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Slovenia, The Tour Begins!

Day of Recovery

The day after my hellacious journey to get here my incredible friend, Kaja, had the surperb idea of using our first day of exploring the spectacular countryside at the SPA!!! Oh heaven!! But first the berry harvest…

Mulberries, Strawberries, cherries oh my!!!

Mulberries, Strawberries, cherries oh my!!!


The view from Kaja's balcony with harvest

The view from Kaja’s balcony with harvest

An entire mid-morning to afternoon of relaxing, dip in the pool, more relaxing, sit in the hot tub, pizza, more relaxing. I almost felt human by the time we got home. Tomorrow is the start of some serious adventure…

Off To The Lakes

GoPro selfie, Kaja and I.

GoPro selfie, Kaja and I.

Setting off early we headed about 2 hours away to Lake Bled, a famous lake and tourist attraction. I had heard great things about Lake Bled from other visitors and from Slovenians, it was the place they all said to visit.

Castle at Lake Bled

Castle at Lake Bled

Well, it was beautiful, but so touristy, the water didn’t look very clean and there was no real place you could swim.

We had hoped to get one of the little boats over to the island, the only island in all of Slovenia.

Lake Bled Island

Lake Bled Island

When we first asked the guy he said he could not take only two people, so we waited around about 15min until four showed up, that’s when he expanded his earlier statement telling the family of four that he needed 12 people before it would row to the island. That kind of pissed us off, because instead of being clear with us he just dismissed us and made a rude comment to his colleague as we walked away.

The boats to the island

The boats to the island

Put us off the boats and Lake Bled completely… well ok I would come back for the local delicacy, a custard cake with cream and flaky pastry called kremšnita!

mmmm yummy.

mmmm yummy.

This Is More Like It

And then we arrived at Bohinj Lake…

Lake Bohinj.

Lake Bohinj.

It was everything I had imagined Lake Bled to be, stunning scenery, pebble beaches, water crystal clear and beautiful shades of blue and green. I just had to stop a moment and take it all in..

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We found a little spot to settle in and watched the ducks forage and the trout come right up to the shallows.

ducks.

ducks.


After a short nap to work off the jetlag, I decided it was time for a dip. The water was refreshing to say the least, and absolutely perfect, the little trout would come around your feet looking for food that might have been stirred up by your movement. I could have stayed there all day, heck for a few days!
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But all too soon it was time to explore our next destination, the falls.

Savica Waterfall

You have to walk up 500 steps to get to the waterfall, which in the heat made a rather exhausting climb. But it was well worth it, just stunning. The walk is through the forest with views and rest stops along the way.

Kaja on step number 422

Kaja on step number 422


The View

The View

Finally you reach the top and see the waterfall running straight out of the rocks, no wonder it is called the Source of Life. All you can do is take photos and stare in wonder… as you get your breath back!

Savica Waterfall

Savica Waterfall

Then about face and head back through the forest, much easier and faster going down.

A few facts:
Height above sea level – at base 894meters / 2933feet
Two part waterfall in the shape of the letter A
Height of large waterfall – 78meters / 255feet
Height of small waterfall – 25meters / 82feet
Capacity – permanent / rarely runs dry

I march to drink the Savica
The cold source of enchanting songs
To toast the master of songsters
May I enjoy in this drink!

~ Valentin Vodnik (Slovenian poet/journalist/teacher/translator and priest)

Up Up and Away

Finally we set off to take the cable car up Vogel, a ride up 1535meters / 5036feet. Absolutely jaw-droppingly sensational and slightly terrifying at the same time.

View from Vogel

View from Vogel

We didn’t stay up as long as we planned as the little restaurant at the top was only serving about 3 items on the menu, so after a couple of pics we headed back down.

views

views


Friends at the top!

Friends at the top!


Traditional

Along the way home we stopped at a place serving traditional food, Kaja had the mushroom soup, gobova juha, which I declined due to the heat but which was incredibly delicious. I opted for the carnivorous version of 2 Slovenian sausages, kranjska klobasa (a National Trademark – no other countries can use another recipe and call the product by this name, only the Slovenian recipe is the true one), some sauerkraut, which was very sauer and a side of mash potatoes mixed with red beans. All very… heavy, perfect for a cool winter’s eve, but in the middle of summer at 5pm, shoo!

Home and sleep in preparation for adventure DAY 2!!!

 
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Posted by on June 27, 2015 in Slovenia, Travel

 

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Yeah Mon’! Jamaican Bobsled Team!

Working as a Social Hostess on my cruise ship means I get to go along on excursions in most ports. There is no certainty to which excursion you will be sent on and while we are often sent on the…less exciting ones… there are times when we get a chance to experience some heart stopping adrenalin rushing intense moments of terror mixed with sheer joy… Bobsledding in Jamaica was one of these for me.

The Jamaican Bobsled Team
We only get our schedules the night before around 10pm, so it is always a surprise as to if and which excursion we might go on. We are allowed to request/suggest ones we would enjoy but 9 times out of 10 it is something out of left field.

When I saw Jamaican Bobsled Adventure I was dumbstruck (a rare occurrence). I am not a fan of speed, I have never been on a roller coaster (unless you count the pirate ship and even that turns me to jello) and the only thing I could think of was the movie Cool Runnings. 

But, I try to do what I am told and figured may as well give it a go, and what a go it was. It takes about an hour drive north from the Falmouth Cruise Ship terminal to reach Mystic Mountian, Ocho Rios. Along the drive you are never sure what you may see.

Such as the "Future" walmart...

Such as the “Future” walmart…

Once there we had a short wait in line before taking a leisurely cable car ride through the lush jungle up to the top of the bobsled ride.
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view of Montego bay and the cruise ships anchored there

view of Montego bay and the cruise ships anchored there

We Be BOBSLEDDING!!!

Just to give you an idea of how this works, these are 1 person sleds set on rails through the jungle. Usually the driver goes alone, but in cases of kids or those struck with terror, you can hook 2 sleds together. The entire ride is gravity fed, but there are levers to control your speed. However, if you control your speed too much then you will get stuck on the rails, causing the staff to come fetch you and you looking embarrassed once fetched. We waited in line for over an hour as 2 people, from a different cruise line, breaked too much and got stuck. As the manager went to go get yet another victim of fear, he mumbled something along the lines of “If anyone else breaks… I swear….”. I feared that I may become the next victim of his wrath. One of my amazing guests, a 22 yr old French Canadian lad offered to let me hook up to his bobsled and he would do the driving. We decided this was best….
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As we turned the first corner I started to pray…
As I mentioned the ride is completely gravity fed, so there is no steering, you just have to hope the sled stays on the rails. You whip down the hill and round the corners, over and under. As you whipe round the corners it felt as if my sled was going to keep going while my perfectly calm and capable drivers’ would continue on the rails. To truly understand the adrenalin rush here is a little video to give you a taste (’cause, yes, my cohort was not only a capable driver who refused to use any breaks, but apparently he could video it at the same time)…

BOBSLED VIDEO

Needless to say the mandatory photo that is taken shows my cohort screaming with glee, arms in the air. As for me all you see if the hunched over back of someone screaming in terror.

Even though I was terrified and I am fairly certain my life flashed before my eyes on more than one turn…

IT WAS ONE OF THE BEST EXPERIENCES OF MY LIFE

…the gentle cable car ride down was most likely my favorite

 
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Posted by on June 25, 2014 in Cruise, Cruise Ship, Uncategorized

 

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