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  • Peggy Simonsen

A New Boat Experience

Updated: Dec 1, 2021

Slovenia’s crown jewel is Lake Bled, nestled in the mountains a short distance from Ljubljana, the capital city. Lake Bled, a magnet for nature lovers, is a beautiful little summer and winter resort area in the Julian Alps. The lake is a glacial lake, deep and cold. There is an island in the center, with an 18th century cathedral dominating it. Over the centuries, there was only one way to get to the island and church, by a pletna boat. Like the Venetian gondolas, only licensed, skilled rowers can carry passengers. Today, canoeists can paddle out, but no motorboats are allowed. The pletna ride is smooth and pleasant, using docks for ease of boarding and deboarding.

On a mountain peak outside of town is medieval Bled castle, today a museum with some tradesmen’s shops, including a printer who makes his own paper. Our bus could only go up the mountain about halfway, so we had a climb to get to the castle, which has a lower walled courtyard (traditionally for protection) plus an upper level that was the living level. As I wrote in Wandering the World chapter on Architecture, Archeology and Artifacts, I love exploring castles and learning about the history and lifestyles of the past.

Unfortunately, the weather didn’t cooperate when we were there, so the surrounding mountains with their ski areas, were not visible under the clouds. But I did get some good photos of the lake.

“Putting ourselves out there leads to new experiences, important lessons, and valuable friendships we’d never form staying safe at home. There’s a dazzling, enriching world just waiting beyond our comfort zones, if we’re brave enough to leave our corner of the

forest" Winnie the Pooh

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