If you followed Logan and I on our trip last year you may remember my constant complaints about the weather. It rained A LOT. Everyday. For a month. Rain and rain and rain. You get the point…Once again I find myself traveling in traditionally rainy May, but this time I came both mentally prepared with a more positive attitude and equipped with a raincoat (why I never just bought one last year is still a mystery to me).
However, I forgot one crucial thing when planning for this trip. My mom is weather resistant. Truly. We have been on so many vacations where the weather reported was rainy or extra hot or extra cold and we ended up with perfect, sunny, beautiful weather. So far this trip has been no different. It has been forecasted to rain almost everyday so far and with a few small exceptions (once when we were taking an afternoon nap anyway and the other time when we were driving and therefore not outside) the weather has been great!!! The amazing weather combined with our rental car and shared adventurous spirit (can such things be inherited I wonder?) has led to breathtaking views, unexpected twists and turns and many, many kilometers driven.
Since we decided to skip Bled Castle (which I was not overly impressed with last year) we basically saw what we wanted to see in Bled on our first day. So, with Mlino as our home base for two more days, we decided to venture out into lesser-traveled parts of Slovenia.
On our second full day we hiked Vintgar Gorge. Logan and I desperately wanted to do this hike when we were here, but due to flooding we were unable to. The trailhead is outside of Bled a ways and while you definitely could walk, or take a bus, we were glad, once again, to have the car. The hike (which was really more of a long-ish walk) was spectacular. I am completely obsessed with the color of the water in the rivers here and this hike is along the river on wooden planks and bridges. The whole thing (all the way down the gorge and back, with LOTS of stops) took about an hour and a half, so we had plenty of time to keep exploring before heading back to our room for a-I’m-still-jet-lagged-even-though-we-did-what-we-were-supposed-to afternoon nap (the one where the forecasted rain finally arrived).
The rest of the morning was spent driving through Triglav National Park, which is the only National Park in Slovenia. We found ourselves on small dirt roads lined with green, green trees and in fields filled with cows and traditional Slovenian hayracks. The roads through the park are narrow and we were glad other tourists didn’t seem to have the same idea for the day as we did. We saw practically no one while we were in the park.
The next day we ventured even further and upon the advice of my friend Rick Steves, we headed to the glacial valley of Logarska Dolina. This valley is far north, almost to Austria, and is at the base of a section of the Alps. The rain from the previous evening left the craggy peaks misty and the trees even greener. Our drive took about six hours total and in that time we drove any road that didn’t lead us to another country (rental car agencies love to charge extra for those type of detours).
Back in Bled we ate a final dinner at Ostarija Peglez’n, which had been recommended by our Airbnb hosts as well as Rick and Lonely Planet. Since we had not really eaten out yet (except pizza one night) we decided to order a full meal of gnocchi with prosciutto (“prust” is Slovenian), John Dorry, and wine. Stuffed with delicious food we spent our last evening at our Mlino Airbnb watching a movie and preparing for the twists and turns (literally!) ahead of us.