Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Day 4 - Idyllic

Today was a day trip to Bled, a beautiful little lake in the foothills of the Alps.  Definitely the type of place where people go to get away for the day or longer; something about it reminded me of Seurat's A Sunday Afternoon on the Island of La Grande Jatte.  People strolling around the lake with kids and dogs (but no monkey)' picnicking on the banks, and swimming, with boats of several kinds being rowed to the little island at one end with a church on it.  And, since this is Europe, the obligatory castle overlooking it all.  Wedding he stroll and had a picnic lunch of our own, composed of cheese we had left over from last night and a fresh baguette purchased in Ljubljana in the morning.  


  


After 3.5 miles around the lake, we decided that rather than driving to nearby Vintgar Gorge,we would hike the 2.5 miles.  Not a big mistake, but in the hot sun with little shade and a constant uphill climb, it was tiring.  Still, there were some nice pastoral scenes along the way - houses on the hills, horses in stables, cows in the field.


Eventually we made it to the gorge, and that was well worth the visit.  A 2 mile circuit along a beautiful small river with many little rapids and waterfalls cascading down.  One of the best parts of visiting the gorge was how much Ellery enjoyed it.  She complained that I was walking too fast and not savoring the beauty, and she was right.  


 

After the gorge, we were left with the walk back to the lake. And I admit, by the time we got back to the car, my feet were blistered and tired, my ankles ached, and my back was giving out.  I can't remember the last time I did so much hiking in one day.

But I survived well enough to make a final stroll along the canal when we returned to Ljubljana, stopping for ice cream and coffee.