It has been a few days since I have last posted mainly because we have been having such a good time I didn’t want to spend the time writing a blog post and this post is going to be uploaded later because we are currently in Grandma Cuder’s house in Lepena (a town we and my map app didn’t know existed), but I’ll get to that later. This is a pretty long post.
Chris and I left Logarska Dolina on Wednesday and after a lengthy conversation with our waitress (she was really hitting on Chris) started on the two mountain pass route through Austria to Bled. The waitress who went to school in a town we would be passing through said we should do the low route and that is how she drove between the two places, partly because she was afraid of her car breaking down in Austria because her German isn’t very good (hindsight the car breaking down is a valid fear, but I’m sure her German was great). We hopped over a couple mile 8% climb into Austria and amazing views including your alpine field of dandelions from The Sound of Music. After a quick decent where the car that past us smelled like they burnt out their brake rotors we started up the Austrian pass. The Austrian pass had great German engineering with all the switchbacks banked and was really popular with motorcycles. We then had the two big climbs behind us and continued 40 more miles to lake bled with a few short punchy climbs (18%, ect) for a total of 4:40 peddling.
Bled is Slovenia’s main international tourist area. It is comprised of a castle on a hilltop over looking a late with an island (Slovenia’s only island/not fact checked) with a church on it. It is basically “the image” of Slovenia. It is also a super touristy town where our hostel was 25€ compared to 28€ for the tourist farm including 2 meals outside Slovenj Gradec. We bought a couple bottles of wine and put them in the hostels freezer to get cold and headed to the castle (I love castles). It was a rather steep entry fee of 9€, but we still went in and grabbed a glass of wine at the restaurant (stiff pours). We then went and “socialized” at the hostel and went to bed.
We had a lazy morning the next morning and rode to Lake Bohinj, the next lake up the valley. We decided to ride the opposite way we planned to get the climb out of the way in the morning. Chris and I have Garmin bike computers that don’t have maps, but you can upload a special file that has your route and it will let you know if you are on it or not. Mine is named Bertha and I have not turned the sound off on it (Chris wisely has) and its nickname is bitchy Bertha, because it yells at me when I do something wrong (frequently). Chris powered up the ~5 mile, 7%+ climb and I finally got my legs halfway up after not feeling strong to start (Chris best me by 3+ minutes, he did draft a tractor…).
We stopped for a coffee/hot chocolate/pastry at a chocolate shop and then arrived at the lake. This lake was larger and had the mountains coming down to it. We then head on the gravel path around the side of the lake without a road and picked a place to swim and discovered the lake was unofficially clothing not optional outside the main swim areas. After a swim and short nap we continued on Chris’s route which then turned into a technical mountain bike trail (oops). We hit the road, grabbed lunch and quickly rode back to town.
We cleaned up and went back to the castle where we had made reservations for dinner the night before (no castle entry fee with reservations). We got a table at the castle wall on the cliff overlooking the lake and there was a small wedding with live classical music going on. This dinner is a departure from my normal traveling budget/mindset, but it was really good (3 courses and 2 glasses of wine each was $90 total).
We then went back to the hostel which wasn’t the best lodging choice I have booked, mainly because it was super hot all night (be Garmin said 84F). We did meet someone win a CU tshirt (Denver native) and someone that went to nursing school at CU Denver there. We had a 4 bed dorm which we shared with 4 girls going to med school in the UK. I also was forced to take my first and so far only cold shower in Slovenia there.
I will ill finish the rest as the next post, have to upload more photos and super slow internet .