Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Croatia & Slovenia - Part 2

Just north of Lake Bled was our first big hike ... Vintgar Gorge.  The first part of the hike was unbelievably stunning!!  Rushing water through a gorge, several waterfalls, and a wooden walkway drilled into the cliffs with bridges back and forth over the water.  It was surreal!!  So awesome!  I had a hard time picking my favorite pictures, so I included a bunch.

The end of the gorge hike was marked by this bridge and huge waterfall.

Rainbow at the waterfall
After meandering through the gorge, we came to a hut and warmed up with hot tea (it was cool but not freezing) before hiking up the hill for a view of the valleys around.  When we arrived at the top, in addition to the views of the valley and mountains surrounding us, we found a pizzeria and a little kids birthday party in full effect!  The birthday party included a man in a bunny suit.  So of course, the boys wanted a picture with him ... will they expect bunny suits and mascots on all our hikes?

After the gorge, the pathway went up through a fairly dense forest. 
We loved all the leaves on the ground.

Forest opened up to a small clearing.  Sunshine felt good on our faces. 
We were getting a bit cold in the gorge and heavy forest.
Glorious view from the top of the mountain
Bunny rabbit in the middle of the hike. 

More silly faces from Nicholas

Mom and Dad at the pizzeria

The sun was shining on us the entire hike back down the other side of the mountain and made me feel a little like the sound of music.  Except for all the cow paddies ... it must be a trail that cows traverse often ... it was a mine field!  We had to really keep a lookout!!

Nothing but sunshine on the hike back down the mountain. 
Beautiful narrow little trail through the countryside.

Another excursion from Lake Bled was the nearby Lake Bohinj where we rode the gondola up to the top of Mount Vogul.  It's a ski resort in the winter, but it's open year round to have lunch and enjoy the views of the surrounding Julean Alps (southern portion of the Austrian Alps).  It was a beautiful little drive through the countryside to get there ... loved all the churches we passed along the way!
Mount Vogul gondola
Looking back at the starting point with the lake, mountains, and fall colors all around.

It was an overcast day and the mountains don't show up very well in the photos, but the snow capped Julean alps were beautiful to see! 

Bohinj valley on the far side of the lake.  Lots of fall colors in this area!
Boys thought it was fun to walk around a ski resort with no snow on the ground. 
Mom laughed that she can now say she's been on a ski trip (or at least to a ski resort!)

More silly faces from Nicholas. 

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