The night was full of heavy rain with lots of lightning and thunder. The storm had really hit us; we should have brought that umbrella on our trip afterall.
We got up and got our stuff ready, and the rain seemed to have stopped. We walked back to the old town. We had coffee, hot cocoa and a chocolate croissant for breakfast at the center square. While we had sat there, the rain picked back up, so we decided to move inside.
We toured the Church of St. Lawrence in the middle of the Old Town. We saw ornate, metal work and engravings and old handwritten manuscripts. Nearby, there was a shrine with photos of the townmembers who had died in the Serb/Croatian War.
We then went to the open air market which was just across the bridge over the canal to the mainland. It was a small group of about 40 stalls with mixture of everything: clothes, handicrafts, fruits/vegetables, butchers and baked goods. The rain started to pick up even more. We walked back to the Old Town and its maze of cobblestone streets.
We then rushed to the castle, and did a quick tour of castle. It’s open air and they show movies in the summertime on one of the walls. The rain continued, so we decided to rush back to the hotel to continue into Slovenia. We were soaked by this time, and changed into dry clothes before our drive to Bled.
We checked out, and the rain dontinued to pour. It also seemed like everyone was trying to leave the island; there was a long line of cars trying to go over the two lane bridge back to the mainland. I realized that we had kept the key to the room, luckily we saw the Sobe owner and her daughter and were able to pass them the key. After half an hour, we finally got off the island and made our way to the freeway.
We then did our marathon drive up to Bled in Slovenia. It was a toll road which wound from the coast up through the mounts of Croatia. We went all the way back to Karlovac, where we spent our first night in Croatia. We grabbed snacks at a gas station, but basically drove straight through.
We went through multiple tunnels and the traffic was really good except for a stretch where they were still constructing and had both directions of traffic going thru a single tunnel (as opposed to the normal one tunnel for each direction).
We drove on into Slovenia. We retraced our route back to Ljubljana. We then headed farther north to Lake Bled (about an hour north of Ljubljana). Sheri had called ahead and found a hotel with availability.
We drove into the Bled around 7PM after about 7 hours of driving. It’s a town known to be on the edge of the beautiful lake. However, the rain had followed us. We had some problems finding the hotel in the rain. It’s a small town, but it was dark and the signs were not good. We finally found our hotel, the Vila Preseren. It was a small hotel, built like a mansion on the edge of Lake Bled.
We were starving, so we decided to go back out (although it was still raining, and we really didn’t really want to get soaked again like this morning).
We headed to a pizza place suggested by Frommers which was close, Pizzeria Rustica. The pizza was GREAT, even better than last night. Bled is actually close to Italy, so having pizza really made sense. Sheri had her Margherita Pizza (tomato and cheese), I had the Turkey Pizza (turkey, peppers, mushrooms, cheese), and we shared a large salad (tomatoes, lettuce, ham, corn, cucumbers). It was really satisfying after our day of driving.
We then decided to grab dessert and take it back to the hotel. There is a cake dessert that Bled is known for, ‘kremna rezina’. We went to a nearby bakery/restaurant, Smon Slascicarna Pastry Shop, and picked up a piece to go. We walked back to our hotel room in the drizzle and enjoyed it. It was layered with a flakey crust, a layer of vanilla custard, a layer of fresh whipped creme, another layer of flakey crust, and then dusted with powdered sugar. It was WONDERFUL!