Thursday, May 26, 2016

Lake Bled!

I have been wanting to visit Lake Bled for years.  I first noticed it when we lived in Germany the first time.  I read up on it and looked wistfully at photos... and then we had to leave Germany a year earlier than expected!  It's probably Lake Bled's "fault" that we're on the vacation we're on and not in Ireland or France.


Baby swans in Bled!

We set off from Trieste relatively early and got caught in a traffic jam right before a tunnel.  I got a kick out of the traffic cop, who was an older, heavyset gentleman wearing knee length boots and sporting roguish long, gray hair.  Although I couldn't picture him giving chase to anyone, he looked like a badass.  The jam only lasted a few minutes, but several truckers had left their vehicles to investigate.  They had to scramble back into their trucks to avoid being run over.  I noticed a lot of them had upturned shirt collars on their polo shirts, the way stylish preppy guys used to wear them in the 80s.

Just over the Slovenian border, we stopped for gas.  I took off my seatbelt while I waited for Bill to gas up the car.  When he got back in the car, he decided to be cute and put the seatbelt back on me.  I was about to let him do it (it's easier that way), but then I noticed a car full of Muslims parked next to ours and one lady was staring at us with a horrified expression on her face.  I pushed Bill away and grabbed the seatbelt as the woman's shocked glower became more obvious.  Then we both started laughing our heads off.  She probably thought we were completely insane... or maybe just a little kinky.

We arrived at Lake Bled too early to check in to our hotel.  Nevertheless, we completed all the formalities as a large group of Chinese tourists were leaving the hotel.  The receptionist invited us to take a walk around Lake Bled, since it takes about two hours if you don't stop.  The weather was perfect and it was close to lunchtime anyway.  Off we went.  We stopped at a hotel cafe for lunch, sitting outside on a very nice terrace overlooking the majestic lake.  A group of pushy ladies took the table next to ours.  At first I was a little annoyed by them-- hangry again, and they were taking pictures and encroaching on our personal space.  But then they were joined by a man who was obviously a local and happened to be gorgeous.   It was kind of fun to watch them and listen to them as they ate the local dessert speciality, Bled Cream Cake.  I haven't tried that yet, but noticed they offered it at breakfast.  Maybe tomorrow I'll take the plunge.

After the ladies and their hottie guide got up, a man and two ladies sat down.  The man and one of the ladies immediately lit up.  I didn't notice their smoking at first, but then it was time to eat and I was immediately downwind of the lady's cigarette.  Smoking is still okay here and I get that, but I think it's very rude to smoke in a way that the smoke hits someone in the face while they're eating.  Bill and I moved to another table, then a new party took our old table.  They had an infant who was downwind of the noxious fumes.  I couldn't help but fantasize about revenge, especially since I noticed no one was smoking upwind of the smokers as they enjoyed their lunches.


Local beer... not bad, but not mind blowing.


Super rare cheeseburgers that tasted like they were made of sausage, coupled with another party's nasty cigarette smoke.


Anyway, after we ate, we felt much better and enjoyed a very pleasant stroll around Lake Bled.  Here are some photos...




Baby swans!










After a brief rest in our huge hotel room, we ventured out again for dinner.  We ended up at what turned out to be a very popular local restaurant.


We wait for our first bottle of wine...


And I enjoy a delightful sea bass dish with potatoes and vegetables.


Bill had John Dory fish, which I thought was even better than my sea bass (branzino).


Our first bottle of wine... a white that we killed over fish and fresh, flavorful, colorful vegetables.

This particular restaurant seemed very popular with Americans.  We saw a number of them enjoying dinner there and I was left with the impression that Lake Bled has become very popular with American tourists.  I've heard more American English spoken here than Slovenian, which is a bit of a disappointment for me.  But the funny thing is, we have been mistaken for Germans several times.  I think it's because Bill and I don't make a lot of noise.  We don't talk loudly and we don't wear clothes that automatically identify where we're from.  We both could pass for German too, though we're both short.


We ordered a lovely red wine in lieu of dessert...


And one of the waiters brought out this plate of cheese and olives, saying it goes great with the wine. We were not charged for this and I even tried the cheese!  It basically tasted like mild Parmesan.  It was very good, though I don't usually eat cold cheeses (it's a texture thing).  A tiny bit made my tastebuds explode.


The bill... 83 euros!  


And the name of the restaurant...  I see we aren't the only ones who enjoyed it!

All in all, our first day in Bled was a success!




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