The Fairytale Bled Island
If you were to ask what our top five magical stops were on our two month European Road Trip – Bled would definitely be right up there! This little European Gem was absolutely breathtaking! Since we already bragged of it’s beauty in our most recent Slovenia post, I will just be focusing on Bled Island for the moment.
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As one stands along the shore of Lake Bled, this tiny, tear-shaped island seems to call out to those looking over at it. Traditional wooden boats – pletnas – are lined up, and ready to take visitors to the island in the middle of the lake. In fact, these boats (gondolas) have been doing this for centuries. These boats are operated by standing rowers known as pletnars, and ours was a super cheerful chap. He was whistling and smiling the whole way there and back! The pletna will dropped you off on the south side of the island, at the monumental South Staircase. The staircase, built in 1655 and comprising 99 steps, leads up to the Assumption of Mary Church and a small museum.
Two legendary tales about Bled Island:
Firstly, The local Slovenian tradition for newly married couples, is for the husband to carry his new bride up these stairs.
Secondly, Listen to the church bell and ring it yourself. Legend has it that this will make your wishes come true.
There is no charge to visit the island, except for what you pay to travel there (i.e. the pletna ride or hire of a rowboat). You are also free to wander and visit the cafe and souvenir store, but there is an admission charge to enter the church.
The water in Lake Bled is just mesmerizing. Although transparent, it has a stunning emerald green color… If the water wasn’t so cold, I’m sure that a lot more people would be jumping in for a swim! The water was definitely beckoning me to take a dip…
As you return to the lake shore, view the island on the lake from the castle or from the walking and horse-carriage trails that lead you around the lake. With the sun setting behind us, the views were just perfect!
What a romantic little city. WE LOVE BLED!