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fun4all4 - Trip Report - Slovenia and Croatia

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Greetings! I was fortunate to have the opportunity to spend 8 days in Slovenia and Croatia during the last week of October. My husband was able to accompany me, and the trip was part leisure/part business – we were with a group and our hotels and many of our meals for chosen for us so we did not have as much individual time as we often do on a trip. It was a great experience, and it was nice to learn for myself some of the pros and cons of traveling with a group. We were fortunate that our fellow travelers were friendly and considerate (for example, on time).

These are the places we visited on our trip: Lake Bled and Ljubljana, Slovenia; Hvar, Split, Trogir and Dubrovnik, Croatia.

I am not going to do a full day-by-day detailed report, but will give the basics of our journey and provide a link to our photos. Feel free to ask questions as I am happy to provide additional, more specific information. I apologize in advance that this report is being written fairly quickly and without tons of editing, organization and reflection – hopefully, it will still read somewhat easily.

First, I have to say that we loved these destinations. The natural beauty is spectacular and the history is fascinating and varied. There are so many layers of history from Roman, Medieval, Venetian maritime empire, and Ottoman and Byzantine influences to the Austro-Hungarian Empire and, ultimately, the Communist era. One can see a Roman Palace (Diocletian’s) with the medieval city that grew within it and then view 1970’s Soviet-style square, concrete block apartment and office buildings just a few minutes away.

Lake Bled, Slovenia

We stayed at the Hotel Berc which is a simple “farmhouse” accommodation about a 5 minute walk from the main street. There are no lake views and it is not fancy, but the place is spotless and comfortable. The owner/manager, Luca (sp?), was friendly, warm and welcoming. Breakfasts were fresh and tasty – I would call is “Continental Plus.” There were no hot items, but there was a large selection of yogurts, cereals, breads, meats, cheeses, and fruit.

Our first night we enjoyed a hearty meal at the Union Restaurant – the veal special with potatoes and an order of grilled vegetables was delicious. The pasta dishes also got rave reviews.

It was cool and rainy during most of our 2-day visit and our views of the Alps were obscured by the clouds and mist. We did glimpse them as we flew in the first day and the setting is breathtaking. Even without the Alps Lake Bled, with its Island Church and Castle perched high above the village, is truly magical.

During our stay we visited the Castle, Tito’s former Villa (now the Vila Bled, a Relais & Chateaux property), strolled the village and visited the Church. We did not make it to the island due to the poor weather. We also drove around Lake Bohinj and stopped for coffee at a charming inn. It was truly pouring while we were at Lake Bohinj, but just a short walk proved it would be worth more time in better weather.

We enjoyed a lunch at Ostarija Peglezin along the main road through town (near Grand Hotel Toplice – which is a nice hotel – ask for rooms with a lake view). The gnocchi with proscuitto and rocket and the green tagliatelle with scampi were both tasty and filling.

Be sure to have a Kremsnita (Kraym schneeta) pastry – a layer of cream with a thick layer of vanilla custard between sheets of delicate, crispy crust. Yummm … with a coffee or tea, this is a perfect treat.

Our second dinner was at the Pension Mayer which is next door to the Hotel Berc – it is a similar property and also recommended. The dining room has a warm, alpine feel (as does a lot of Slovenia – definitely feels a bit like Austria). This restaurant is known as one of the best in Bled – we thought it was very good, but not quite as spectacular as its reputation. However, it must be noted that we ate a set menu with a large group that night so I am sure ordering a la carte as a regular diner would be even better.

Bled was gorgeous in the rain and chill. It was off-season and we loved it. I am sure it is amazing in the sunshine and warm weather.

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