My next destination was Bled, in Slovenia. I promised towards the end of Part 1 of my post that the trip from there got only interesting, and here is why. While in Venice and researching on how to get to Bled, I realized that there is no cross-country train service between Italy and Slovenia. The only convenient way I could get to Bled from Venice was by taking a train to Gorizia, taking a bus (Bus 100) from Gorizia to Nova Gorica (in Slovenia), and then taking a train from Nova Gorica to Bled Jezero. While it doesn't sound that complicated, neither it actually was, but it took me almost the entire day to get to Bled. Leaving Venice around 9AM, I reached Bled only around 5.30PM.The travel, however, was smooth and enjoyable. Especially, my train journey from Nova Gorica to Bled Jezero. I was on a train which had 3 coaches in total and almost as much people in each coach. The train traversed some beautiful landscape, and the first sign of snow started to show.I guess, by now, you are wondering why did I choose to visit Bled. Most of you might not have heard about Bled, and honestly, neither did I, until I started looking up places to visit east of Italy. Well, for one simple reason, and it's this.
How To Reach Bled
Book Bled Tour Package
The emerald green waters of Lake Bled are so inviting, and the mild thermal springs therein make the lake the best bet for a quick dip, especially in summer. Else, a ride in the piloted wooden boat (aka pletna) to the celebrated Bled Island is indisputably an archetypal vacationer’s experience.3) The tiny nation is replete with a bounty of tasty food varieties.While the gastronomy borrows from the neighbouring Austria, Hungary and Italy, most of its dishes are home-grown. And if you have a sweet tooth (like me), the signature Slovenian gibanica (layered cake with poppy seeds, sweet curd cheese, cream, walnuts, raisins and apples), Bled's Kremna Rezina (cream cake) or the potica nut rolls will leave you in a state of satiated bliss. Also, since beekeeping is one of the major traditions of Slovenia, it becomes binding to pick up some stunning bottles of honey brandy from the local markets (I did).Tip for the true blue gastronomes: Make sure you make it to Ljubljana's Odprta Kuhna (Open Kitchen) Food Market, where food and beverage vendors, modern restaurant chefs, farmers as also traditional gostilna experts congregate to offer their specialties. Thumbs up for the spectrum of epicurean delights and of course, the community sentiment!4) No safety concerns.The Global Peace Report 2016 has ranked Slovenia as the 10th safest country in the world, moving it up five spots since 2015. So whether you are a solo traveller, an avid trekker, woman traveller or a family holiday person---Slovenia will not let you down.5) A hearty laugh and a glass of fine wine are the perfect Slovenian sundowns.Red or white, aromatic, full-bodied or light, dry or sweet – no matter what your preference is, you ought to find it in one of Slovenia's 14 wine-growing districts. Signing up for a winery tour is a great option to spend a day immersing in the wine-growing culture of the nation. Also, The Guinness Book of Records declares that the Slovenian city of Maribor is home to the oldest vine in the world--you would want to add this to your bucket list!