The Serene, Tranquil Lake Jasna on 18Sep2018 Day 4 3pax Family Holiday in Slovenia 15-21Sep2018

bohinj-lake jasna-vrsic pass-soca valley-bovec

this morning we taking a longer scenic drive through passes, goreges & valleys so left early past 8am.

it’s a day’s drive so son to lake jasna, vrsic pass, trenta valley & soca valley to bovec where we stay the night..

lake jasna 

first stop, the tranquil lake jasna…lazy…serene..

lake jasna

lake jasna

lake jasna

lake jasna 

small glacial lake with still reflections.

lake jasna

lake jasna

lake jasna

lake jasna in the town of kranska gora…

lake jasna

zen stillness…

zlatorog/golden horn at lake jasna

a larger horn zlatorog statue than the one at bohinj…in terms of setting though bohinj statue on a higher elevation is a more magnificient picture.

lake jasna a quick rest stop. after that we proceed to vrsic pass.

c.h.e.f andy

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Good Expensive Burgers @ Foksner on 17Sep2018 Day 3 3pax Family Holiday in Slovenia 15-21Sep2018

nice burger dinner @ foksner

son was already pining for foksner burger last evening and we settled for less than satisfying pub food at pod skalco.

this evening got to feed our driver so no other options contemplated especially when foksner was just a few steps (like 50m) from our apartment, and rated 4.8 on googlemap. ^^

foksner burger @ ribcev laz

we got our table about 7.10pm when we arrived.

15mins later there was a queue.

nice burger dinner

the burgers came soon enough (we waited about 20mins).

they do serve other food like steaks. but we came here for burgers. 🙂

foksner burger €8.50

delicious patty

i ordered the foksner burger foksner burger €8.50.

i was very happy with my burger! 🙂 still burger & loads of carbs not my thing, so i didn’t finish the patty & 1/2 the very good brioche.

wife ordered the truffle burger €9.50.

& son ordered some monster burger €12.

good expensive burger-bill €35.80

truffle burger €9.50

wife & son liked the truffle burger. and of course son liked his biggest burger!

actually for me i liked my foksner burger best, truffle didn’t suit my taste where this burger was concerned.

so another many meals where everyone very happy & wholly satisfied with the food!

c.h.e.f andy

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Foksner @ Ribcev Laz

Savica Slap Unique A-shape Waterfall on 17Sep2018 Day 3 3pax Family Holiday in Slovenia 15-21Sep2018

savica slap

savica waterfall is the source of savica river which flows into lake bohinj.

it is unique among world waterfalls as it is fed from 2 underground rivers, and emerged as the famous “A” shape waterfall at 836m and 78m high. 🙂

it is a must see sight for first timers to bohinj. ^^

savica slap trail

after the exhilarating vogel climb, we drove 10mins to savica slap car park, took a quick bite at Planinski dom Savica, and proceed to the savica hut entrance.

entrance fee was €3pax.

savica slap trail

savica slap trail

savica slap trail

it was an easy walk/climb.

savica slap trail

sound of water along the trail, savica river & small streams..

savica slap trail

savica slap trail

savica slap trail

small falls along the way…

savica slap trail

savica slap trail

water & streams..

savica slap trail

quite easy steps…

savica slap trail guide

savica slap trail

more steps..

savica slap trail

savica slap trail

a very pleasant walk.

savica slap

and we were at the savica falls.

not that many tourists at this time 4.30pm – ish…

it was a narrow path/stairs, so just short wait to take photos…

savica slap

pretty A shape asymmetrical falls emerging from 2 underground rivers at 836m and 78m, and discharging into a beatiful emerald green pond that flows into savica river & into lake bohinj..

savica slap

savica slap

savica slap

savica slap

may not be notable c/w any waterfall in iceland, or even the best in slovenia.

still it was a beauty to behold and a very nice walk to the fall & back.

after savica slap, we returned to the apartment to chill, have coffee, shower, rest before going to foksner burger few steps down the road to have a nice dinner. 🙂

c.h.e.f andy

Good Late Lunch @ Planinski dom Savica on 17Sep2018 Day 3 3pax Family Holiday in Slovenia 15-21Sep2018

mixed grill

after the exhilarating climb at vogel, there was still time, we decided to go savica slap which was just 10mins drive away, on 17.9.2018. ^^

late lunch @ savica slap

after we parked our car, there was a rest area for food & drinks before the entrance to savica slap. it was past 3.30pm.

we decided to get something to eat.

so we ordered a mixed grill to share & couple beers & drinks. i ordered a bitter lemon. 🙂

the place was managed by the vogel station and the service staff wore the same logo.

mixed grill

the mixed grill was quite good quality even though it basically served the same sausages, cevapi & grilled chicken as pod skalco last evening. perhaps we were hungrier now? 🙂

bill €20

mixed grill

the 3 large sausages were all very tasty.

