Nature's beauty helps us
To be as vast as possible,
As peaceful as possible
And as pure as possible.
-Sri Chinmoy, spiritual leader (quote was on an informational sign at Lake Bohinj)
On our second full day in Slovenia, my mom and I woke up early to take the bus to Slovenia's notoriously beautiful lakes, Lake Bohinj and Lake Bled. (Public transit is definitely the way to visit these sites, as it's fast and affordable. Of course, with public transit there is the downfall of not being able to stop every two minutes to take photos of something pretty.) My photos definitely don't do the lakes justice, especially in the late fall when colors are dull and snow has yet to fall, so I guess I will have to plan a return trip stat :)
Lake Bohinj is about half an hour past Lake Bled and is much less touristy, but it's every bit as beautiful. While it doesn't have an island, Lake Bohinj does have more than its fair share of gorgeous scenery and tranquility. There is little commercial development here, meaning that we de-boarded the bus to something we weren't used to: silence. Since it was cold, we skipped the hike to the waterfall in favor of a hot coffee at a local joint. It would be nice to return here in the warmer months when it's much more active and I could take a walk around the lake without losing a few fingers to frostbite, but in the meantime I'll savor the memory of having lovely Lake Bohinj all to myself one sunny morning.
When I first saw pictures of Lake Bled, I immediately thought "fairy tales." This place is so beautiful and tranquil that when visiting, you literally have to pinch yourself to make sure you aren't dreaming. Not only is there the most precious island in the world surrounded by emerald-green water, but the nearby hills showcase castles and other romantic-looking buildings. As if this wasn't enough, Lake Bled takes Slovenia's green mission to heart by banning motor boats from its lakes, instead allowing only charming, traditional, and uniquely-Bled pletna boats or row boats as means of getting to the island. (While this was done to preserve the stunningly clear water, it has the added benefits of preserving the lakes' tranquility and clean air, not to mention keeping many local men in shape.) Fortunately, the little island is accessible year round, so my mom and I hired a pletna boat for a quick trip to the island where we rang the church bell in hopes of having a wish come true.