With one day left in Bled before heading to Ljubljana, Slovenia, we set out to explore the amazingly picturesque Vintgar Gorge.
The Vintgar gorge is one of the most popular natural features in Slovenia and is about 4 miles from Bled. It was officially “closed” for the season but the nice tourist information agent mentioned all that meant was we’d have to walk past a posted closed sign. Hah, ok? So grabbed the two bikes from our little pension, stocked up on water, borrowed two hotel umbrellas and the remnants of last night’s garlic bread and set out to explore. Biking past the town center, past the hotels and hostels, we started riding and quickly had to pop off and walk our asses up a major hillside. The tourist information agent mentioned it was mostly flat – wrong. With sweat running down our faces from pushing a bike up a hill (we may be out of shape…), we finally plateaued and rode through a couple small villages before arriving at a Vintgar Gorge directional sign.
A narrow gravel walkway follows the neon blue Radovna river as it runs through the gorge. The minerals in the water cause it to be brightly neon blue with a milky appearance. There are bridges crossing the river back and forth as you walk deeper and deeper into the gorge.
As we crossed the first bridge we figured out why the gorge was “closed”. Broken railings and rocks falling from the cliffs above.
With a light rain starting to fall, we knew exactly what was about to happen and we weren’t excited. Having been drowned rats the days before, we quickened our pace and hopped on our bikes. A rain/hail storm had rolled in right when we were headed back. Great. The next 45 minutes to Bled was a combination of water pelting our faces, changing bike gears with frozen hands, snot running into our mouths, speed riding down slick roads and completely saturated pants and coats.
Warm showers, a liter of wine and our little homey pension were just the solution to a hilariously freezing, wet, snotty ride home.