2 cevapi were tasty as usual & the grilled chicken was good too, not dry…the rice also pretty good & the sauce always. 🙂

they served us complimentary bread, and as usual we asked for olive oil & balsamic. it was quite enough for 3 of us actually. we would have dinner in a few hrs, and we climbed vogel and now an easier hike including 500 steps to savica slap, so it’s good to have something in the stomach w/o eating too much la.

the bill came to €20, not really cheap as we had just 1 order of mixed grill plus 1 beer & 1 bitter lemon.

but we are happy.

c.h.e.f andy

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Planinski dom Savica

Okrepčevalnica Savica

Contact:

What an Exhilarating Climb! Sija Peak 1880m Mt Vogel on 17Sep2018 Day 3 3pax Family Holiday 15-21Sep2018

mt vogel

after our delicious home made breakfast at our ribcev laz apartment,

we drove to the vogel ski centre, zicnice vogel bohinj, on 17.9.2018. ^^

our plan was, and wife was super keen to hike mt vogel 1920m. later when we were just a short hike from sija 1880m, we realized that it required additional 4hrs hike (at my pace) from sija so we settled on just sija..

gondola tickets

parked our car and took the cable car (gondola) up to vogel ski station 1535m then a short ski lift..then trekked to sija about 3hr return.

the gondola return ticket was €20pax, the ski lift (orlove glave 4 seat ski lift) free, but the higher (single seat sija) ski lift was not operational this time.

zipline at mt vogel station 1535m

zipline at mt vogel station 1535m

there were 2 short ziplines, and a few kids were having swell of a time.

mt vogel station

viharnik vogel ski centre

we put on more sun block and went to the washrooms.

son though he might have left his water bottle at the wooden table here. we asked the cafe operators when we returned from sija but could not recover the bottle.

view of lake bohinj from mt vogel

from vogel ski station, we had a great view of lake bohinj. 🙂

mt vogel mountain range

mt vogel mountain range

and the mountain ranges around vogel.

walking to the orlove glave four seat ski lift station (3 on the vogel map top photo)

we asked at the tourist info.

the lady was helpful, she said we could take the ski lift, climb to sija 1880m then decide if to go vogel 1922m, and could trek back via another route. it would take like 6 or 7hrs.

it was about 11.20am. we were not decided so first thing first – go to the ski lift station.

orlove glave four seat ski lift station (3 on the vogel map top photo)

floral of mt vogel

orlove glave four seat ski lift station (3 on the vogel map top photo)

we took the four seat orlove glave ski lift…

from vantage point of the ski lift

from vantage point of the ski lift

from vantage point of the ski lift

from vantage point of the ski lift

from vantage point of the ski lift

nice view of the mountain and the surrounding ranges from vantage point of the ski lift.

mt vogel trail

mt vogel trail

the trail was well marked.

mostly ski routes or off piste…in the snow covered skiing season.

mt vogel trail

mt vogel trail

mt vogel trail

a really fun enjoyable walk. we all loved it. 🙂

mt vogel trail

mt vogel trail

mt vogel trail

it was getting a bit warm.

i was worried that it would be cold at 1500m to 1900m, so i had on 3 layers an inner T and a outer light parka. got to go light down to my inner T.

mt vogel trail

mt vogel trail

mt vogel trail

quite a fair bit of climbing to do.

mt vogel trail

there were good markings along the trail, sometimes at like 20m intervals, though at one part we wandered to a longer trail becos the markings disappeared. 🙂

mt vogel trail

mt vogel trail

mt vogel trail

mt vogel trail

the scenery was magnificient at every point.

and the climb itself was really fun.

mt vogel trail

we wandered off a bit here. and walked round the side instead of going up a slope. 🙂

mt vogel trail

mt vogel trail

great views all round..

mt vogel trail

mt vogel trail

not the easiest of climbs, but something casual hikers like us could still do and enjoy. 🙂

mt vogel trail

mt vogel trail

we were near to sija peak and a sign said it would take another 1hr 40mins to vogel (or like additional 4hrs hike at my pace from sija to vogel & back.

so though wife was very keen to go to vogel, we settled on just sija peak.

mt vogel trail

mt vogel trail

mt vogel trail

mt vogel trail

and we were at sija peak. ^^

what an exhilarating climb!

from sija peak 1880m

from sija peak 1880m

from sija peak 1880m

from sija peak 1880m

from sija peak 1880m

we took many photos and even some succesful jump shot at our age….lol! ^^

mt vogel trail

mt vogel trail

mt vogel trail

we walked a little along the trail to vogel along the ridge, and then trekked down.

mt vogel trail

mt vogel trail

mt vogel trail

decided to take a unmarked short cut down the side of the field.

we thought it was easier than the route we took up, as it was rocky and not easy coming up the last bit & retracing it down would be a lot harder.

and we were quite right about that! 🙂

mt vogel trail

mt vogel trail

very soon we were back to the trail.

mt vogel trail

mt vogel trail

mt vogel trail

up another rocky stretch.

mt vogel trail

and past the single seat sija ski lift which was not operational at this time.

mt vogel trail

and down the slope which we earlier missed & walked round the mountain side.

actually coming to think of it, the side might be a lot easier path. 🙂

mt vogel trail rest stop

mt vogel trail rest stop

finally we came to the rest stop.

went to the washroom, shared a coke and beer.

mt vogel trail rest stop

mt vogel trail rest stop

and a moment of relaxation.

mt vogel trail rest stop

chilled a short while.

