Our last stop in Slovenia was two nights at Lake Bohinj. A quick drive from Bled, Lake Bohinj is a little deeper in the mountains, a little higher in elevation, and fully twice the size of Lake Bled. It is, in fact, the largest lake in the country, situated in Slovenia’s largest national park. OK, it’s the only national park in Slovenia. It may not be quite as beautiful as Bled, but surrounded in mountains as it is it’s a pretty good stop for a couple days.
What else to note about Bohinj? Definitely another good lake for swimming: even Mark went in a few times. Given that nearly all our beach time over the years has been in oceans and seas, we were both amused to note how much less buoyant fresh water is than salt water. Who knew?
We did one really good hike, some four miles up into the mountains to a gorge and the Mostnice waterfall. Now to be honest the gorge was all but invisible; there were times when it was apparent that there might be a stream down there somewhere but you could never really see it. And the waterfall was, well, decidedly modest, a creek running over some rocks. The hike itself, though, irrespective of the anticlimactic destination, was beautiful: some 90 minutes of alternating open fields with views of the mountains and then deep in forests. And the entire outbound trail utterly on our own; we got out pretty early and had the trail to ourselves. On the return there was the occasional hiker headed in, but we had it to ourselves going in.
OK, one weird thing about the hike. When you leave the little town by the lake headed north, the road on both the paper map the hotel gave us with the trail marked and on Google Maps was labeled Stara Fužina, Old Fužina. Fair enough. But literally every other road up there, every time there was a fork or alternative road, was called Stara Fužina. Literally every road. Bizarre. It’s as though some local traveled outside of the region and got confused with all these roads using different names. Solution? All roads use the same name. As we passed through a little village along the way you would see an address, like 96 Stara Fužina. How is that supposed to distinguish it from all the other 96 Stara Fužinas? Damned if we know.
So that’s Slovenia. Great food, really good wine, beautiful lakes, great hiking, friendly locals, lively little capital. Nothing not to like. It’s funny to think that little more than 30 years ago this was a sad Communist, significantly dysfunctional place. Glad things got straightened around for our visit!
Tomorrow morning we’re off to Trieste where we’ll have lunch in the little northeastern corner of Italy. Now that’s exciting.