Being in the Land
of Make Believe...
June 20, 2006
This place is the stuff that fairy tales are made out of.
A castle (that dates back over 1000 years) on a steep cliff. A church on its very own island in the middle of the lake. Bright bluish-
green waters. It’s almost impossible to take your eyes off of the idyllic setting.
In the eighty minutes it took to get to Bled from Ljubljana, we were transported to a completely different place. Surrounded by
two different mountain ranges, the lake was practically glowing blue when we arrived. The atmosphere was understated yet
The perimeter of the lake covers roughly three and a half miles. We took a leisurely stroll around making stops to admire the
watercolors that artists were painting along the water. This walk also allowed us different views of the island that was set in the
middle of the lake. Each view seemed better than the one before.
We then came across a sign that said ‘Grad’. What this translates to over here is ‘Castle’. It would be a steep hike but we were
both up for it. And for our efforts, we were more than rewarded. The lake and the mountains were absolutely gorgeous from our
Instead of just coming into Bled for the day, we were going to be spending a night there as well. This is definitely how it should be
done. We found a fantastic restaurant that looked onto the water as the sun was making its exit for the evening. It was stunning
watching the castle transform as the sky went from day to night.
This morning we took a boat ride out to the island. As we waited on the boat for more passengers to arrive, we were greeted by a
local family in the area. Who was this ‘local family’? They were two beautiful white swans with about five or six baby swans that
floated in between. After several minutes of us ooh-ing and aah-ing, they moved onto other parts of the lake. It was a treat
though just to be able to see them at all (considering my sister had commented the previous day that she had never seen a baby
swan). About ten minutes later we would be rowed out to the island on a pleasant and calm thirty minute boat ride.
We ascended up the ninety-eight steps to get to the church. We were actually surprised to see how beautiful the inside of the
church was. An added bonus was the rope that hung down in the middle. This rope gave people the opportunity to throw their
force into ringing the bell (it is also said that you are to make a wish while ringing the bell). Within a few seconds, the bell would
toll. I have to admit that it wasn’t as easy as it looked – it took much more strength than I imagined it would. After our thirty
minute church visit, we left the island.
And within an hour, it would be time to say ‘The End’ to this fairy tale…
The island in the middle of the lake.
At the castle.