mt vogel mountain range

then we were back at the vogel ski centre.

gondola

gondola

gondola

gondola

took the gondola and took in all the aerial views of lake bohinj on the way down to zicnice vogel bohinj and our car.

our next stop = savica gap.

c.h.e.f andy

Good BreakFast @ Bohinj Apartment on 17Sep2018 Day 3 3pax Family Holiday in Slovenia 15-21Sep2018

homecooked breakfast

we bought smoked thick bacon, croissant & bread, eggs and brussel sprouts last evening so made a delicious breakfast at out bohinj apartment on 17.9.2018. ^^

the bacon was really really good. we cooked that couple of times more later.

breakfast time

our bohinj apartment had a good kitchen. more about that later.

homecooked breakfast

we had croissant & multigrain bread.

the really delicious grilled smoked thick bacon were between the bread.

homecooked breakfast

homecooked breakfast

i made some sunny side up.

brussel sprouts & bacon

and son did a really good brussel sprouts, very nicely chargrilled, then added the smoked bacon in small strips for good flavour.

really enjoyed son’s brussel sprouts! ^^

we were going up mt vogel, and a good heart breakfast was just what we needed.

c.h.e.f andy

Average Not So Great Dinner @ Pod Skalco on 16Sep2018 Day 2 3pax Family Holiday in Slovenia 15-21Sep2018

panfried trout & grills at pod skalco

i guess this would count as the worst dinner we had in slovenia, at a pub pod skalco which means like “under the rock”, on 16.9.2018.

massive glacial rock wall at lake bonhij next to pod skalco

massive glacial rock wall at lake bonhij next to pod skalco

after walking around lake bohinj and taking photos at the golden horn sculpture, we came to a massive natural rock wall next to pod skalco. wonder if they use it for rock climbing?

panfried trout

i read that the panfried trout (top photo & above) was good. but it was not so fresh here, so maybe just passable not great dish. subsequent we had very good ones at bovec. write about that later.

mixed grill

the mixed grill di not come with beef or pork or like in croatia, lamb.

it was mostly sausage & cevapi, not too bad dish of grilled minced meat similar to kebab & commonly found in croatia & i guess here in slovenia, and a piece of chicken.

sausage set

i think the sausage was on offer like €8.90 or something so we took that as well.

too much sausages.

i guess food was the robust hearty type, competent enough, not great also not specially bad, just very average food.

c.h.e.f andy

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Pod Skalco

Contact:
Opening Hours:

Evening Stroll Around Lake Bohinj on 16Sep2018 Day2 3pax Family Holiday in Solvenia 15-21Sep2018

church of st john the baptist @ bohinj

had a nice coffee break at the apartment at ribcev laz.

walking around lake bohinj

walking around lake bohinj

then we went out to explore the mercator (supermarket) next to the tourist info.

and to walk around town & the lake bohinj

church of st john the baptist @ bohinj

first stop was lakeside, with the oft mentioned church of st john the baptist across the bridge, which we drove across on arrivaing from mostnic gorge. 🙂

walking around lake bohinj

nice tranquil lake.

lake bohinj is the largest “permanent” glacial lake and dammed by a moraine of glacial debris.

walking around lake bohinj

ducks and aquatic birds.

church of st john the baptist @ bohinj

church of st john the baptist @ bohinj

church of st john the baptist @ bohinj

church of st john the baptist @ bohinj

church of st john the baptist @ bohinj

the church of st john the baptist @ bohinj ..just like any oil painting or wtaercolours of idyllic town & villages…

church of st john the baptist @ bohinj

we crossed the bridge to the other bank.

ducks fishes – lake bohinj

 

ducks fishes – lake bohinj

family of mallard ducks, and fishes in the lake..

lakeside promenade

great place for family picnic…

the golden horn/zlatorog statue

we walked back to the other bank & further to the golden horn/zlatorog statue.

some random drone

not too many tourist.

we took some photos, wonder around a bit.

golden horn/zlatorog in twilight

golden horn/zlatorog

golden horn/zlatorog

golden horn/zlatorog in twilight

golden horn/zlatorog in twilight

beautiful & serene in the twilight glow.

c.h.e.f andy

 

Great 2-room Apartment @ Ribcev Laz Bohinj on 16-18Sep2018 3pax Family Holiday in Slovenia 15-21Sep2018

our 2 room apartment @ bohinj

after hiking mostnica waterfall, we arrived shortly about 4.30pm at our apartment at ribcev laz in bohinj on 16.9.2018. the lady host was waiting. 🙂

our room was on the top floor.

there was one bedroom & a living/dining/kitchen hall, and a flight of stairs leading to a second room at the attic. we were staying here 2 nights from 16-18.9.2018.

the apartment cost €149.40 for 2nights, a tiny fraction of the price of grand hotel toplice at bled.

it was a great location just a stone throw from lake bohinj and the maercator (supermart) and tourist information, but then bohinj is tiny. everywhere is a stone throw haha!

the apartment provided free bicycles. bohinj is flat & easy to ride around the lake. we didn’t have occasion to use the bikes.

they also have a outdoor bbq pit except it was more like a hotplate rather than a fire grill. we didn’t use it.

