We awoke at 5:00 AM and walked about a mile to the bus stop in Plitvices National Park. It was dark, cold and raining. The road was dark and my greatest fear was being hit by a car, truck or bus. Luckily, we were safe and made it to the bus stop. I reminded mom to watch for rocks and not to trip. She didn't find it funny. I asked if she thought we would have the same bus driver and she hoped never to see him again. She was still humiliated from falling when we arrived! We waited along the side of the dark road. I put my hand up every time a vehicle passed which looked like a bus. Several passed us. Eventually, the bus pulled up and we were on our way to Zagreb, Croatia. We had planned the bus connections perfectly. We waited an 1 1/2 hour before the next bus left for Ljubljana. We grabbed some lunch and water and we were off to our next destination.
We arrived in Ljubljana and followed the booking.com directions to the apartment. We arrived at the location only to find no one there and the door locked. It was next to a restaurant so we decided to have a bowl of soup for dinner and wait a while. I was able to get free wifi and checked my messages. Ugh! Seems the apartment address is not where we are staying. This is a pet peeve I have with some of the people on Booking.com. The addresses do not always reflect the real location. It is irritating to book someplace based on location and find out it is on the other side of town. As mom and I were discussing this issue, the waiter overheard and said he would call the owner. He proceeded to tell us that he gets numerous customers that have this issue with Nana's Home. It happens so frequently that he has her number programmed into his phone. He called and said she would arrive in 15 minutes to give us a ride to the correct address. I was thankful he had helped us. The location of the apartment was fantastic but it was not made for an elderly person. It was up 5 flights of stairs. That wasn't the real issue. We got to the attic and the room had huge beams running across the floor. You had to step over them to go to the bathroom. The bed was a mattress on the floor. This was the worse place I had booked to date. For me, it would be fine. But with my mom....it was difficult and I worried she would fall. Luckily, she was fine and it did not ruin our time in Ljubljana.
Ljubljana is a fantastic little city. We came here to relax and see a city that everyone seems to love. It is the capital of Slovenia and sits on a river with the Alps in the distance. We had no list of sights to see. I just wanted to relax and enjoy the area. As we walked along the river, the café scene was lively all hours of the day and night. It was cold but everyone was out walking or riding their bikes along the river.
One of the strange sights in Eastern EU is locks on bridges. A couple writes their names and date on a lock and lock it to the bridge. I saw this the first time at Butcher's Bridge. Couples in love place the locks on the wires, symbolizing their eternal love.
The next morning we went to the market. We strolled past the stalls selling handicrafts, homemade jams, sausages and baked goods. Everything looked delicious.
We walked along the river enjoying the weekend crowd and the sights. Mom stopped to try out a new look. I couldn't get her to yodel. Why not? It was definitely a new hair style idea for her. It looks so charming and lovely.
We were finished in the market and decided to go to Lake Bled. It was a short walk to the bus station and an hour to Lake Bled. It is magnificent small town nestled into the Alps. The sun was shinning and the autumn colors made the area pop with color.
The views of the are were fantastic. The Bled castle perched above the lake. I had to choose if I wanted to walk around the lake or up to the castle due to limited time. I chose to walk around the lake. The Church of the Assumption sits on Bled Island and begs to be photographed. It is picturesque and the light was perfect. I took hundreds of photos of the church.
One man I met, explained there are 99 steps from the lake to the church. In the summer months it is local tradition for newlyweds to row a boat to the island. Then, the groom carries his bride up the steps. If they make it, they are ensured a happy marriage. I asked if all the brides diet before the big day while the grooms lift weights and workout in the gym. The man laughed and said that more of them should! He said many struggle with the task but 80% make it to the top. I quickly realized he was a boat owner when he told me I should go out to the island and ring the bell. It seems the cute little church and the local townspeople believe if you close your eyes and ring the church bell then all your dreams will come true! I told him mine already had come true. He smiled and told me to have a wonderful trip in Slovenia.
Bled was beautiful. I finished my walk and found mom sitting on a park bench writing in her journal while children fed the ducks and swans. It was peaceful and beautiful. It was starting to get dark and we walked back to the bus station. We had had a wonderful day in the Alps!