I honestly wasn’t expecting much from Boveč since it seemed kind of big from what I could tell on Google maps. Since it looked like the gateway to the mountains, I thought it would be more function than form. We were so pleasantly surprised. It was a very charming little town and the jumping off point for tons of activities including hiking, rafting, zip lining, mountain biking… It was the place to launch into any activity; to prove it, there were scores of 20 and 30 somethings with backpacks, mountain bikes, and cars with kayaks.
The small center of town was perfectly kept and all the buildings were very European, with several cool coffee shop with outdoor seating to take in the views and absorb the energy of the town. We were surrounded by high majestic mountains and a crystal blue river, with even more mountains in the distance. Our European motorcycle trip was on a roll! After a nice lunch at one of the restaurants in the center of town, we got some info at the tourist center on where to go and what to see. It turns out that the mountains that comprise the Triglavski National Park have lots of huts way up in the mountains that can be used as overnight points if you wish to hike the mountains. There are hiking trails all throughout the range, and these huts are spaced every few miles or so, making a week or more of backpacking very manageable in this beautiful terrain. We hope to return here and do just that.
We realized something about Boveč and Slovenia very quickly in the few hours we had been there. It’s the new Switzerland!
Kranjska Gora is a charming little ski town with all the amenities typical of such a town. We stayed in a cute little hotel called Hotel Kotnik. We met an adorable blond-haired blue-eyed receptionist that made us feel welcome in our new favorite country. The bright yellow hotel and the surrounding town was confirming our “little Switzerland” moniker we had adorned the country with. In fact, Slovenia is half the size of already tiny Switzerland. The hotel was nice and clean and the room was fine, nothing remarkable, but made our stay comfortable and had a nice view out the small window. As we wandered the streets a little in the early evening, we walked over toward some sounds of singing. It seemed there was a small festival of sorts we had come across including both a men’s and women’s ensemble. They were singing traditional Slovenian songs that were really captivating. At that moment we really felt like Slovenes if only for a few minutes. Such a fun experience that we were able to be a part of for just a brief moment.
So we hopped on the main road down to Lake Bled from Kranjska Gora. We ended up on some back roads and approached the lake from the north. On seeing a sign for a castle, we decided we had time to check it out. Lucky for us, the steep drive and walk into the castle provided a panoramic view of the lake and surrounding countryside. We could see the mountains to the north and east and the rolling hills toward Ljubljana to the south. The castle wasn’t much to speak of in terms of castle stuff, but the views were awesome and we had a nice meal at the restaurant. It seemed like a ride around the lake would have been nice but our time was winding down and we wanted to reach Ljubljana and our hotel to be well rested for our exploration of the capital of Slovenia.