09.08.2006 21 °C
The guys at the hostel in Ljubljana said it would rain and they weren't kidding. But off I headed to Lake Bled, on the edge of the Julian Alps, near the border with Austria. Its only an hour and a quarter on the bus, Slovenia is so small. The road climbs through more spectacular scenery and over a few high bridges across steep valleys.
I had managed to ring book a hostel in Bled, just as well since there's only about two. But the question was how to get there. Like a fool, I had followed all the other travellers and got off the bus one stop early. So to cut a long story short I had to ring the hostel and ask for directions. I was only a ten minutes walk from the hostel, and wearing a waterproof jacket, but the trudge uphill in cats'n'dogs rain with my backpack was still seriously miserable.
On arrival in the room, in the curiously titled "George Best Backpackers" I proceeded to decorate its with various bits of damp and wet clothing, plus a bit of handwashing. It looked lovely. When it finally calmed down a bit it was dinner time, and I went to the nicer Hostel Bledec next door which does decent cheap food. There I met a really brainy guy from London, and happily whiled away the evening talking about delightful subjects ranging from local governments, and community involvement in urban regenration, to cancer and death.
When I went back to my room I noticed the pub under my hostel was really lively. Then at about 2am, I was woken by shouting and crashing. It appeared there was a full scale pub brawl going on downstairs. What is this place? I don't think anyone got thrown through the windows. Maybe Peggy called Grant to break it up, but it calmed down pretty quick, then there was no more disturbance other than my Korean roommate talking in his sleep.
The next day I got up bright and early, as I could see blue sky peeping through the window. By midday I had walked around the lake once, taken photos, and bought loads of postcards. I had lunch watching the ducks, then thought about what to do next. I went into the church, and found out how to get to the castle. So I walked around again, the opposite direction, because I'd missed the viewpoint that you can climb to which gives incredible views across the lake. I was glad I did it too, even though it was tough. Yes I know its nerdy, but since all that walking in Budapest, I'd started wearing the pedometer out of curiosity, and it turns out by the end of the day I'd walked about 25,000 steps, which was about 16km, or 10 miles. That's going to be a few calories burnt. I'll have a big dinner.
Later I met up with the London guy and the lads out of his dorm, one of whom had just turned 18, how young. After a huge dinner we went to the George Best Pub, which was filled with very friendly drunk people from Northern Ireland, as it turns out that one half of the management is from Belfast, which may explain the name. And there were no fights.
After catching up on my postcards, the next morning I got on the bus back to Ljubljana, where I bought a train ticket to Prague. Its a 12 hours journey, so I was really surprised when it cost me just 29 Euros. Thats a bargain. The girl in my dorm had forked out for a Eurorail pass and she went green when I told her how cheap it was. So I used the quiet evening to try and catch up on postcards and blogs. Although I'm still behind, I'm writing this from Prague.