our 2 room apartment @ bohinj

breakfast time

the next day we made our own breakfast. nicer than eating out haha!

our 2 room apartment @ bohinj

apartment ideal for travelling in groups and families and usually a lot cheaper than hotels.

for our slovenia trip, all our accomodation except for hotel grand toplice on the first day were apartments.

c.h.e.f andy

Mostnica Waterfall A Nice Hike on 16Sep2018 3pax Family Holiday in Slovenia 15-21Sep2018

hiking mostnica waterfall

after the trip to beld island, returning by pletna boat, we drove to bohinj..

we decided to go first to mostnica gorge. but we didn’t read much about it, couldn’t quite find the gorge and ended up taking the trail to mostnica slap (waterfall) …a very nice hike it turned out…but seems that the mostnica gorge would be even better.

we drove through the town of stara fuzina and came to a lower carpark. we decided to take drive to the higher parts which was quite a long drive about 1/2hr.

we came finally to a rest stop serving food & drinks where there was a sign showing onward direction to voje valley & mostica waterfall. i asked directions here and a young lady working there said the mostnica gorge was on one side & the waterfall on the other.

hiking mostnica waterfall

we decided to hike the waterfall trail which took about 1 hr each direction.

it was a nice hike. just a bit hot though. we started at 2pm. sun directly overhead.

hiking mostnica waterfall

hiking mostnica waterfall

hiking mostnica waterfall

a pleasant hike.

but no gorges & river.

hiking mostnica waterfall

hiking mostnica waterfall

we reached the voje hut.

met some peopl coming out of the woods opposite the hut. they said there was a nice area to view the waterfall & pool at the lower parts, and we should turned right after crossing a wooden suspension bridge.

hiking mostnica waterfall

hiking mostnica waterfall

wooden suspension bridge

so we left the trail to the waterfall & turned left into the undergrowth opposite voje hut.

came to the bridge & crossed over it.

hiking mostnica waterfall

hiking mostnica waterfall

hiking mostnica waterfall

hiking mostnica waterfall

walked a bit further alongside the stream.

hiking mostnica waterfall

to the access to a small clearing.

hiking mostnica waterfall

some slope to negotiate.

hiking mostnica waterfall

hiking mostnica waterfall

and to a small clearing alongside the pool where the waterfall flows past.

hiking mostnica waterfall

with a distant view of mostnica waterfall.

hiking mostnica waterfall

we retraced our steps to get back to the trail adjacent to voje hut.

hiking mostnica waterfall

hiking mostnica waterfall

went up the slope.

mostnica waterfall

and took some photos at mostnica waterfall.

hiking mostnica waterfall

hiking mostnica waterfall

we decided NOT to stop by voje hut, so we got back to our car at the first rest stop where i asked directions.

it was 4pm already, so we drove to lake bohinj and checked into our next apartment bohinjko @ ribcev lav 37. 🙂

c.h.e.f andy

Going to Bled Island on Pletna Boat Day 2 3pax Family Holiday in Slovenia 15-21Sep2018

took the pletna boat to bled island €14pax return

after checking out, we took the pletna boat from the ferry point next to hotel to bled island €14pax return.

it’s 35mins one way..even the professional oars man was shagged out resting several times during the journey..

walked around the tiny islelet did not enter the pilgrimage church of assumption of mary..

by the way the €2 ice cream on bled island is really good👍

going to bled island

going to bled island

going to bled island

always fun to ride on the waters.

there are 2 ferry points for pletnas. we landed at the back end of the of the island.the pletna man did not collect payment & we pay only on the return journey.

walking round the tiny bled island

view from bled island

wife wanted to enter front the front jetty so we took the coast path to the front.

took some photos of the shoreline…should be osjtrica & osojnica in the background.

up the steps

a few steps to get to the church & the rest area. 🙂

99 to be exact, and the tradition for the groom to carry the bride up 99 steps for the marriage to be consecrated in the church.

up the steps

the pletna ferry point made a good geometrical photo point of interest. 🙂

view of bled island from osjtrica

that was how the bled island & the steps looked like from osjtrica. 🙂

on bled island

of course bled island is another favourite wedding reception location. 🙂

on bled island

son bought some ice cream. very good ones. 🙂

on bled island

pilgrimage church of the assumption of maria

pilgrimage church of the assumption of maria

we took some photos of the prigrimage church of the assumption of maria.

the single-nave Gothic church was built on the island in 1465. Its special feature was the 52 m high free-standing bell-tower made of porous stone known also as buckwheat grain. The church gained its present Baroque appearance in the middle of the 17th century when the Chapel of Virgin Mary and the monumental staircase with 99 stone steps were constructed. Tradition still has it that the groom should carry his bride up all of the 99 steps in order to get married in the island church.

view the other side

& the view from the other side of the island away from bled castle.

returning on pletna boat

then it was time to leave & we took th epletna back to the hotel ferry point & got into our skoa octavia for the next destination, bohinj and mostnica gorge.

c.h.e.f andy

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Bled Island

Blejski otok

4260 Bled

Slovenia

 

 

The Worst Hotel = Grand Hotel Toplice Atrocious Service & Rundown Floor & Room on 15Sep2018 3pax Family Holiday in Slovenia 15-21Sep2018

