August 7, 2018 – Lake Bohinj, Slovenia
We woke up bright and early to catch the earliest bus from Ljubljana to Bohinj. We were flying by the seat of our pants. Barely making it to board the bus in time, we were completely confused about the stop we should be getting out at.
Bohinj (in Slovenia) is far ahead of Lake Bled (many stops away, in fact). Almost our entire bus disembarked at what seemed to be the beginning of Lake Bohinj, whilst we together with another lone Asian tourist decided to venture to the end of the trail. Lake Bohinj is a glacial lake in Slovenia (of many); but from what we had read it was far less touristy than the magnificent but ever popular Lake Bled
The bus ride to Lake Bohinj was absolutely majestic. On the right side of the road, pale blue green water envelopes you with the spattering of caravans and summer tourists sunbathing, swimming and engaging in a myriad of water sports.
We got off at our last stop and looked for some directions and signs of civilization; but there were none. We did a whole circle round the lake which was full with picknickers, and at the beginning found some arrows pointing towards a waterfall “Slap Savica”, but saw absolutely no one on the trail. We were stuck on a trail with zero internet and zero civilization.
Frustrated, tired and screaming each other’s heads off, we decided to make our way back to the earlier stop where many passengers were dropped off. After waiting for what seemed like a ridiculously long time, we got a bus to go back to the earlier stop. Picking up sandwiches and drinks at a convenience store, we asked for directions to walk the Bohinj path which is about a 7 km path around the lake.
Everyone talks about Lake Bled in Slovenia, but Lake Bohinj for me was, by far, the prettier lake. The trail around the lake is a circular trail along an undulating park. At certain sections of the trail, you need to walk down to the shores of the lake. The lake is absolutely fascinating and non touristy – peppered with swimmers and sunbathers lying on colorful towels and books propped up. It was one of the most meditative and relaxing things I’ve seen, and by far, for me the best part our trip to Slovenia.
We found a spot near the shore and had our picnic lunch, and then settled for a dip and a relaxing 40 winks. It is absolutely out of the world to lie down and eat your sandwiches where the only sounds you can hear are the waves lapping against the shore and shouts of children nearby. The water was brilliant and ice cold – with a lot of stones at the bottom, and you could see the occasional boat in the distance. The colors were like a painter’s pallette- blue skies, light blue water with the sun reflecting off the surface and casting golden hues.
It was honestly like heaven on Earth – and away from the tourists. You could just “be” and I could have sat there for hours.
After tearing ourselves away, we decided to walk the entire length of the path. The sounds of birds, the crackle of our shoes against the gravel, the rustle of the leaves, and the occasional hiker were our only company. We walked through one part of the trail which was pretty worn out – only stones in a crater formation. As we were cautiously treading our way over the stones, we passed two runners running over the stones like it was bare flat ground; and we were amazed. The blues of the lake beckoned through us through the trees throughout the trail. Some portions of the trail with the thicketed forest growth cut away any view of the lake, and in some places we were high above the lake. Forest scents filled the air, and we passed other trekkers who gave us a nod and a smile. We decided that we would be tourists and stop for some pictures. We found an uninhibited spot where we could stop and wash the grime and dust off our faces. I decided to pose on a rock and slipped off and fell into the ice cold water. Now I would be walking the trail with wet shoes and socks.
I never wanted this trail to end. We finally reached the end of the trail and we reached the very spot where we had first landed in the morning, and had decided that we were in the wrong place and walked back to take the bus (but we got in our run for the day 😊).
At 3 p.m. in the blazing heat, we decided to venture onward towards “Slap Savica”. I wanted to give up but my husband kept saying “where will you get this in Bombay; let’s do this”. We walked again through an absolutely deserted path; but with the most beautiful houses along the left of the path, and mountains framing the houses in the background. I wanted to buy one of these houses and settle here.
We trudged our way past never ending trails where each hiker we met along the way would say ” just a little further”, in response to our questions about how far was “Slap Savica”. We passed Europeans and Americans clad in as little clothing as possible to beat the blazing heat (almost as bad as Mumbai – if not worse). We finally heard the gurgling sounds of water, and realized we were nearing the famous “Slap Savica”.
The way up to Slap Savica is a meandering path, again through the forests; and you have to pay a tidy fee to get in. There is a small picnickers forested area with restaurants charging extravagant prices, and just beyond there is a small convenience store and a gate from where you can go up to Slap Savica.
Slap Savica (the waterfall itself) is honestly quite overrated (my personal opinion) – 2 very thin sluices of water flowing through a gorge (of course, there is a history to it, but I have seen far better). Nothing could diminis my excitement though. What was wonderful was the cold spring water with which you could replenish your empty water bottles, on the way down.
We debated between walking down or taking the bus down; then decided that there was no way we could miss the opportunity to be surrounded by nature again, and we dragged our weary tired feet down the trail (munching on trail nuts), soaking in the sights and sounds of nature till we reached back to our bus stop.
What a positively magnificent gobsmacking experience it was!!! I would do it all over again (yes – even the getting lost bit)!!!!