I decided to head to Vintgar Gorge, just 4km north of Bled. So I got the bus at 12.20pm, which only took about ten minutes. The bus driver said it was only a fifteen minute walk to the entrance. Hah, it was more like a half an hour! I didn’t mind though, it was a lovely walk all the same and you’re bang smack in the middle of the countryside. There were a few people heading in the same direction as me. Along the way, you pass people’s houses, which were Alpine in design, with lots of apple trees everywhere, all in season and the apples were red and ready to fall off the trees. There was also the smell of wood burning fires, which always reminds me of traveling, from the time I stayed in the Youth Hostel in Czesky Budeovice, in the Czech Republic. I love that smell. The roads were real country roads: a patchwork of cracked pavements and partially tarred roads.
You could see and hear the Radovlijca River on the right hand side before you got to the entrance. The Vintgar Gorge is a 1,600 metre walk and my God is it gorgeous! Absolutely beautiful. There’s a tourist path that you follow, with bridges over the river. The first couple of hundred metres, the river is fast flowing and it tumbles and splashes over huge moss covered rocks, that make mini waterfalls, with white foam. Even at this point, the power of it is strong. There are parts where you can hear the water thundering over the rocks, as it rushes on down, on it’s way through the gorge. The sun came out in spurts. It was breathtaking because then the foam was even whiter and you could see the different shades of green in the trees, which were tinged with orange, because the leaves were changing colour. It had a wonderful autumn hue.
There were about three mini waterfalls just at the start of the walk and then the river eased off a bit. In places like this, where the water was calm, it was so green and yet so clear, you could see the bottom of the riverbed, along with the fish that were swimming there. Further along then, the speed of it picked up and there were two big waterfalls. The bigger one had a railway bridge running across the top. It was very decorative, the bridge and with the trees and waterfall underneath, it made a lovely photo. Just around the corner, you got to the end of the path and could carry on walking to Bled, by road, via the village of Zasip but that was the long way back. Nearly everyone headed back the way they came. I didn’t mind because it gave me a chance to see it all over again. I was absolutely loving it.
I got back to the start again and sat down and had an ice cream and tea, at the gostilna by the entrance. I knew I wouldn’t make the 15.40pm bus. That walk was food for the soul, for me. I got the feeling of being energised, excited, loving the whole experience. I walked back to the bus stop and had about twenty minutes to spare before the next bus came. It was nice sitting there, taking in the Slovenian countryside, with the houses perched on the hill, cows with bells in the field and the smell of cowdung! You really know you’re in the countryside, when you can smell the cowdung.
When I arrived back at the Pension, I asked Dietmar, the owner, about bus/train connections to the Postojna Caves. He was very helpful and looked it up on the internet for me. They’re great here, always willing to help and very friendly. I went into the restaurant and had dinner. They were fully booked but they squeezed me in, between sittings.