Just a word on the atrocious service and the lousy room in grand hotel toplice.

julijana, the restaurant at hotel, has good online reviews.

for that reason my wife booked 1/2 board including a 4-course set dinner & breakfast at grand hotel toplice.

few days before our arrival, wife emailed the hotel to ask the hotel to help reserve for us a table with a good view of the lake because this was for my 60th birthday celebrations. the email was written over an email trail where the hotel replied & confirmed the 1/2 board.

and how did the hotel replied?

the same person who confirmed the 1/2 board on the same email trail replied to say “the restaurant was fully booked and no table was available”!

how could you confirm and make your customer pay very exorbitant 1/2 board rate and then replied that no table was available. it was unnecessary vexing for your customer! luckily we were not the type to be bothered or vexed.

when we arrived at the hotel, and rooms were available for early checked in the same guy (who later identified himself to the person who confirmed the 1/2 board & yet replied my wife that no table was available!) tried to get us to pay additional €30 for early check in.

(that was unusual in my experience though if you want to guarantee early check in then of course you pay for that but usually hotels i have stayed in my lifetime do not ask that when you are at the counter. if they have the room available they just offer to you, especially when this was a very exorbitant room). this though was insignificant & not an issue to us. we didn’t need so we just deposited our luggage.

so we asked about the reservation at julijana restaurant & the really odd reply.

and the guy got the galls to say “i thought you wanted to book another table”. i don’t want to be rude here so i leave it as that.

then of course we ask since the matter of table reservation is cleared up, can he help us get a table with a good view?

and his reply?

o…that is the restaurant. you have to go talk to the restaurant yourself!

of course we have enuf of this guy & we have no time to be bothered with him.

later when we came back to check in at 3pm after hiking osjtrica,

we had 4 pieces of luggage, and the guy & the a young trainee just stood & look without offering to hep us with the luggage.

they really gave incredible customer service training to their crew in this hotel.

and the room?

hotel completely run down, floors were creaky…it was like the “worse stay room-wise” we had in our entire week in slovenia…

of course the location was good & the views were incredible and they have heated indoor swimming pool, and a really great breakfast, and you have to pay for all that. that’s ok.

but hotel service sucks and that was unforgivable!

& later we found julijana was a really good restaurant with excellent dishes & really good service for which we gave a really good tip to the server precisely because the service was genuine with heart & not expecting to be tipped.. 

and of course the next morning-

the front desk was never trained to greet their customers to say good morning!

when checking out –

the same atrocious attitude ignoring customers. this time though the young trainee guy offer to help with the luggage. we acknowledged him but didn’t need his help.

obviously it is better not to train your front desk staff, then at least they behave like normal human beings. lol!

c.h.e.f andy

++++++++++++++++++++

Grand Hotel Toplice

Contact:

A Really Good Breakfast Day 2 3pax Family Holiday in Slovenia 15-21Sep2018

breakfast at the terrace

we went straight to breakfast, sat at the terrace, and son joined us shortly on 16.9.2018. ^^

this the same restaurant julijana we had our best dinner inslovenia last evening. 🙂

breakfast semi buffet – cured meats

it was a semi buffet.

there was a huge spread. and high quality stuff.

the cured meats were excellent. there were many variety, different chorizo, salami, cured beef etc

some fish ceviche too

& there were fish ceviche…not sure what? maybe king fish? anyway sweet & tasty.

some pate

& very good tasty, smooth pate.

not sure if it was duck pate, very good but of course not quite the goose terrine of last evening.

mushrooms

& mushrooms & also grilled vegetables like peppers, zucchini etc..

there were all manners of bread & pastry, cheese etc. and nuts which i took a few.

really marvellous buffet.

cooked breakfast – smoked salmon 2 sunny side up

and of course it was a semi buffet.

i ordered smoked salmon. it came with avogado, 2 sunny side up.

good competent, not tops in this department, but then the buffet spread was so good & this salmon was good standard too.

fruits

ended with some fruits.

hotel heated swimming pool

wife & son went to swim at the heated hotel swimming pool.

from hotel heated swimming pool

i sat at the swimming pool area & enjoyed the lake scenery outside.

breakfast semi buffet – cured meats

a really scrumptious, satisfying breakfast. among the best i had. similar to the ones we had at docletian palace place at split in apr2018, which i have not blogged yet but will write about later.

c.h.e.f andy

Waking Up to the Serene Beauty of Lake Bled Day 2 3pax Family Holiday 15-21Sep2018

bled castle & reflections on lake bled 

woke up to the serene beauty of lake bled after a good night sleep on 16.9.2018. ^^

view from our room balcony

view of bled castle from our room balcony

bled castle & reflections on lake bled

really glorious view of bled castle & reflections on lake bled.

morning walk & jog around lake bled

wife wanted to walk jog around the lake.

she jogged, i walked la! lol! ^^

bled castle & reflections on lake bled

can never have enuf of the view.

pletna boats ferry point

pletna boats ferry point

we checked out the pletna boats ferry point next to the hotel.

