CARA JASMINE BRADLEY: SPELLBOUND IN SLOVENIA: KOPER, LJUBLJANA & LAKE BLED

Cara Jasmine Bradley is a 25-year-old from Manchester, who was lucky enough to visit our little sub-Alpine country, traveling between Koper, Ljubljana and Bled, where she experienced a sweeping fairytale scenery like no other. She was instantly captivated under the spell of Slovenia, from its endless emerald-green countryside and picture-perfect villages. She says we have unbelievably lakes and array of wonderfully historic castles and churches. Below she wrote about the time she spent in Slovenia and about her feelings while traveling from place to place.

Slovenia is always a nice country to visit! — Travel-Slovenia

Nothing could have prepared me for the view that cascaded across my eyes in a waterfall of refreshing vibrancy. Pulling back my sunglasses, I blinked several times, scarcely daring to believe my eyes. The view remained unchanged, winking back at me in the form of the bejeweled lake surface and the sumptuously shrouding emerald greenery. I was in the midst of a fairytale. I had tumbled onto the canvas of a beautiful water-color painting. I was living and breathing the enviable location of a postcard… Lake Bled.

Slovene version

Standing on the hillside overlooking the lake from our bird’s eye focus was enough to utterly take my breath away. The thick hillsides engulfed my vicinity from every angle, overlapping and outdoing one another as far as the eye could see. Dense woodland protected the perimeter of the lake. We were completely enclosed by the seemingly infinite countryside. Swaying wildflower grew out of the rocks aside the rugged hillside we resided atop of. They dazzled in shades of ruby, grape and heavenly white.

Far, far below, an assortment of boats made their way across the lake; mere fingertips of movement that we lazily counted. The sky felt as though it was within our reach, deliciously bordered and framed by the curve of the hilltops. Despite the overcast shadow of the day, the enriching colors radiated and shone like an eruptive beacon of light. I don’t imagine that there is any weather that could possibly dull the shine of Lake Bled.

Our time in Slovenia had, so far, been accountable for another sharp dosage of love at first sight. Our journey had begun in historic Koper, adjacent to the port. Koper is a wondrous trove of traditional orange-slated roofs, tumbling away towards a backdrop of piercing church turrets and submerging countryside. We took the highway out of Koper, through the spectacular scenery, stopping in the lovely Ljubljana.

Ljubljana is, without a second of hesitation, one of the most alluring cities I have ever experienced. Ljubljana sparkles throughout with an undefined charm that blissfully shies away from garish bright lights, tourist traps, and overcrowded attractions. One is not required to exert themselves in Ljubljana, but more so strip back any stresses, and softly adhere to the laidback pace that dances with all lucky enough to visit. A simple walk along the river, sharing a morning with the curiosities and intricacies of the local markets, will prove to be reason enough to make one declare return visits to the capital city time and time again.

Taunt your taste sensations with a cake at the riverside and indulge in some of Ljubljana’s endearing café culture (and where better to sample Prekmurska Gibanica (en. Prekmurje layer cake) – the famous Slovenian dessert).

Ljubljana’s intriguing collision of old and new, both visually and historically, showcases what Slovenia is all about. A country defined by its unique history and authentic allure, it has also strived on its own accord, rocketing it almost well ahead of time. It is well worth taking the opportunity to speak with Slovenian natives while visiting their enchanting country. Some of the tales our guide divulged about life in Slovenia were both hilarious and surprising, and some of the facts I took away from our chat have made the country that little bit more appealing.

The final leg of our Slovenian get-away saw us further progress from Ljubljana to Lake Bled. The drive en-route treated us to sights of idyllic villages fringed by mountainous landscapes studded with church steeples, rising proudly towards the silvering sky. And then, we were there: Lake Bled. If I thought I was in love with Slovenia before, I was in for a shock. My love for the country rocketed in an injecting force of adoration, no sooner had I been blessed with my first view of the lake.

Wandering down from the hillside, we thirstily drank in the panoramic opulence. Down at the lakeside, we were offered a very different – but still equally as stunning – view of Lake Bled. Now, level with the lake, we felt very much a part of this picture-perfect placement; so wrapped up in its tranquil ambiance that we might as well have been a part of the waltzing leaves on the trees or the silent skipping of the lily-pads across the water. Lake Bled really is a place of story-book splendor, what with its fairytale castle and scenery that refuses to be tamed upon paper.

The rain started to tumble in dainty droplets, creating tiny, mesmerizing whirlpools across the lake. The horizon was rendered misty, as an army of grey clouds suffocated the hillsides. Castle Bled stood tall against the sudden onset, its magnificent stature fighting against the cloak. The landscape shuddered and gleamed under the crystal-infused blanket of rain. Church on Bled in the middle of the lake – a lone icicle – embraced the downpour, its striking exterior basking defiantly in its sudden kaleidoscope surroundings.

Undeterred by the light splattering of rain, we walked along the lakeside pathway in silence, with ice-creams in our hand. Travel has a funny way of stripping any words of sense from one’s mouth from time to time. Sometimes, there are no words to be spoken. Sometimes, there are no words that could do the current disposition the justice so deserves. In such situations, it suffices to simply allow your senses to take full control. The result? Memories you will carry close to your heart for eternity.

I sat on the edge of the lake, dipping my feet into its jade shallows. Through the clarity of the water, I watched tiny fish weave their way through the tangle of reeds. I leaned back, tilting my head to the castle. A slither of a breeze stroked my face soothingly. The choir of the birds was classical music to my ears, and was, quite supremely, the only sound to be heard for miles around. At that moment, I felt like the only person in the world…

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Travel-Slovenia | Ultimate travel guide for Slovenia | www.travel-slovenia.si/

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