SloveniaWhen the fog lifts, the first thing you can see the boats are covered and aligned along the shore. Then, perhaps a lonely figure paddling in the water. Finally, the sun breaks through completely and look at the landscape that appears in any tourist brochure about Slovenia: a picturesque alpine lake flanked by a mountain and an island in the center of which stands the baroque church dedicated to the Virgin of the Assumption.
The jewel in the crown
In that context, the Slovenian crown jewel, the spa town of Bled, is perfectly accessible. It is located in a broad valley at the foothills of the Julian Alps, just 36 km from the international airport of Ljubljana, capital of Slovenia, and about 45 km from the borders of Italy and Austria.
The lake has always acted like a magnet. From east to west, is crossed by ancient trade routes that run through the valley of the river Sava, and from north to south by mountain passes which flow into the Adriatic. The iron ore mines enliven the region.
The island where the church of the Assumption has been usual meeting place of pilgrims, both pagan and Christian shrines and churches and houses since time immemorial. According to legend, a young widow cast her jewelry to make the bell of the Assumption, but this bell sank in the lake. Although, under the auspices of the Pope, was made later in Padua a new (which is said to grant wishes to those who make it ring), according to tradition, you can sometimes hear the ringing of the first bell, which emerges from the depths of the lake.
The bishops of Brixen, who controlled the area for 800 years (1004-1803) had the good idea to build your castle on the spur of a cliff over 100 meters above the lake. The building now houses a history museum and a restaurant and terrace offers spectacular views. It seems incredible that in the eighteenth century, Ignaz Novak, one of the managers of the castle, I would drain the lake and use the clay to make bricks.
Later, when the area came under the influence of the Austrian Empire, the Habsburg liked to visit to enjoy their temperate climate and take the waters. In 1855, a Swiss physician, Arnold Rilki, opened the first resort by the lake and began a tradition that continues today. Large facilities, such as the Grand Hotel Toplice (€ 120) and the Hotel Astoria Bled (58 €) have ponds and treatments based on the use of the hot springs. But the place got its big boost-and Europe-wide recognition of hand opening of the railway, in 1870.
The most beautiful house in the area, Vila Bled (€ 170/190) was originally the summer home of Windisch-Grätz princes of Austria and subsequently, until the Second World War it housed the former Yugoslav royal family. Not surprisingly, the Marshal Tito, after the war, the government became residence and employed as accommodation and entertainment of important guests.
During the Communist period, it was customary arrival of large black limousines with characters like Nasser or Nehru, Brandt or Khrushchev. Since 1984, Vila Bled is a unique hotel, so that limousines, in fact, have not stopped coming. Forget everything you've seen or imagined about the interior design of postwar communist. You may like or resultarte despicable, but the truth is that no expense was spared when furnishing the Vila Bled with the best materials available in the fifties. It is a period piece set in the most spectacular location with lake views from the rooms and grounds which extend to the edge.
THE POSTOJNA CAVES; AND OTHER TOURIST CAVES IN SLOVENIA
Book (POSTOJNA JAMA TOURIST AND HOTEL ORGANIZATION)
Cro2006-06-28 16:35:25 by ribica11
Glad you liked Croatian beer. It is so cheap!
There is suitable accommodation for every budget, From 10$ for rooms and camps, all inclusive cheap socialistic monster hotels to beautiful Hilton right at the Dubrovnik walls, Esplanade in center of Zagreb or Hotel Peristil inside of historic Diocletian palace in Split (double 120 150$).
Mostar in Bosnia should be also visited, especially during diving competition from the 28 m high bridge. They have done amazing work to restore it after war destruction.
Bled in Slovenia is gorgeous, for a day or two visits. Many private rooms and hotels are located just around the lake.
No problem2006-02-05 19:42:31 by -
Other than travelling with a very young child, you should have no real problems. Slovenia and Croatia are great. You don't say how you plan to travel, but the trains are fine, the roads tend to be narrow with limited highways. Both capital cities are nice small cities (Ljubljana is nicer n my opinion).
Bled (SL) and the rural surrounding area of mountains and lakes are incredible. Dubrovnik (HR) and many of the nearby islands are great, but I encourage you to take the ferry to/from Split versus driving over. You can easily take the train from Zagreb to Split, but the ferry or bus is the option from Split to Dubrovnik
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