pletna boats fees

later after we had a wonderful breakfast & checked out & placed our luggage in the car, we took the pletna boats €14pax 35mins journet to bled island, what we did not manage to do yesterday.

bled castle & reflections on lake bled

bled castle & reflections on lake bled

walk around lake bled

walk around lake bled

i walked round to the other side of the lake.

wife ran ahead & ran back. we met up & walked together.

horse carts

we saw some horse carts yesterday.

bled castle & reflections on lake bled

looking back at grand hotel toplice

form the other side of lake bled, our grand hotel toplice was prominent on the landscape.

st martin parish church

st martin parish church

we walked to st martin parish church.

inside st martin parish church

inside st martin parish church

& looked inside.

apparently it holds a number of frescoes painted in 1930 by the Prešeren Award-winning artist Slavko Pengov, including one portraying Vladimir Lenin as Judas Iscariot in a depiction of the Last Supper. It also hosts a number of statues by Ivan Vurnik.

st martin parish church form side lane

st martin parish church from main road

we walked round & came to the main road connecting back to lake bled & hotel.

road leading back to lake bled & hotel

& walked back along the lakeside.

bled castle & reflections on lake bled

such beautiful postcard scenery.

bled castle

bled castle standing out on the cliff precipice.

c.h.e.f andy

Scrumptious 4-course Dinner @ Julijana – Our Best in Slovenia Day 1 3pax Family Holidy in Slovenia 15-21Sep2018

4-course set dinner at julijana restaurant

julijana has good online reviews.

for that reason my wife booked 1/2 board including a 4-course set dinner & breakfast at grand hotel toplice.

because of the horrendously bad service & really run down lousy room, we did not expect much of the dinner. basically i was telling my son probably could write off this dinner.

we had a full day staring with rowing on lake bled, a good lunch at mlino, trkking up osjtrica, vintgar gorge & bled castle, so would have been good to settle to a nice dinner.

julijana 4-course dinner menu

& fortunately as it turned out the dinner was scrumptious, every dish was delicious, except for the dessert which are pedestrian, and my tenderloin steak with wrong doneness which was swiftly & politely replaced.

the service was friendly & cheerful, helpful, polite & responsive, exact opposite of the front desk manager & staff..heaven & earth it was..to give the hotel benefit of doubt, hopefully the behaviour of the front desk was exception rather than the rule!

form the salad buffet

there was a bread & salad buffet included in the dinner, so we took some.

goose terrine the best!!!

my goose terrine was incredibly delicious, cannot remember a terrine so delicious, so fragrant & flavourful & smooth.

we had some terrine next morning for breakfast, also very smooth but probably not goose so not quite so flavourful.

smoke trout terrine good

smoke trout terrine good

son’s smoked trout terrine also very good. texture was more grainy which maybe more suited to the nature of the dish.

son & i liked the goose terrine better though both were very very good.

tomatoes with mozzarella

wife’s tomato with mozzarella salad very good to…

we all love burrata & mozzarella. it was light & tasty, and good combination with arugula & veg.

creamy pea veloute

i had the creamy pea soup.

i always love pea soup & most creamy soup…tasty & delectable.

fish consomme

son & wife’s fish soup also good.

for me i prefer creamy soup to consomme.

sea bream with clams istrian pasta, spinach

wife’s sea bream with clams istrian home made pasta, with spinach was delicious.

sea bream had crispy skin & sweet. and wife who generally less excited with fishy fish dishes than i was very happy & enjoyed the dish.

the istrian hoem made pasta (which texture was very similar to the scialatielli pasta we had everyday on amalfi coast) was superb, very very tasty even taken plain, i think already infused with really tasty stock!

i do a very good pan roasted snapper myself so i was less enamoured with the fish here.

the fish, pasta, sides & overall dish was very good. 🙂

tenderloin steak rare with chantarelle sauce

son & i had the tenderloin steak.

when we were chatting with the server, we said tenderloin so we should have it rare.

the steak came out medium well. son was ok with it. i took 1 slice, informed the server, showed him the cut meat & he swiftly replaced it.

tenderloin steak rare with chantarelle sauce

the replacement steak was done perfectly, and as it happened maybe incidentally, it was a much larger piece of steak.

tenderloin steak rare with chantarelle sauce

the rare (doneness) was perfect.

& the tenderloin was just so good, sweet, tender, not tough, world of difference from the medium well piece.

though this was such a basic preparation & the restaurant should have gotten it right first time, still the service recovery was commendable.

flambe apricot not so great

son & i took the flambe apricot.

presentation was great taste was ok, apricot was a bit sour. a competent dessert i guess but not really special like the other dinner dishes.

bled cake ok light enough

the menu did not include bled cake as an option.

my wife jokingly said it would be good if we could tried it, & the server produced the bled cake for her.

it was a good cake, light enough. just that we were not very the cake type or dessert type. wife was very happy & told the server “you made my day” and he did! for all of us!

what a difference good service makes!

sea bream with clams istrian pasta, spinach

the menu did not mention any coffee, when we asked the server said he could do that!

we had a very satisfying dinner and relaxing evening, great time to wind down & enjoy good food & company & chat with the server.

we gave the server a very big tip especially because he was just doing his job so well with his heart in it & not really with expectation of tipping.

c.h.e.f andy

+++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

Julijana Restaurant, Grand Hote Toplice, Bled

Address:

Contact:

Incredible Vista at Bled Castle Day 1 3pax Family Holiday in Slovenia 15-21Sep2018

bled castle

on the way back from vintgar gorge to grand hotel toplice, decided to go the bled castle.

parked at public carpark beside the castle.

