Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Lake Bled and Whitewater Rafting

View from our tent at the Eco-camp in Soca Valley, Slovenia. What a way to wake up!

Lake Bled castle - we walked up for a great view. Magnificent resort town.

Lake Bled, Slovenia - a gorgeous lake with a small island. Several weddings were performed while we were there! We rowed over in a rented paddleboat but John and I swam back while Calvin rowed solo!

Delicious, spicy pizza in Bled.

Famous pastry shop in Bled where we tried kremna rezina cream pastry. The fruity one tasted better but we had to try the famous cream pastry!

Assortment of baked goods.

Saurkraut sausage stew.

With John's encouragement we headed to Lake Bled for a day of beautiful weather and spectacular views. We encountered a triathlon going on while we were there, we walked around the entire lake (3.5 mile perimeter), rowed across to see the island and church and some of us swam back - definitely one of the greatest highlights for me. After we explored Bled, had tasty pizza and a pastry for lunch, Calvin and I got on the road for the adventure portion of our trip.

We drove over Vrsic pass - or rather, Calvin drove the cute Mercedes rental we picked up in Ljubljana for a few days up, over, down and around 50 hairpin turns! Finally we made it to the Eco-Camp where we'd arranged to spend one night and do whitewater rafting the next day. The camp itself was slightly disappointing, although the views were so lovely and awe-inspiring we still really enjoyed our time there. The place, Adrenaline Check, looks much better on its website than it does in person and organization was truly lacking. Upon booking I was told we'd have a BBQ dinner - one of the things we'd most been looking forward to; however, upon arrival we were told that since they had a BBQ the night before there would be none! Thankfully there was another couple from England in the same position, so one of the camp co-owners took us on a scary ride to one of the only local restaurants about 15 minutes away. Our dinner was hearty and we enjoyed it but it was not the BBQ we were expecting!

Our tent with the fabulous view was also within a stone's throw from the main area of the outdoor camp. Unfortunately for us, this meant that people were very loud all night. They were obviously having a good time but it was not easy to sleep.

Deer goulash over polenta in Soca Valley.

Ready to raft.

We really did enjoy the rafting. We were placed on a 9 person raft with a group of Slovenians including a woman who occasionally made a random comment in English. Such comments are probably not as funny to your average reader who was not there but somehow her accent and choice words still make us laugh. These include "It's a beautiful daaaaay" and, when we began to go through some strong waves, bouncing us around: "Shake it, baby, shake it." OK, so it is funny to us...

Overall Slovenia was a beautiful country to visit. We encountered many nice f0lks and saw amazing scenery. I recommend it for the seasoned adventure traveler.

View on the way back to Ljubljana - over the pass and around the 50 hairpin turns again!