On Sunday afternoon at around 2:00 p.m., the view from our hotel room window turned gloriously blue for one of the only times during our stay in Bled.
Fifteen minutes later it was spitting snow. That’s the mountains for you.
The “wellness” Hotel Astoria Bled rests on a hillside, and it’s a five minute walk downhill to Lake Bled. To get to Castle Bled, perched majestically on the rocky bluff overlooking the lake, it’s only a half-mile or so — straight uphill. Off we went, first passing through the outer edges of this tidy and prosperous town. One hostel owner must be a football fan.
Further along was a rustic bar touting Laško, which along with Union comprises Slovenia’s “Big Two National Lagers.”
The hike was steep but mercifully short.
In varying forms, Bled Castle has been in existence for 1,000 years.
BLED CASTLE – according to written sources, the oldest castle in Slovenia, first mentioned in a 1011 donation deed as castellum Veldes. Perched atop a steep cliff rising 130 metres above the glacial Lake Bled is a symbol of Bled and Slovenia – Bled Castle. The image of the castle forming a dramatic backdrop to the romantic island and the church on it has earned the resort worldwide recognition through the centuries. Castle terraces offer spectacular views of the lake and the island, down the Dežela area with Lesce and Radovljica and over to the mountain ranges of the Karavanke and the Julian Alps.
From the castle ramparts the view was suitably breathtaking.
Those who go up, must eventually come down, which proved very fast.
First the castle in Ljubljana, then the one in Bled. Another was yet to come in Trieste — well, a hilltop fortress at least. The trip hadn’t been intended to be the Baylor Euro Castle Tour, but there you have it.
On Monday morning,we were off to Italy.