Friday, June 09, 2006

Kranj - for a local overnight instead of crowded Lake Bled

This is an old industrial town, now revitalizing itself by renovating the old area. See It is a "regular" business center and residential town, close to the touristy Lake Bled - so it is good for the overnight. It has a lovely old pedestrianized square, and - as we have found each time no matter where we were, a good hotel. The earliest settlements there date from the 1st Century BC, says the site.

Although Slovenia is part of the EU, there had not been the full shift to the euro. Be prepared to have to use local currency, with the exchange rates, etc. Check it out first. You will lose out with each exchange.

Lake Bled

This is picture postcard - holiday card country. It has long been a resort, with walks and drives all around. There are other fine photos at websites from a search for photos Lake Bled. The site also gives the historical overview. The country has a shorter history as an independent land, but its roots go back to Roman times, and before. A search for history Lake Bled should show a site identified as "Bled Through History." That leads to a large information place - back to the Ice Age when the lake was formed.

See also For logistics - where necessities are in the Lake Bled area, see Festivals, hotels, bus and stations, police, prices for tickets.

Our photo is the required view of Lake Bled, with the Church of the Assumption on the island. It The Church is 17th century, and the bell rings often. Each time, the wish of the ringer will be granted. Yes. Other tourist sites are listed at, under "Sight" as you scroll down.

More Lake Bled - you can't help it

Lake Bled. Pictures, pictures. We did not spend the night, because of all the touristy hotels, but moved on to our preference for less-pricey places. We found Kranj instead, and it had a real-town feel to it.

Slovenia is the ultimate Christmas card country, with the tidy villages and onion dome churches. For us, it was visually much like other parts of Europe, so we focused on other Balkan states. For more photos of the area, you may want to visit this website: Plug in Slovenia in the Europe category. People post pictures on that site from all over the world. There are also other album-type sites, but we liked the Slovenia photos on this one.

Itinerary After the Fact

We incorporated parts of Slovenia into our Croatia trip. First, we landed in Zagreb, Croatia, and headed to Rijeke, Croatia; and further east to the Istrian Peninsula, where Croatia, Slovenia, and Italy (Trieste) share boundaries. From Croatia's Istria we went on to Trieste; then back to Slovenia across and south, again to Rijeke, Croatia. This makes sense if you look at a map - just search for Istria.

Then, after being a length of time in Croatia, Bosnia and Montenegro, we drove from the crossroads at Karlovac, Croatia, back to Slovenia, through Ribnik, Metlika, Toplice, Novo Mesto, and Trebnje. There we got on the motorway to to Llubljana, the capital of Slovenia, and on to Lake Bled. Return trip: another way, back through Kranj for the night, and then the motorway to Zagreb, Croatia.