When we were planning our trip, I told my mom, “We can either save money and plan everything beforehand, or we can have fun and be spontaneous!” which is how we found ourselves wandering the streets of Ljubljana looking for a rental company that still had an automatic car in stock. Three shops later, we had our car, and both my mom and I got to experience driving in a country other than the United States. On top of that, it was the first time I’ve been able to drive a car in SEVEN MONTHS, and wow did it feel good to be behind the wheel again.
Before leaving Ljubljana, we went to an Aldi’s (called Hofur in Slovenia, but with the same logo) for roadtrip supplies. It was better than imagined, since we stumbled upon Mozart Balls, delicious chocolates from Austria that we have ordered online many Christmases since our family visited my brother there nine years ago.
Slovenian roads are beautiful – the country is heavily influenced by a German sense of organization – and it is a JOY to drive through green green fields with mountains increasingly in the foreground. We haven’t actually driven through mountains yet, and maybe my opinion will change if we come upon some hairpin curves.
Our Lonely Planet guidebook suggested we stop by Skofja Loka on our way to Bled, and I’m so glad we did. This sleepy city (especially on Sunday) has a lovely Old Town that leads you up to yet another Slovenian castle. We didn’t go inside, but took in the scenery and the gorgeous weather instead.
Then we were off to Bled, the highlight of our trip where we planned on staying two days. We pulled into an adorable inn that had a room available for only one night, and as we walked around to find another place to stay tomorrow night, we realized…Lake Bled is a tourist trap! We were spoiled in Skofja Loka, and the sight of such picturesque scenery clogged with people was a serious killjoy. Immediately and unanimously, my mom and I decided to stay only one night and move on.
Not that Lake Bled is without its charms. The lake is beautiful, and the tiny island boasting only a church is pretty adorable. We drove up to the Bled Castle, and the view from up there were stunning!
But. All those tourists. Hopefully our attempt to leave the super-beaten path tomorrow will be successful!