We arrived in Bled, Slovenia, early afternoon on May 27th. Bled was a surprise, in terms of scenic beauty, and friendly people. The town and lake are near the Austrian border in the Julian Alps. Former dictator of Yugoslavia, Marshall Tito, vacationed in Bled. The hotel was a few blocks from Lake Bled, and the view from our balcony was spectacular. There is an old castle there built into the side of a high cliff overlooking the lake. We stopped to check out the hockey arena behind the hotel, and found out it’s the summer home of Anźe Kopitar, a star forward for the L.A. Kings.
The lake has a walking path around it of about 3.5 miles. The south end of the lake has a small island containing a church with 99 steps leading up to courtyard. Kathy and I took a small stroll around part of the lake and then joined the volleyball team for the evening match against the Slovenian Junior Nationals. A short bus ride took us to a nice arena in a smaller town for the match. It was an up-and-down battle with the Slovenians winning the fifth set.
Afterwards, the Slovenian team joined our young ladies at a picturesque restaurant for the post-game meal. Everyone looked like they had a good time.
We had time the next morning to take a “Plenta” boat ride to the island. These flat-bottom boats with a canopy usually take 45 minutes to reach the island with oars. But it was raining. One of our tour dads, Quinn Spann, did a great job of arranging a power boat to take a bunch of us faster and dryer to the island. When we got there, Quinn and I had to do our manly thing, and ran up the ninety-nine steps. We have proof because many of the volleyball players were recording our act on their iPhones. We had a nice excursion, stopped to eat the famous Bled Cream Cake, and hopped the bus for an afternoon drive to Rovinj, Croatia.