The Castle on the Hill & the Church on the Island

Thursday 3rd July, 2014

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Today I tick off two must-do activities in Bled, climb up to the castle overlooking the lake and hire a row boat and get to the island. It’s a hot day and I’m glad the climb to the castle is a relatively short one, about 15 minutes or so. It’s a beautiful day

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My $9 Turkey cons still going strong
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View from the top of the hill. Was a bit tricky to get any photos of the castle due to its close proximity to my camera lens

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We continue around the lake and pay our €10 for an hours boat hire. When I was 14 I did a school exchange to Australia and remember being quite good at rowing.  Well those skills have entirely dissipated in the decade that has passed. With me and the two Aussies sisters Beth and Kate taking turns, we somehow manage to row to the middle of the lake and dock at the tiny island. As expected, there’s not much going on, but we walk around the cute church and I bask in the sun whilst eating an icecream, a record first in at least a week now.

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The Johnston sisters  (Kate left, Beth right) making docking row boats look easy as pie

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After a slightly faster return journey, we walk back to the hostel the way we came so I can get ready for the train. I farewell the girls that have been such fabulous companions on and off for the past few weeks, a bit sad knowing that our paths won’t cross again until we are back in Melbourne.

Then I bus to Bled train station, take a train the short distance to Ljubljana then hang around for an hour or so before catching my 4pm train to Vienna. It does pay to ask the hostels advice about such transport as I nearly paid €60 to leave at 9am then after asking Mika’s advice, discovered the €30 special that left at 4pm.

This is my first Euro train and I actually really enjoy it.  Is it bad that one of my first thoughts is that the train is just like the ones on the Harry Potter movies? The aisle is on one side and the cabins that can fit about six people on the other. Unexpectedly I have a cabin to myself for most of the journey, which is great because I pass out across three of the seats for the first few hours anyway. The countryside is very green and quite similar to that of NZ bar the lack of fences that we have to keep all of our sheep in. Once we cross the border, in Austria I see a couple of old castles on a hill which makes it seem even more Harry Pottery.

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Bye Slovenia! Miss you already

My aunt, Melissa, whom I haven’t seen for eight years, picks me up from the train and takes me back to her beautiful apartment in Hernals, district 17 (so we’re in the Hunger Games now?!). I have never been more grateful to have a double bed in a beautiful room, all. To. Myself. Heaven. It’s after 10pm so we have a quick catch up then head to bed.

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