[Continuation; if you like, check out Day One.]
We slept in a bit, and tried to recover some of our strength. We caught a cab downtown and maneuvered our tiny little econobox rental car over the curb and out of the tiny little parking lot, and headed north to Lake Bled (“blayd”). It is a very beautiful place, our photos hardly do it justice.
We stopped by the side of the lake for as-always excellent coffee and Kremšnita; we had been hoping for lunch, but this was the best we could do in this town. We later grabbed salami and cheese from a little grocery for an afternoon snack.
Our original plan was to walk all the way around the lake and visit the island in the middle, but with our slow morning and many miles ahead, we turned back about 1/3 of the way around. We headed out of town and up into the Julian Alps and Triglav (tree-glau) National Park. We took the road over Vršič (ver-sheech) Pass, which has 50 numbered hairpin turns. This little Russian chapel is about the size of our closet, and it’s near switchback #8.
Again, our photos don’t do justice to the dramatic scenery. There was just no way to capture how immense and vertical these mountains are.
At one point we had to contend with other traffic on the road. These were probably the least aggressive and most polite creatures we encountered during our visit.
The road on the other side of the pass winds its way down along the Soča river, which is brilliantly green and clear. We stopped at this bridge, and were nearly bowled over by the residents who live on the far side and their moped.
We eventually turned off of the two-lane highway and wended our way down a terrifying one-lane road to our lodgings for the night. The house was gorgeous, historic, and owned by a charming Irishman and his lovely English wife. They pulled out all the stops, and made us feel very welcome.
The village pub was the only place for miles that we could eat, so we were stuck with pizza and beer. We might regret it tomorrow.