This first segment has to do with “closed” mountain passes, “bus” people, (derogatory, yes…due to being independent-travelers), hotel and motorcycles.
Driving to Lake Bled, Slovenia was nerve wracking with narrow roads and hairpin turns, additionally complicated with falling snow. But on the plus side, there was little traffic and at the top of Julian Alps, none. Then the clouds split, the sun shined and we stopped to see the spectacular scenery surrounding us.
When we drove again, the snow returned, but stopped just before we reached Lake Bled. (We later found out the road had been “closed” but we could not read the Slovenian signs.)
This tiny lake is surrounded by lush mountains and centered with a small island containing a castle and a church. The surrounding mountains are snow-capped, but almost none around the lake.
We chose Park Hotel, notably for its view of the lake, which we could see from our balcony. The lovely dining room was only open for breakfast and the service bar in the empty lobby was only staffed just before busses arrived …and departed. We walked down to the lake and found a small restaurant “Rike” overlooking the water and serving excellent trout. The next morning we arrived at the dining room at 8:30, and hordes of people were racing from the dining room to their busses. The waiter started to close the door but we said it’s only 8:30 and he said we usually close the doors when the busses leave. Mike said we don’t have a bus. The buffet was cleaned out, only some lettuce leaves and cold toast. The waiter looked at us “What would you like?” And it was good.
There was a 5 mile pathway around the lake, the weather good and exercise was needed. Tree branches overhead, birds, frogs, water frothing on the sand…wonderful. Near the end of the trail we saw a campsite. Just as we bought coffee and sat at a table, at least 50 motorcycles (not shown in this picture) roared in. Guitars appeared, songs rang out, beer was flowing….a very jolly group! With only a mile to go, and they would be passing us on a dirt road, we decided to wait till they left. (Some less steady than others.) We had really enjoyed their conviviality! Some of our “malfunctions” when traveling were the best part.