This morning was a “free day” which meant we were free to do whatever we wished. Sleeping in was high on the priority list. Unfortunately, being Sunday, the church located next to our hotel had a different idea. The bell ringing started at 7:00 AM and continued every 15 minutes. Clearly the thought being, if you can’t sleep, you might as well get your butt to church.
Unable to sleep and given the gloriously sunny day outside, I met John for breakfast and we decide to take a ride to Bled, Slovenia. Bled is a stunningly beautiful centuries old resort town. The town dates back to 1004 and the etymology of the name is unknown but is believed to be of pre-Slavic origin. After the dissolution of Austria-Hungary in 1918, Bled came under the rule of the Kingdom of Yugoslavia and was the location of the summer home of the ruling House of Karađorđević. Bled is known for its glacial lake, Bled Castle perched on a rock outcropping overlooking the lake and a small island in the middle of the lake with the Assumption of Mary Pilgrimage Church. The church has 99 steps and local tradition for weddings is for the husband to carry his new bride up the steps during which the bride must remain silent. I’d be curious as to what percentage of the brides remain silent; especially when dropped half way up the steps.
Don’t you hate getting bugs in your teeth? Yellow jackets are the worst. It’s kind of a side effect of riding the alpine roads of Slovenia. That grin from ear to ear is a true dental bug catcher. This was the riding John and I came to Europe for: winding mountain roads, glacial lakes fed from crystal clear rivers and mountain passes. We had two mountain passes to tackle today with Vrsic being the highest at 1,611 meters: 32 switchback turns up, 27 switchback turns down. The grins were from ear to ear.