€11pax entrance

entrance €11pax was a bomb consider for a tiny place so just consider donations for upkeep la..

wife & on bought some drink. were told tickets offer discounts paid just €2.80 for 1 flat white 1 cappuccino 1 mineral water.

view of lake bled from bled castle

Bled Castle perched atop a steep cliff rising 130m above the glacial Lake Bled is a symbol of Bled and Slovenia. according to written sources, it is the oldest castle in Slovenia, first mentioned in a 1011 donation deed as castellum Veldes.

and it offers the finest view of the Bled island, the town of Bled and of the wider countryside of the Gorenjska region.

view of lake bled from bled castle 

the views were just incredible… we stayed till sunset about 7.20pm.

the twilight afterglow quite mesmerising…

wonderful place to chill & have a cuppa la….

view of lake bled from bled castle

bled castle perch on the hill directly across lake bled from grand hotel toplice.

so offer a great view over the expanse of water & the surrounding skyline…

view of lake bled from bled castle3

view of lake bled from bled castle

hotel grand toplice just directly across the lake from this vantage point.

bled castle

we were at the lower courtyard with shops, café, gallery and the wine cellar.

sunset view of lake bled from bled castle

sunset view of lake bled from bled castle

sunset view of lake bled from bled castle

with million $ view of lake bled & the evening sunset though it was overcast…

bled castle

a staircase connects to the upper courtyard. 🙂

bled castle

bled castle

bled castle

we moved up to the upper courtyard with a 16th century chapel, the museum and the restaurant.

like many other scenic spots like bled island etc, bled castle is a popular spot for wedding receptions. there was one proceeding on the upper courtyard.

bled castle

view from bled castle

went up to the rooms & view over the surrounding plains.

pin-hole camera

there was an inverted pin-hole camera.

bled castle wall alley way

an alley way along the castle wall.

bled castle

looking over the lower court.

bled castle

small place not so much to see.

but a great place to chill, relax, have a coffee, enjoy the aerial views over lake bled & the beautiful sunset.

c.h.e.f andy

+++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

Bled Castle

Location:

Grajska cesta, 4260 Bled, Slovenia

Opening Hours:

 Jan, Feb, Mar, Nov, Dec  Apr, May, Sep, Oct  Jun, Jul, Aug
 8am – 6pm  8am – 8pm   8am – 9pm

Information

T: +386 4 57 29 782
F: +386 4 57 29 783
E: blejski.grad@zkbled.si

Restaurant
T: +386 4 620 34 44

The Charming Vintgar Gorge Day 1 3pax Family Holiday in Slovenia 15-21Sep2018

vintgar gorge

got back to grand hotel toplice and check in room

very expensive hotel & very bad atrocious service will have lots to say on my blog & reviews later

then son (designated driver for this trip) drove to vintgar gorge.

a 12mins – 15mins short drive from our hotel to vintgar gorge. we parked at the carpark just outside the entrance.

a really nice walk on mostly boardwalk alongside river radovna  with its waterfalls, pools and rapids, all the way to the railway bridge & dam and sum slap (waterfall) about 2hrs walk return.

€5pax entrance fee to vintgar gorge.

completely charming place la..

start of 1.6km vintgar gorge trail

a nice ravine with waters, very relax, enchanting walk in the wilderness and fresh air with the comfort of flat trail & boardwalks.

vintgar gorge

vintgar gorge

vintgar gorge

vintgar gorge

vintgar gorge

vintgar gorge

wooden boardwalks.

vintgar gorge

vintgar gorge

wooden bridge @ vintgar gorge

wooden bridge over turquoise waters.

vintgar gorge

vintgar gorge

vintgar gorge

an entire, very long stretch of turquoise, greenish-blue water.

vintgar gorge

families, young & old…

stacked stones

stacked stones

take time to stack stones & meditate?

vintgar gorge

dam for small Vintgar hydroelectric power plant under the Šum waterfall.

nearing the end, we came to the dam for small Vintgar hydroelectric power plant under the Šum waterfall.

single-arch stone bridge of the Bohinj railway

a single-arch stone bridge of the Bohinj railway, constructed in 1906, which crosses the gorge 33.5 m above the trail.

single-arch stone bridge of the Bohinj railway

 

vintgar gorge

vintgar gorge

vintgar gorge

13m high slap (waterfall) sum

we came to a rest stop & hut and a bridge overlooking the 13m high slap (waterfall) sum below. 🙂

13m high slap (waterfall) sum

we found the flight of steps by the trail turning right just before the hut & opposite direction from the bridge & walked down the the  slap (waterfall) sum.

vintgar gorge

vintgar gorge

stacked stones

stacked stones

stacked stones

stacked stones

stacked stones

stacked stones

admired more stacked stones as we retraced the path back.

vintgar gorge

on the way back, it was nearing 6pm, we deicded to go to bled castle on the way. 🙂

c.h.e.f andy

Visitors information

Working hours:
The Vintgar gorge is open for visitors from 8.00 a.m. to 7.00 p.m.

