Day 11, 25/12/2012, 2057 hrs
I walked out of the train somewhat dazed – the Jesenice station was poorly signposted, and I nearly missed the stop entirely, if not for a helpful lady who managed to identify the station. The outside of the station was similarly disorienting and I would probably be lost if not for some very helpful markings on the ground.
While waiting for the bus, I quickly learnt a couple of basic phrases I’d need to use to get to Bled, from the guidebook I carried on my trip. It turned out that I didn’t need them – the bus driver responded to my question in English. Bled is that touristy.
It became apparent that this was also the case due to geographic reasons. The lake is in a valley in the Julian Alps. With the hills and mountains surrounding the lake, and the roads/ settlements being forced to run around the lake, there really isn’t much one can do there besides (1) be a tourist and (2) run a tourist business. (fine, there are major rowing competitions in the summer)
I checked into a single room which I’d managed to book at a B&B for about 20 GBP a night, including breakfast. It was slightly far in (and difficult to find) but I managed to locate it with some luck (and direction signs). I was greeted by a kindly Slovene lady. She spoke no English, and we had to gesticulate to get the basics across – this is your room, you can use this toilet, when would you like to have breakfast? I felt very foreign, but at the same time extremely welcome, and ridiculously happy for some reason.
Another reason (which should be apparent!) why Lake Bled is so touristy is its sheer beauty. One of the peaks in this picture (presumably the highest) is Triglav, Slovenia’s highest peak. The island in the picture is Bled Island, the only natural island in Slovenia.
I ended the day by taking a walk around the lake (guidebook says 6 km, but it felt longer), having a good dinner and then retiring to my room early.
I played around with my camera’s multiple (double) exposure mode today. It was generally difficult to get good (using it loosely to mean aesthetically pleasing) pictures. This is one of my first attempts; the follow-up picture was probably a little overexposed. Pictures may take a while longer to load – I think I upped the picture quality.
The hard thing about taking double exposure photographs with my digital camera is that I can’t change the opacity of each picture, like I can do in Photoshop (not that I’ve tried). Still, I made many attempts and think I got some pictures I liked. So instead of describing my day, I’ll post pictures and caption them instead.
On the boat to Bled Island. My guidebook describes it as the “archetypal tourist experience”, so I had to find out what it was about. I enjoyed just staring at the shapes of the waves.
On Bled Island. The follow-up picture is basically an inversion of the first.
Within the Pilgrimage Church of the Assumption of Mary. Couldn’t do a decent double-exposure shot of the interior.
On the way back. The scenery is textured against the wooden frame of the boat.
More texturing, this time with the ducks.
Atop Castle Hill, outside Bled Castle.
Outside St. Martin’s Church.
On the way back to Skype home for Christmas!
I discovered manual focus on my camera – this picture’s taken using both manual focus (to create the blurry lights effect) and double exposure (to add in the stony background). Way cool, if I may say so!
Note: I do want to record my travel experiences, but I may not be posting all of them online – this is not (just) a travel blog! I think I’ll experiment with different formats. When I return to Facebook, I will try to keep posting here, since I like the privacy (and secrecy) better.