Where in the World Wednesday: Slovenia Edition
Every Wednesday, I share a Where in the World Wednesday featuring where in the world I am, what I’m doing there, where I’m planning to go next, my general thoughts on the latest week of travel, and what I’m currently reading.
Where in the World Wednesday: Slovenia Edition
Where in the world are you?
If we’re being literal, I’m currently passing through a tiny Italian village on a 10-hour bus ride from Ljubljana, Slovenia to Lucerne, Switzerland.
Where were you up to this week?
After my two week workaway experience sailing in Greece (much more on that here), I took a flight from Athens to Ljubljana, Slovenia. In total, I spent 4 days in the capital of Ljubljana and 3 days in the Lake Bled area.
I spent the first two days in Slovenia exploring Ljubljana’s coffee culture, wandering around the city, and rejoining the modern world after so much time isolated on a sailboat.
I drank a lot of coffee. I watched some Netflix. I listened to my favorite podcasts. I called my parents to chat. In short, I lived like a local.
After a few days, I made my way to Lake Bled and checked in to one of my favorite hostels to date just as the rain began to fall. Instead of exploring the lake like originally planned, I made dinner and read in the common area.
As I did, the receptionist would bring in every new arrival to give them the lay of the land. By the end of the night, I was able to recite all of her expert advice and had a few new friends to boot.
A couple of guys from London invited me to join them on their day trip to Vintgar Gorge and Lake Bohinj in the morning. I hadn’t had Lake Bohinj on my “must-do” list but embraced a side of me that I rarely do – the spontaneous, extroverted side.
It was unexpectedly one of my favorite days of travel so far. I’ve gotten very good at solo travel. What I’m not so good at? Making fast friends and veering from the plan. I did it anyway.
We drove to the gorge, only making a few wrong turns on the way. It was refreshing to travel with people my age again. I had missed the camaraderie.
Vintgar Gorge was simply stunning.
What was more stunning? The drive between the gorge to Lake Bohinj. Every so often, we would pull over to admire the beautiful mountain vistas or idyllic mountain villages. We would take turns audibly gasping at the beauty around every bend.
Lake Bohinj blew us away. We swam in the crystal clear waters and enjoyed a picnic in the hot, sunny shores. Paragliders floated overhead providing plenty of entertainment.
The next day, I was on my own again. I had a bit of a friendship hangover and was a little bummed to be solo again. I decided to do what I always do to clear a grey mood and get outside.
As I hadn’t actually explored much of Lake Bled, I decided to tackle not one but two viewpoint hikes in the area. With quaking jelly legs, I ascended into the mountains to find myself completely alone and in awe of the fairy tale views around me.
I did the Mala Osojnica hike first and saw about 3 other brave souls climbing with me. It was steep. Some things are less busy for a reason, but I preferred my experience nearly alone to the crowds at the next viewpoint.
Ojstrica. This is the view that you see on pinterest photos of Bled. It is as beautiful as pictured, but it’s also well known. Mentally prepare yourselves for crowds (or the most “crowd” that I saw in Slovenia).
After another day of swimming and hiking, I went back to Ljubljana for one more day of reading in the park and walking along the canal. I also knew I needed to be in Ljubljana to catch my very early bus to Switzerland (via Venice).
The first night I arrived, I found myself at a Slovenian jazz bar with five different people from the hostel all from different countries. An Aussie, an American, a Brit, a Canadian and a Dane all walk into a bar…
What are you thinking about these days?
Your weaknesses don’t go away when you do.
If anything makes me doubt myself, it’s the social stuff. I really stretched my social muscles this week. At times, it felt wonderful. I road tripped with new friends. I went to see live music with perfect strangers from all walks of life. That’s what travel dreams are made of, right?
Other times, I wanted to hid under my covers. I have a tendency to wait until people come to me and I just wish I wasn’t that way. I just want to have the confidence to make the first friendship move.
What are you currently reading?
I’m making my way through A Clash of Kings (Game of Thrones Book #2) by George R.R. Martin. It’s been a little slow going for me so far, but I still have high hopes for the series overall. It felt right to read a book that has a heavy focus on dragons in the city of dragons, Ljubljana.
Where are you going to next?
I’ll be in Lucerne, Switzerland at the end of this incredibly long bus journey.
I’m spending two days in Lucerne and then making my way to the small village of Lauterbrunnen near Interlaken. I have ambitious plans to hike a bunch, take a few scenic train journeys, and spend the rest of my time reading outdoors.