Sunday, 5 February 2017

Slap Savica Waterfall, Bohinj and the Mosnica Gorge

In order to get to Slap Savica Waterfall, we had to drive to the Bohinj Lake area and park the car in the forest approximately 20 kilometers from Bled. A nice uphill 2-kilometer walk from that point lead to the waterfall, which was worth the effort. There we met a German couple, who happened to dine with us in the same restaurant in the first day in Škofja Loka. Funny.

The waterfall:

While walking back we bumped in Family A. Funny. We haven't talked yet.

 Mosnica Gorge came next, which was actually nearby.


We had dinner in Gostilna Lectar in Radovljica. They served fried frog legs with sauces. It was just perfect.

Bled and the Vintgar Gorge

There is a common kitchen in the guesthouse, which everybody can use, who stays there. This enabled us to actually buy stuff for breakfast and even pack sandwiches for lunch. This saved us quite a bit of money during the trip because we ate out in restaurants only once a day.
After having a quick breakfast we were ready to go. We drove first to Vintgar Gorge, which is quite close to Bled. The gorge was carved by the Radovna river. The tourable part is 1.6-kilometer long. We luckily got a good parking spot. There is a paved wooden walkway all along the gorge. It's a gorgeous walk above the wild river underneath.

An important thing to mention is, the tourists. There are tons of German, Hungarian, Israeli and other tourists in Slovenia. Huge families tour the country together forming convoys of cars. When a huge family holds together, you can pinpoint it easily. That day in the gorge we noticed a 9-12 membered Israeli family. Let's call them Family A.
After eating our sandwiches we were heading back to Bled, where we climbed up to the castle.
This gave us a spectacular view of the lake and the surroundings, as well as the insights of the renaissance castle.

Our first prekmurska gibanica we ate on this terrace:

We still felt full of energies, so we took this
boat to the island.
We saw the church there which is dedicated to the Assumption of Mary. We rang the bell, we walked around for 40 minutes and were shipped back to the mainland.

Bled castle on the rock, as seen from the island.

Following the Lonely Planet recommendation, we ended up in a slightly off-the-beaten-path restaurant. In the middle of the Slovenian stew, the Israeli Family A showed up and were seated at 3 tables around us. Funny.

Arriving in Slovenia

We arrived at Ljubljana Airport in a late August noontime. One of my favorite cars, an Audi A3 was waiting for us patiently under the hot sun. We didn't feel like we needed a rest, so we just started our 12-day adventure tour in Slovenia right from that parking lot of the car rental. We already figured out by then, that the town of Škofja Loka is close by, so we decided to visit it first.
The town was first mentioned in the 10th century. Since then there were plague, earthquakes, wars, peasant revolts, burning of Protestant books, fires, Nazi occupation, mass graves, and so on... a tempting place to visit. Today the town is a pearl. It has a relatively renovated center, a city museum, which is located in the Loka castle. It has excellent restaurants, of which we sampled one. We've spent a couple of hours in Škofja Loka.

Here's the key to the city. You can take if you want.

After meandering around in the town, we drove all the way to Bled, where we found our accommodation at the edge of the town. A long and extremely narrow two-way road was leading there, which was so steep and full of turns, that we could hardly entertain the idea of reversing back the same way because of a car, which would show up opposite of us.
The landlord lady was very nice. She explained us the shortest way to get to the town for dinner, which we can apparently walk in 10 minutes. OK, sounds good, so we went up, crossed the field, met one deer, heard several weird animal noises from the bushes, walked about 25 minutes, but we made it, we were finally surrounded by houses. We even found a nice restaurant, where we had dinner. On our walk back in the dark, we stayed on the road, which took a little longer, but we felt way safer than crossing the fields in the night.

Sunday, 1 January 2017

Les Catacombes de Paris

As planned we got back to Paris by the evening of June 18, 2016. The day after we went to the Catacombes de Paris, which was worth the three-hour waiting in the queue. Although I'd probably recommend the reader to book the more expensive ticket online, and bypass the queue. It takes forever. Read more about our visit in the catacombs in Jeruen's blog. By the evening June 19 we were back at home in Berlin.


Back again. Our plan worked. After two days in Caen we arrived in Pontorson in the evening, and went to our accommodation, a family run bed-and-breakfast. In the morning while having breakfast in the family living room together with French tourists we wondering how a simple egg laid by the neighbor's hen can be so tasteful. It's totally different from the egg we get in the city. We left our luggage in the B&B and headed back to the train station, where we took the bus to Mont-Saint-Michel.
The long history of the place dates back to the 8th. century, when Aubert, Bishop of Avranches built a sanctuary on the island. During the 10th. century the Benedictines settled there, and established a village below the abbey's walls. There were several additions, and patches to the complex throughout the centuries. The place served as prison after the French Revolution, until it's renovation in the late 19th century.
The island is now connected to the mainland with a road, which can be used both in high- and in low-tide. Before this road was paved people could get in and out of Mont-Saint-Michel only in low-tide hours. We took an audio guide, and were exploring the abbey and the village for 3-4 hours. Spectacular views, amazing historical facts. Buildings on Mont-Saint-Michel were collapsing all the time, almost every century something collapses, burying dozens of humans. Great. Luckily that was not one of those days. We discovered a crêpe restaurant, which turned out to be an excellent choice, it was worth the waiting.
In the afternoon we took the train to Paris, which became a complicated task because of the strike, which cancelled one of our trains. But the train station staff was very helpful and explained us exactly what to do, and we were even refunded for a part of our tickets.
Please enjoy some views of Mont-Saint-Michel.

View from the road:

The road from the abbey:

Walking in low-tide

The village:

The other visitors: