As soon as Logan and I decided we would be going to Turkey and Greece in June, I began thinking about how I could extend my trip to stay the maximum days possible (obviously). In my last post I talked about how my job is very flexible and because of that I knew that I could come to Europe a little before Logan and get some extra travel days in. Logan will be in school for at least five more years, potentially six or seven, so when the decision was made that we would be “staying put” for that length of time an agreement was also made that I would be traveling alone sometimes. Marriage means compromises, yes? So while Logan is studying I will be traveling. Seems fair to me! I knew almost immediately that I wanted to go back to the Balkans and when my mom said she wanted to come too my one or two weeks extra in one or two countries became five weeks and six countries.
The Balkans are awesome. I will likely write a post about how much I love this part of Europe and why later on, but for now I will just say that I find them to be some of the most beautiful and friendly countries I have been so far. There are many places I would like to return to “someday”, but this region was one I felt immediately drawn back to. In the early stages of planning this this where I set my sights and as it was decided that my mom would be joining me I get very excited to show her this corner of the world that captured my heart.
Mom and I decided to meet in LA (where my grandparents live) so that we could get on the same flight. We flew on a double-decker Airbus (we were in row 91!!) from LAX to Frankfurt and after 11 long and disorienting hours we arrived in Germany. Once in Frankfurt we were able to squee in a nap between flights and after a five-hour lay we caught a short flight down to Ljubljana, the capital of Slovenia. A rental car was waiting for us at the airport and we made our way (slowly, as I got us lost half a dozen times) to Lake Bled.
We stayed in the small lakeside town of Mlino in the same building that Logan and I stayed in last time we were at Bled. To help beat the jet lag we took a walk along the water back to the main town (also called Bled) to get some groceries. Mom made simple but delicious meal back in our Airbnb and after a 24-hour travel day we finally allowed ourselves to crash at 10 pm local time.
The next morning we woke up to a beautiful sunny day and after eating breakfast in our apartment we hopped in the car and drove to the next lake over, Bohinj. We started the days adventures with a hike to the Savica Waterfall, and my mom was introduced to the stunning, other-worldly colored water found in the rivers in Slovenia. After the waterfall we walked a little ways around the lake itself and admired the Alps, which rise dramatically in the background.
We ended up driving the car the long way back to Mlino (my mom loves to take roads with unknown endings) before walking around the entirety of Lake Bled, stopping in town for delicious pizza at Pizzeria Rustica. Since Slovenia is so close to Italy a lot of the food here has an Italian feel and taste to it. The day ended with some down time spent watching the latest season of Downton Abbey (so much romantic turmoil!!).
Our first day in Bled was the perfect way to kick off our three-week journey. I have been to this part of Slovenia before and it is just as beautiful as I remember it. I am making an effort to do as many new things as possible and with the flexibility of a car we were set up for a week of adventure in the Slovenian mountains! Stay tuned for more tales of the Hoffman/Howe women in Slovenia.