Eastern Europe 2017 — part I
My Eastern Europe backpacking trip from HEC in December 2017. This post covers Venice & Slovenia.
Day 1: 17 December 2017 — Paris to Venice
Flew from Paris Orly to Venice. As you exit the train station, post which there is no road or rail network, the canals of Venice hove into view. We walked to our hotel from the station.
At night we played BlackQueen card game.
Day 2: 18 December 2017
Venice walking tour
Our Airbnb’s windows opened right above a canal!
We strolled around Venice in the morning, visting Piazza San Marco (St. Mark’s square) to see Basilica di San Marco, Doge’s Palace, & Campanile. Then we walked to the station via Ponte dell’Accademia to catch the train to Italian main land.
Bus to Slovenia
We took a 3 hour bus from Venice to Ljubljana, Slovenia. Around sunset, I woke up randomly just before Trieste to a breathtaking view of the Adriatic sea as the sun went down.
As it went dark, we left the coast & entered Slovenia.
After reaching the Slovenian capital in the evening, we walked to our hostel. Then we walked back to the city center. As it was the Christmas season, the city was full of lights & decorations! The ‘asteroids falling on the streets’ look was quite fascinating.
We walked to the old city area with various restaurants and bars along the river. The city castle was visible like it was perched on an illuminated cloud above the old city. We loved the vibes of the place! We also tasted warm mulled wine.
Day 3: 19 December 2017
Next morning we took a bus towards the Julian Alps. We had our first sightings of snowy peaks enroute Bled!
After reaching Bled, we walked through the quaint town to our hostel dorm. The hostel had a pub below which had various games like darts, jenga etc.
After keeping our luggage we went for a hike through the town of Zasip.
As we climbed into the hills, the forest got denser and the road sorta vanished. There was fresh snow on the ground. We were trying to find a waterfall but couldn’t reach it by map. Then we started navigating by following the ‘sound’ of possibly a different waterfall (waterfall Šum) and reached a place where we could see it at the bottom of the hill (only just). However, we stubbled across a train bridge straight out of some novel in the middle of nowhere!
We also found the amusing activity of breaking thin ice sheets!
As the sun set, we were treated to a golden glow on the snow peaks and layers of mist over the valley.
In the night we saw Inglorious Bastards in the hostel common room.
Day 4: 20 December 2017
The next day was the highlight of Slovenia, & possibly the entire Eastern Europe trip — the breathtaking, fairy tale-ish Lake Bled! One of those rare places where the reality is even more pretty than professionally edited Instagram photos!
While the previous day we hiked away from lake Bled towards North, today we walked around the entire lake. We also made a hike to Ojstrica & Mala Osojnica viewpoint to get amazing bird’s eye views of lake Bled!
The aerial views from Ojstrica were amazing! You could see Bled castle as well, perched atop a cliff beside the lake.
After completing the circuit around lake Bled by afternoon, we took a bus to Lake Bohinj. This led us closer to the Julian Alps, as the lake is located just inside Triglav National Park.