[googleMap width=”400″ height=”300″ directions_to=”false”]London[/googleMap]
We got up early and headed out for out planned run around Lake Bled. It was really nice weather for a run; a very slight mist to the air, but nice weather. We headed through nice sylvan surroundings-each lap around the lake was four miles.
I didn’t have a good run. The food from yesterday [maybe the goulash?] was bothering my stomach. However, Sheri had a GREAT run. She ran for twelve miles (three laps around the lake)–which would be her longest run before the San Jose Rock-and-Roll Half Marathon in October. At the end, she went and did a cold soak in the lake at a set of the steps. The people looked on in amazement as Sheri took off her shoes and socks and then soaked her legs in the lake as a slight drizzle started.
She came back to the hotel (after getting lost for a little bit). We showered, took our bags out to the car, and checked out of the hotel.
We headed to Lake Bled to find one of the boats that go to the island in the center. Only man-powered boats are allowed on the lake; it’s actually an Olympic lake for rowing competitions. We were the first at the “pletna” boat (a wooden boat, with an awning and a standing rower), and we had to wait for the boat to “fill-up” before we headed to the island. Finally a large tour group showed up (mainly Germans), and we headed off. The “captain” was rather portly, but had no problems with the oars as he rowed the boat with about 16 people in it to the island. He had a running commentary in German going, but I was only to catch parts of his discussion. Even with all of the rowing that he did, he was still breathing hard as he paddled us to the island.
We arrived at the island. The island basically was a small tree covered hill with a path around it. At the top, was a church, Church of St. Mary, with an accessory building. We climbed up the path to the top of the hill. We entered the church and looked around. In the middle of the church was a rope hanging down. People took turns pulling the rope and ringing the bell (now we finally knew why the bell on the island was always randomly ringing throughout the day). In the floor, there was a plexiglass covering looking down on a skeleton of someone who had been buried beneath the church centuries ago.
We left the church and walked around the hill. We walked down a long set of stone stairs that went down the other side of the hill. From videos we had watched before heading to Europe, these were stairs that grooms would carry their brides up after a wedding on the island. I refused to carry Sheri up the stairs :)
Our thirty minutes on the island were up, and we headed back to the boat. We got in and the “captain” started rowing us back to shore. The rain started picking up as we headed back, luckily we were under the awning. The “captain” seemed to have problems with rowing us; Sheri and I were really worried that he was going to have a heart attack before we got back. Luckily, we finally made it back.
We rushed off into the rain and went to the market, Mercatur, to buy our lunch (sandwiches and chips) to enjoy at the castle. We picked up our car and headed up to Bled Castle which is perched high above the lake. We paid the entrance fee and found a place to enjoy our lunch. We had our last taste of their famous cake–wonderful as always. The rain had lessened; the view overlooking the lake was wonderful.
We took photos, and wondered around the castle grounds. We visited the wine cellar which had wines made by local monks. We decided that our luggage couldn’t handle another bottle of wine, and left the castle grounds.
We left Bled, and headed to the airport in Lubljana. It was an uneventful wait, and then we took the flight to back to London.
We took the train from Stanwick to Liverpool. Then we took the Undergound to our station at Marble Arch. We got to our hotel, Number Sixteen. It was the most upscale hotel that we had been in the entire trip. It was understated luxury. There were fluffy beds and LCD TVs on the walls. There was a fire blazing away in the fireplace of the drawing room with walls lined with books. We unpacked, showered, checked our e-mail (as always), and went out for dinner.
We walked around the town, but most things were closed. We were surprised with the number Indian and Middle Eastern restaurants which seemed to line the streets.
We were back in London, so we had to have Fish and Chips. We found a small pub, and enjoyed our last dinner in Europe. It was a satisfying dinner of flaky fish [how is all of the fist in London so good], fries, and more tasty beer.
After dinner, we headed back to the hotel for a good nights sleep, before our long flight tomorrow back to the US.