(10 on the map below; hike at 12 (Vintgar Gorge))
Lake Bled is probably Slovenia’s biggest tourist attraction. The church on the island in the middle of the lake, set against the backdrop of the alps, sure grabs your attention, and walking around the relatively small lake is pretty easy. When Slovenia was part of Yugoslavia, Tito had a villa here.
My hotel in Bled, the Hotel Vila Bojana, was just something I booked on a lark (“have to book something, find something better later”) but just kept it. It was OK, well locate but extremely gaudy, with interesting gold and blue décor and a really odd bathroom!
I walked halfway around the famous lake and was able to photograph the Church of the Assumption out on the island in the middle of the lake before dusk, with great late-afternoon light (not really a “sunset” picture opportunity – the sun sets behind the mountains). Then I hiked back to my hotel and grabbed some pizza at a little place in town. The town of Bled is really nothing exciting – walking around the lake at night is pretty, but otherwise I’d have preferred walking around pretty Ljubljana at night.
Next day, I photographed some Pletna boats heading out to the island, then I headed out to Lake Bohinj (see below) for much of the day. After getting back from Bohinj, I rushed over to the Vintgar Gorge, a popular hike (very easy, with boardwalks and easy paths) through a beautiful wooded gorge area. There was one waterfall at the end. It was a nice little hike though not amazing.
I’m sure I could have walked around Lake Bled a few times looking for optimal pictures, but I figured I’d gotten the gist of it pretty quickly. I didn’t even take a boat out there – the best photographs are of the church and island, after all, right? I had hoped to visit the castle up on the hill for a great view on the very last morning, but it turned out to be cloudy, so I bagged it.