Day 20-21

Day 20 – Lake Bled

So, the earliest bus we could catch was 9:30. Not too bad! It started raining en route, but it was quite light so we weren’t too worried. We got there close to 11:00, due to some traffic, and we decided to stop for a cappuccino so I could change out of my shorts into pants. By this point, it was much cooler and raining. We were glad to have brought jackets and umbrellas, and for me – longer pants. This was the view from the cafe!

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The rest of the day was truly unreal. We walked all the way around the lake, and just could not stop taking photos. It felt like we were in a fairytale… each view seemed more perfect than the last.

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Bartley made us laugh – he wanted to enjoy the view as well!

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We stopped at a pretty crappy, over-priced place for food, but we needed food, and Bart needed rest, so it was worth it. Afterward, we started our trek up to Bled Castle, but thankfully an Australian couple informed us it would be 12 Euro to actually go behind the castle walls and up the tower to see the view. After all the beauty we’d taken in, we didn’t think we needed to spend the extra money, hike the extra hike, and take the extra time… considering we still needed to take the hour-long bus back to Ljubljana to explore more there.

Once back at the apartment, we showered and RESTED. We had taken 18,000 steps… much more for little Bartleboo. We posted some of our photos to various social media, The Boyfriend took a nap, and I drank wine on the balcony with Bart.

A little after 9:00, we headed back to Luda for more of that incredible dessert, and the mysterious Orange Wine. Due to being out of ice cream, they had to make the Nutella dessert a bit differently, and for that it was on the house – lucky us! From there, we just went to the nearest bar, had a quick drink, and went home to collapse. Our plan was to hike up to Ljubljana Castle in the morning, since our train back to Budapest wouldn’t depart until 10:50.

Day 21 – Ljubljana

We woke up at 8:30, packed super fast, and headed to Ljubljana Castle. It was good to get some exercise before our 11 hours of travel back to Budapest.

After the castle, we headed to the train station, stopping for some to-go breakfast along the way. The rest of the day was four train transfers, 11 hours of travel, but overall, very smooth.

Day 21 addendum

Okay, so after the 11 hours of travel, we actually met up with my friend Kasey. I think I said in a previous post that she would be staying in our apartment while we were in Vienna and Ljubljana. It worked out perfectly, because when she came back to let us in the apartment, The Boyfriend and I were starving, and she really wanted to finish watching the game,  (I think this was Croatia v. Russia) so we agreed to meet up after.

Around 10 PM, she came back to the apartment, and we decided to go out for a drink, even though we were both really tired. I’m so happy we did! We went to Kőleves (the same place where the choir sang), but it was a different story on a Saturday night! Wow, was that place packed. In fact, all of the streets throughout the Jewish quarter were basically pedestrian zones at this point.

We each had a shot of palinka, and a tall glass of wine. I normally avoid palinka at all costs, but I had to help Kasey partake in her first try! It was really good to get to know Kasey better. We worked together the last few years, but I don’t actually know her super well, so there was lots to talk about. Also, no offense to The Boyfriend, but it was really good to talk to someone else for a change! 😉

We headed back towards my apartment, hoping to grab one more drink at Kiadó Kocsma, but surprisingly, it was already shutting down! We decided to take advantage of one of the special freedoms we have while here in Hungary: grabbing beer from a 24 hour shop, and drinking in the street. We found a bench, and enjoyed hanging out until 2 or 3 in the morning. The people-watching was incredibly entertaining, and having some overdue girl time was super fun.

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Day 19

Ljubljana

Vienna to Ljubljana is pretty far, 238 miles. (I can’t remember why we decided to do them in one trip…) BUT, it was four train rides through some of the most beautiful landscapes I’ve ever seen!

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This trip was much smoother than from Budapest to Vienna, except that we missed our last train. We only had 5 minutes, and we went to the correct train, but the wrong direction. We actually got ON the train, but thankfully, I asked the man in the next carriage if we were on the right train and he confirmed that we were NOT. So, we hurried off the train, but by the time we got to the correct platform, it was long gone. It wasn’t a huge deal though, another one came 30 minutes later, we had a couple from South Africa to keep us company, and oh yeah… this was our view!

IMG_9595When we got to Ljubljana around 4:30 PM, it was really hard not to stop and take pictures! But we needed to get to the apartment, as our host was waiting for us and we were late.

We asked our host what she recommended for dinner, and she recommended Luda, a restaurant where you can get a four course tasting menu for $35 Euro. We knew this would be a splurge, and we were hungry… so we went for it. We are SO glad we did! In addition to the four courses, we also got bread with homemade butter, and a pre-appetizer I suppose? of roasted tomatoes, yogurt, and I don’t know what other deliciousness. Oh, and we got to experience Orange Wine for the first time. It’s like white wine, but with even more crisp flavor – a perfect summer drink.

For the rest of the evening, we just sort of walked around, amazed at how lively the city was for a Thursday night. We were pretty flabbergasted. We enjoyed our walk, and wound up at a bar next to our apartment for a quick glass of wine and a beer. Then it was back to the apartment for an early-ish night, since we wanted to get to Lake Bled as early as possible in the morning, due to expected rain in the afternoon.

We didn’t get going as early as we’d hoped, because when we got back to the apartment, a lovely summer thunder and lighting storm had started. We just wanted to sit on the balcony and enjoy the storm. We propped Bartley up on a pillow on the patio table (what a prince!) and drank wine (courtesy for our awesome host) and took in the rain and lightning. It was really quite magical.