Places of natural beauty should not be compared. Beautiful is beautiful but when beauty gets noticed and the destination grows popular, that’s when the trouble starts. People first come in hundreds then throng in thousands. Everyone is happy at the beginning of the local shops to the government. There comes a point in every beautiful destinations life when a choice has to be made. Lake Bled in Slovenia is one such place. A choice was made to keep it small I think, no other hotels have come up since I first went there. But the day trippers have grown by 500%.
Just 20 km away and into the valley lies a lake of a different feeling. A lake where the traffic on the road of the vehicles is the same as the one in the lake of the ducks. A lake which we happened to discover some years back and had become the fitting end to our East Europe tour which lasts for 15 days. The lake Bohinj is thrice the size of lake Bled and yet it attracts just 1/10th of the people that come to visit Lake Bled.
When to visit Lake Bled?
Do not just visit, at least stay for a night at the lakes. Lake Bled has many accommodation options which are expensive than Ljubljana, the capital. This is the reason people do day trips and just visit the lake Bled for an hour. The lake is the best early morning and late evening when the busloads have gone.
There is something about Bohinj that I can’t explain. It’s not just the natural beauty, it is not the peace that it comes with, but it’s a mix of both of the above with the character of the place. Lake Bohinj is in between the upper and lower Bohinj valley. A valley which is dotted with lovely alpine cottages and cattle grazing on lush greens. The locals have avoided all forms of commercialization and only the Hotel Jezero stands in front of the lake, as it does from the times of united Yugoslavia.
This time it was raining in Bohinj and I did not take the cycle around in the valleys. Instead, I walked both in the day and night. Every time I told myself, I will walk to the next corner and then head back, and every time I went further. This always happens in the Bohinj valley as does the conversation with myself that I should come here and stay for a week. But like Istria I know I would only come when I retire.
What to do in Bohinj
- Go up the cable car to Vogel.
- Hike the Slavica waterfall.
- If there is no rain, kayak the lake.
- Walk / Cycle in the upper Bohinj valley.
- Just stare at the lake.
Places of natural beauty should not be compared but I can’t help it when it comes to Bohinj and Bled. Bohinj perhaps is less picturesque but it is where you might want to keep the camera inside your bag after the initial clicks.