Lake Bled and Vintgar Gorge, Slovenia

Saturday morning, June 1st, we left the house at 6:00am knowing it would take about 5 hours to get to our first location, Lake Bled, Slovenia. We also know that once we leave Germany we have to pay the economy price for gas so we made sure to stop as close to the border as possible to fill up one last time at an Esso station. The Esso app on our phones is great but we did find out that it doesn’t always know what side of the road the Esso is on. We saw a stop right off the autobahn (it even pulled up directions for us) only to find out it was on the opposite side of the Autobahn. The Esso app says there is a station near Bernhaupten but it’s ONLY on the side headed towards Munich, NOT towards Salzburg. Luckily there is another Esso station about 5 minutes off the Autobahn. A little less convenient but it gets the job done. When we stop for gas we also make sure to buy a Vignette. The Austria vignette cost 6.50 euro and is good for 10 days (you can buy others that last longer). There is one toll in Austria right before entering Slovenia and it costs 10 euro.

     Slovenia requires a vignette as well, this one costs 15 euro and lasts for 7 days. Unfortunately we were gone for 8 days so we had to buy another one on the way home. Even though you have to pay for a vignette there are still tolls all throughout Slovenia. It’s very annoying having to pay so much money just to drive through the country but don’t try to get away with not buying a vignette. When we crossed the border, which you have to stop at and get passports checked, they had police out checking to make sure those that needed them (tourists) had them on their car. It can be a big fine if you get caught without one.

      Once you cross into Slovenia, be prepared for a 15km tunnel, then Lake Bled is only 20 minutes away. When you get there drive to the “end” or the west side of the lake. There is parking there, 10 euro, and you can leave and return to that parking in the same day without having to pay again. Once we arrived there we explored around the lake and hiked up some trails to get to the castle. There are stairs, lots and lots of them to get to the castle but we had to take the scenic route up the back side. You do have to pay to get into the castle. We did not do this so I believe it was around 10-12 euro per person.
     Lake Bled is a beautiful place and definitely worth a visit! Unless you go into the castle, you don’t have to pay for anything, just enjoy the beautiful scenery!

     After exploring Lake Bled we drove to the Vintgar Gorge which was a 15 minute drive from Lake Bled. This gorge was absolutely beautiful and my pictures don’t do it justice at all!! The gorge cost either 4 or 8 euro per person, we wrote down prices and only wrote 8. Either way it’s less than 10 euro per person and absolutely worth it! It seemed a little sketchy at first because you’re walking on narrow wooden paths that have been drilled into the side of the rock and you have a rushing river below you. But once you get over that you’ll realize how beautiful and amazing it is! Definitely worth a visit! Unfortunately this is not a place for strollers or handicapped. There is a lot of walking and stairs in narrow areas. Also be careful as water drips from above in some places and makes the walkways slippery.
     After going to the gorge we drove to Ljubliana, pronounced lub-lee-yana, which is the capitol city of Slovenia. We didn’t do anything but eat dinner here. It was really just a place to sleep for the night before driving into Croatia. From what we saw, Ljubliana is a very clean city.