If there is one thing I’ve learnt since being in Slovenia, it’s that when opportunities come a knocking, they must be grabbed with both hands. So last week I did just that – twice! The first occasion came about when, out-of-the-blue, I received an email a couple of weeks ago from an English couple, Marian and Eddie, inviting me to be their guest for dinner. I of course accepted with pleasure and intrigue. Marian and Eddie have been holidaying in Slovenia for over 10 years now and they visit at least 3 times per year. On a recent visit, whilst staying at their current favourite guest house, Penzion Alp in Bled, the owner told them about my blog and they have been following it ever since. This prompted the above mentioned dinner invitation and we spent a thoroughly enjoyable evening together, due both to their friendliness and ‘great Britishness’ and also to the overwhelming hospitality of the staff and presentation and taste of the food we savoured. It seems that as long-standing guests, Marian and Eddie are treated like old-friends but also pampered with extra little treats such as the wonderfully presented bread wreaths that were presented to our table (and only our table!) made up of lots of miniature bread rolls spelling out the word ALP, so cute – as seen below – and it really was a shame to eat them but they were tasty too! It was my first visit to Penzion Alp and I have a feeling it won’t be my last, especially since they are due to come back again at Christmas for their fourth visit this year. The couple are proof positive, as if it were needed, that there’s always plenty to see and do here; they love Bled and always visit Radovlijca and the surrounding areas too, and say ‘Slovenia never ceases to amaze them’.
The second of last week’s opportunities came about following a chat I had with Radovjlica’s Mayor whilst at the Mošnje Days event the weekend before last. As a result, he invited me, together with Nataša Mikelj from Tourism Radovljica, to visit him in his office to acquaint him further with my blog. Again, this was another opportunity not to be missed, both in terms of the chance to be able to convey some of the amazing statistics the blog has achieved to-date and also to get a sneek peek into his office which was full of interesting handmade wrought iron pieces, such as the candelabra, coat stand, clock, desk tidy (some of which can be seen in the photo below) from the nearby village of Kropa, which is the cradle of Slovene iron forging (you can read more about Kropa here – http://www.radolca.si/en/kropa-old-town/). It was also more than satisfying to get some additional recognition and gratitude for all my hard work helping to spread the good word about Radovljica.
The weather was absolutely glorious last weekend and perfect for outdoor activities and people, including me of course, were out in their droves making the most of it seeing as it was about the best weekend we’ve had since about June! My weekend began with a Saturday morning hike on one of my favourite local paths beginning in the Draga valley first to the Preval mountain hut, then via the ‘čez Roža’ route to the Roblek mountain hut. In the afternoon, I drove to Bohinj to visit the Mostnica gorge, the Devil’s Bridge and Bohinj Lake. It was surprisingly how little water there was in the gorge considering how much rain we’ve had this year but nevertheless the view into the gorge from the bridge, and further along its length, never fails to impress. Bohinj lake was, as ever, looking stunning and without a breath of wind it was perfectly calm, still and almost eerie. I then finished the day with a much deserved ‘Pizza Adele’ (yes, really, I have a pizza named after me!) – you can read more about that here – http://adeleinslovenia.wordpress.com/2013/09/23/hiking-and-mountain-huts-in-slovenia/
Sunday morning started off rather cloudily but by midday the sun had broken through. It was a little on the crisp side but I wrapped up, gloves and all, and headed off on my bike. The lack of sun influenced my decision about where to go but thankfully the newly surfaced, and long awaited, missing part of the D2 cycle route connecting Hrušica with Mojstrana is now rideable and as it’s flattish too – a rarity round here – so ideal for an easier ride without too many ups and downs on a chilly early morning. It isn’t yet officially open as there are still some finishing works to be done but nonetheless I figured that being a Sunday the workers are most likely to be on a day of rest, and my calculation paid off!
On Sunday afternoon I headed to Bled, which was looking magnificent in the brilliant blue sunshine with the glistening lake framed by the cloudless blue sky and majestic Karavanke mountains. It felt like, and was almost as busy as, a mid-summer’s day. Additionally, there was an exhibition of old-timer cars in front of the Festival Hall which was drawing quite a crowd.
Anyone with a sweet tooth will want to visit Bled this coming Saturday, 4th October, for the Original Bled Cream Cake (kremšnita) Festival which will be taking place on the terrace of the Hotel Park coffee shop which has fantastic views over the lake. The celebrations and live music will be taking place from 3pm – 5pm and during that time you can also buy the cakes 2-for-the-price-of-1. What’s not to like?! Read more about it here – http://www.bled.si/en/events/2014/10/04/1778-Original-Bled-Cream-Cake-Festival
This Sunday, 5th October, the monthly flea market (bolšjak) will be held in Radovljica’s old town centre from 9am – 1pm. Come and browse the stalls and perhaps banter and barter with the vendors. A workshop for children also takes place alongside the market, from 10am-12noon. More information can be found here – http://www.radolca.si/en/what-to-do/83/flea-market/83/274/