Hello readers! While I am headed home over the holidays, I have fellow wanderlusts taking over the blog to share their favourite destinations around the globe. Please give Nam Cheah a warm welcome!
The world is bigger than we could ever possibly imagine, and it’s scary to think we will never even scratch the surface in this lifetime. Even if we do travel to the same places, we see the world through different eyes, creating a unique experience. As I dive head first into travel, I am inspired by each of your adventures and am starting Sonderlust Secrets as a series showcasing this. Interested in being featured?A hidden gem in Europe, Slovenia is only just entering the big leagues of top countries people visit in Europe. It wasn’t a country that was high on my radar at all saved for the infamous Lake Bled, but by chance – I ended up spending a week in this country that I knew very little about and ended up falling in love with it. If I were to put my finger on what exactly it is that had me so enticed about this place, I can just about summarize it into five reasons
1. The lakes
Yes, I am talking about Lake Bled, but no, it’s not the only lake I am talking about. There are actually 321 bodies of water that can be classified as a lake, but I have only visited the glacial lakes of Bled and Bohinj and it was more than enough to have me in love in no time.Even though I was well aware of the fairytale like quality of Lake Bled, I had always assumed the photos I see online are Photoshoped, and that the real lake would be pretty but not overly so. But I was wrong. Lake Bled was every bit, if not even more, beautiful than I gave the photos credits for – even in the rain.
The island in the middle is the soul of the entire lake, and you can rent a boat or hop on a manned one to visit this beauty.
Lake Bohinj is a mere 5 km from Bled, and the largest permanent lake in Slovenia. With its ice cold water that sits smooth like a mirror, kayaking or canoeing there is a dream. Not to mention there are many little hidden patches of sandy shore for you to rest or take a swim. You can best view this gorgeous lake by heading up the cable car to the Vogel Skiing center.
2. The mountains and waterfalls
The Triglav National Park is the only national park in Slovenia, occupying the northwestern corner of the country with the Julian Alps and surrounding mountains and valleys. I have only visited the southeastern part of the national park, climbing up to Mount Vogel from the ski resort which offers a spectacular view of the Julian Alps as well as the surrounding regions and Alpine floral and fauna. The mountains made for a climb, but it is well worth the energy to get around the beautiful landscape and view.With all these mountains acting as a source of water, beautiful waterfalls formed all over the region that would make your heart skip a beat. For example the Mostrica Gorge and Savica Slap are my favourites. I will let the photos do them justices.
3. The castles
Like many other European countries, there is no shortage of castles in Slovenia. The word for castle in Slovenia is grad, and the two that I visited were the Ljubljana Castle and Lake Bled Castle. Often situated at strategic or high places that overlook the region, these castles in particular offer a spectacular view like no other. Bled Castle also offers an excellent exhibition on its history for any who are interested.
Other famous castles in Slovenia include the Predjama Castle which is built in a cave, and many others that have since become hotel or museums.
4. The activities
From sightseeing to sampling the best dishes, from hiking to skiing, from kayaking to paddle boarding and from canyoning to Paragliding, there’s no ends of what you can do in Slovenia. I had hiked, canyoned, biked, swum and kayaked on the lakes and mountains of Slovenia and strolled along many-a-famous landmarks – it was almost like if I wanted to do something, I could. I could even have gone horseback riding (which I forego and did canyoning instead!) if I wanted to.
5. The free WiFi
Okay, this one might seem a bit off-topic, but sometimes having WiFi to connect with your friends and family is a big part of your holiday to. For some reason that I don’t know, there was free WiFi everywhere I went in Slovenia. First it was this network offering it in Ljubljana and Bled, then around the Bohinj region almost every town I visited offers their own WiFi. Thanks to that, I was always able to look up things to do and send photos to my friends and family.Nam Cheah is a third culture millennial who spent half her life in Hong Kong and the other half in UK. Planning to make the most out of life, she documents her passion to laugh, travel and eat on her suitably named blog: Laugh, Travel, Eat. When she’s not doing any of that, she’s either catching up on TV while online shopping or writing her novels.