Castles in Water

Bled. What praise could I possibly give this city that hasn't already been plastered on virtually every travel blog and magazine since tourism was invented? 

We got here around 8pm. It was too dark to see anything and we went straight to the hostel as our feet were killing us from wandering Ljubljana the day before. I had high expectations that seemed impossible to meet. After years of reading about this place I was convinced it just couldn't live up to the almost mythical name it had constructed. 

But when I woke the next morning and walked out to my porch I stood in wordless awe. 

A seething excitement came over me. I had to get closer, had to see every angle and inch of this timeless beauty. We threw some clothes and ran out the door at full pace.

Tamara and I had been feeling a bit down lately. In Budapest we felt uninspired and worn out from everything. The city was huge and draining and the people in our hostel made it hard to sleep much at all. Bled breathed life into us from the first second we laid eyes. The way the castles surround you with lush forestry and blue waters creates an ideal combination of senses that erase negativity and replaces it with wonder. A lust for creation, and exploration that we hadn't had in months. An emotional medicine of sorts. 

The day starts with walking as it usually does. We follow a path that encircles the lake completely. After walking a bit we're a tad disappointed to see that most all of Bled outside of our hostel area is completely filled with resorts and villas. Wealthy elderly tourists flocking to the water with selfie sticks and cargo shorts. The magic fades for a moment but one look at the pure beauty around us brings it back in folds. For once, even masses of tourists can't manage to sour the taste of something this good. 

We break off onto a path deep into the wooded outskirts surrounding the city. Eventually we find a massive hill that Tamara tells me is usually used for skiing in the winter months. For now in the warmth it served as an almost empty viewpoint. An older man was selling wine by the glass, terrible terrible wine but the view helped it go down smoother. We sat and watched for a few hours soaking in the view as much as we could. I couldn't stop watching her though. She somehow made sitting on a small fence look elegant and natural. 


Walking the city we found a pizza place looking over the castle. It was surprisingly good, and also good for people watching. There was a couple with children eating next to us. Each person had a pizza to themselves including their 3 year old son. Tamara and I mused over how nice it would be to have enough money to just buy pizzas en mass like that as we sat there sharing a small pizza to fit our budget. It's weird how money can cause you to notice  small things you'd otherwise completely ignore. 

After pizza we were ready to do what we came here for. There was a mountain we had heard of in a casual conversation with someone at the hostel. A mountain that overlooked the entire city and was where most photographers grab the infamous 'view from above' shot I was craving so much. The hike starts off easy enough but as we go on the ascent became more and more steep forcing breath after breath to become more and more labored. I was more out of shaped than I remembered

But when we go to the top I had forgotten all about the sweat forming a pool on my back

We sit and stare and breath and stare some more. No words are really exchanged at all. I can feel her meditating on what we were seeing, she was silent and got that familiar glassy look in her eyes she gets when she's blocking out everything and soaking the moment without distraction. I've seen this look many times in our time together. It always helps remind me to forget and be. Right then right there nowhere else. So I was.