I woke up around 08:30 after a restless night that offered me very sleep. I showered, dressed, got ready, and walked to the Ljubljana Bus Station. I then bought a ticket for the 10:00 bus to Bled and waited for the bus to arrive. Once it did, I got on board, found a seat, and rode the bus northward to Bled, arriving there at 11:15.
Upon arriving at Bled, I immediately set out and walked up to the Bled Castle, the oldest Slovenian castle in existence, dating back to at least the eleventh-century AD (based on a deed of donation issued by Emperor Henry II in 1004 AD); naturally, like most medieval structures, the castle had been modified throughout time and currently the oldest piece of the castle is a Romanesque tower. I hiked up to the precipice where the castle resides via a trail through the woods. Upon reaching the entrance of the castle, I paid for a ticket and started exploring the grounds, first the lower courtyard and then the upper courtyard (enjoying the great views of Lake Bled and Bled Island), before entering in to chapel (which was built in the sixteenth-century AD and renovated around 1700 AD) and then the museum. I then checked out the wine shop and printing shop (where the first Slovenian book was printed) they have in the castle. After touring the castle, I set out on the road and walked about five kilometers north, through farmland with hayracks (evidently, hayracks are mainly a Slovenian thing, with 80% of all hayracks in the world existing in Slovenia [Source: the internet]) and a strong stench of manure – actually, the countryside here is quite idyllic and I would love to live in a place like this, but I couldn’t stand having to smell manure all day and night. After about an hour of walking, I reached Triglavski National Park (the only national park in Slovenia) and the entrance to Vintgar Gorge (I discovered later, that I was only about five kilometers away from the Austrian border). Vintgar Gorge is a 1.6 kilometer-long gorge carved by the Radovna River and a beautiful natural site. After paying for my entrance ticket, I walked the trail through the gorge (mostly by wooden walkways built on the rock walls of the gorge – known as “Žumer Galleries”), enjoying the white and clear blue waters of the river, the green trees, and the sheer canyon walls of the gorge. I walked to the end of the trail (stone arch railway bridge) before turning back and exiting the park the way I came. I then followed the roads to the west side of Lake Bled (where I got a better view of Bled Island) before turning on to a dirt road that would lead me to Iglica Waterfall. I followed the dirt road through the woods before returning to a hardball road that passed by a number of farmhouses. The trail then led me up to a field with a very faint trail (it was terribly overgrown and underused and I had to ask a local man to make sure that was indeed the trail since I was now essentially hiking across someone’s field) and I followed it to a lookout point above the waterfall, where I had great views of the Sava Bohinjka River Valley. At this point, the trail got interesting, and I had to use several wooden ladders to get down from the lookout point and in to the valley (near some homes), where I could see the waterfall. Sadly, the waterfall was not spectacular, difficult to see, and impossible to approach (unless I wanted to wade through water at my own risk); in other words, the views of the valley and the wooden ladder portion of the trail were great and made up for the dismal falls. I then followed the trail back to the hardball road, but instead of taking the dirt road and heading back to the west-end of Lake Bled, I followed the hardball road south of the lake until I arrived at the southeast “corner” of Lake Bled. From here, I walked back to the bus station and took the 18:00 bus back to Ljubljana.
I arrived back at Ljubljana at 19:30 and walked back toward the hostel. On the way, I took some photographs, stopped at the market nearby to buy some drinks and food (juice, aloe drinks, water, and chips and salsa), and at the nearby döner kebab stall where I bought two chicken wraps. Once back at the hotel, I ate my dinner, went through my photographs for the day, and relaxed. Eventually, I retired to my bed and went to sleep at 01:30.