Parking
At the entrance there is a free parking for visitors.

Coordinates for navigation
latitude: 46,3920°
longitude: 14,0844°

An easy 12 mins drive from Bled

 

Stunning Views of Bled Island on Ojstrica Day 1 3pax Family Holiday in Slovenia 15-21Sep2018

bled island & lake bled 

trekked up to ojstrica in 27mins to the famous bench overlooking lake bled & bled island.

about btnr south view path to summit level of difficulty ie quite moderate/easy..

rewarded with fantastic views.

hiking up ojstrica

hiking up ojstrica

hiking up ojstrica

we love walking in the woods.

fresh air, good activity, weather was not hot but still perspire so worn light.

bled island & lake bled 

there were various vantage points mid hill with great look out too. 🙂

hiking up ojstrica

bled island & lake bled

bled island & lake bled 

wonderful vista.

hiking up ojstrica

hiking up ojstrica 

a long flight of stairs to the famous bench. 🙂

bled island & lake bled

bled island & lake bled 

reached the famous bench, stunning view of bled island & lake bled.

a zoom-in view at the bottom photo. 🙂

this the favourite spot to watch the sunrise.

weather forecast light showers late afternoon/early evening. anyway we maximise the glorious sunshine & probably not going to wake up in the dark & climb up to see the sunrise here tomorrow so this wonderful vista good enough for us.

descending from ojstrica

wife & son not interested to go further up to osojnica.

so we traced the path down.

bled island

this stunning view is edged in memory la…

c.h.e.f andy

Stroll Alongside Lake Bled Day 1 3pax Family Slovenia Holiday 15-21Sep2018

restaurant and pension mlino

restaurant and pension mlino was just across the road from the lakeside.

so we just needed to step out “stealthily”, crossed the road & we were by the lake.

pletna boat ferry

there is another pletna ferry point at this location.

pletna boat lake bled 

the fare to bled island is €14pax. this location is much nearer to blef island & the journey probably takes 10mins, whereas the pletna boat at our grand hotel toplice takes like 35mins.

anyhow we wanted to hike up ostrica & to go to vintgar gorge afterwards, so we deferred to visit to bled island to the next day.

swan

the swan are used to people here, so quite unperturbed by my presence. 🙂

bled island

bled island

lake bled 

we strolled along the lakeside in the direction of ostrica trail head and enjoyed the calm & peaceful spirit of lake bled & the glorious views of bled island from different vantage points.

there were many people fishing along the lakeside.

they anchored 2 metal supports into the earth. cast the fishing line & rested it on the supports with some locking mechanism. looked sturdy enough. 🙂

chill out cafe

there is some cafe chillout place accessible from the path along the lakeside.

bled island

bled island

bled island

bled island is picture perfect from any angle.

the short walk brought us to the trail head for ostrica hike, which was just across the road from the lakeside path.

c.h.e.f andy

 

Good Lunch @ Restavracija Mlino Day 1 3pax Family Holiday in Slovenia 15-21Sep2018

€15.70 mixed grill

we found a restaurant with good size parking not far from ostrica trailhead.

parking ONLY for pension & restaurant guest. 🙂

welcome black board

menu

we were early so carpark quite empty.

got a nice table outside (temp i think about 22degC), nice rest stop to chill out.

restaurant was part of pension mlino

restaurant and pension mlino

restaurant is part of a pension.

i wonder what is the price? probably like <1/2 maybe 1/3 the exorbitant grand hotel toplice price…if i ever come again, i will look are other accomodation options like this one.

erdinger beer

son happily chilling out with his cold erdinger beer €4.50.

my mineral water was €2.30 & wife other beer like €3.50.

after that i basically turned to drinking bitter lemon at the same price as water. lol! 🙂

bread basket 

bread basket was hearty. good for the hungry.

they don’t bring olive oil & balsamic as a practice, so had to ask, and they always bring it, no issue.

€3.50 tomato soup

the €15.70 mixed grill (top photo) was good enough.

chicken was good, sausage & the minced meat roll were good. pork was ok, beef was tough.

tomato soup was good.

this the really nice freshly made tomato soup, excellent tomato flavours, very hearty, homely, satisfying.

€11.90 unusual fish & chips

the fish and chips came in an unusual preparation. but it was good.

the batter came with almond flakes, the dry type not fluffy batter.

€11.90 unusual fish & chips

fish was good & sides were ok. 🙂

€42.60 for 3pax lunch

3pax lunch came to €42.60 including €10.30 for drinks.

bled is supposedly an expensive place, so i guess price was ok.

i think we gave a small tip, so probably paid €45.

€15.70 mixed grill

after lunch we kind of sneaked out of the restaurant & walked to the lakeside, and then to ostrica trailhead & hiked up to ostrica view point.

not that we mind paying €10 for carpark like at camping bled, but it was quite bothersome to go find parking again & the walk from the parking to the trailhead likely further.

so sneak was the best policy in teh circumstances. :-p

c.h.e.f andy