Day 29: Bled and Bohinj
From one of my fave places in Europe to another… I spent a long 12-hour travel day on a EuroCity train from Ceske Budejovice in the Czech Republic to Ljubljana, the capital of Slovenia. The train took me through the beautiful Central Alps of Austria and then into the Alps of eastern Slovenia. I'd been to Ljubljana back around 2002 and didn't have any plans to see it again – it's nice, a good place to hang out, but I had other plans. Instead, I jumped straight onto a train to Bled, a gorgeous little lake in the north of the country that's a great place to plan some trips into the Julien Alps. I'd also been there before and had done all the touristy stuff (catch a boat out to the island and ring the bell, walk up to the castle etc.), but I wanted to get back there to go hiking.
I didn't have any accomodation booked but found a superb pension near the centre of town. I woke up early the next morning, got some great information and maps from the tourist office, and caught a bus to Lake Bohinj, about 20km west of Bled. The hike started off just how I like it – a series of gutbusting, steep switchbacks that took me from 600m to over 1200m altitude. On the other side of the pass I came to a pretty little alpine lake called "Crno Jelero" (just rolls off the tongue…) which was the ideal place for a rest and a refreshing dip.
My main objective for the day was a 1761m summit called "Prsivec", which I'd been told had great views. I left the lake and disappeared back into the forest to start the ascent. Towards the top the vegetation cleared out and it was indeed a fantastic view of Lake Bohinj far below to the south and the highest peaks of the Julien Alps to the north. It was a looooong and boring descent back down to the lake, with most of the track deep in the forest wher I couldn't see a thing. I eventually made it back to Stara Fuzina at the opposite end of the lake to where I started and caught a bus back to Bled completely exhausted.