simultaneous arrival of buses full of Chinese tourists. We had plenty of company. The displays were of high quality. We tried to take pictures of the family nemesis! our little island, through the rain to no avail.
Chinese tourists doing what I normally do. They saved me the trouble of the potty pose.
I did have fun buying and filling a bottle of wine from a barrel and putting a cork in it. I don’t imagine that it is worth what I paid for it but it was fun.
Bled hit the big time on the tourist circuit in the 19th Century with cures like the Zinc tub.
Before starting our trek around the lake we bought some pizza and the Tito era substitute for Coca Cola. Today it is marketed as “the taste you grew up with”. It was drinkable in small quantities.
A quarter century ago, our youngest was goaded into bothering the bones of a long dead Slovene on the little island in the middle of Lake Bled. Today we made family amends for the transgression. We needed to complete a 4 mile circuit of the lake in the rain. Once done, things got better in a hurry. The curse is gone.
The little “Plevka” boats that we rode to the island that fateful day in 1990.
This was as close as I want to get to a luge ride.
We had a break at Tito’s old mansion on the lake. Today it is a pricey hotel but the coffee and pastry was affordable. Strongman Tito was able to keep Yugoslavia together until his death in the early 80s. The six new countries are finding their own way. Slovenia seems to have adjusted the best of the bunch. By three in the afternoon we could walk without umbrellas.
We still had some emery to tackle Vintgar Gorge a couple miles from our lodging. It was truely a highlight. You pay your small fee and start walking down this pathway not knowing what to expect. All of sudden you find yourself walking on walkways cantilevered and jerry rigged over a cascading torrent. It went on for a mile or at least a thousand pictures. I will try to upload a bunch.
Ewoks had to have built these. They replace the boards “just in time”.