Slovenia Part one - A hidden gem


A restaurant at Lake Bled, far too popular for us

How do normal people book a holiday?

1. Visit a travel agent,
2. Bring home some brochures
3. Browse various hotel complexes available
4. Select a nice 4-star all-inclusive hotel close to the beach with a kids’ club. 

How do we book a holiday?

1. Search Google for "Secret Destinations" or "Hidden Gems"
2. Check out the population density of all the destinations
3. Find the least popular months to visit said destinations
4. Look up the cost of living in the chosen location 
5. Review flights on Skyscanner to decide the cheapest days to travel
6. Procrastinate for a month or two in case a better option comes up. 
7. Revisit all sites before deciding
8. Find out the cost has increased due to our inability to make a decision.

 This is how we found ourselves booking a one-week holiday to Slovenia in 2018.

Slovenia

 Slovenia lies in the eastern Alps at the northern end of the Adriatic Sea. It borders Italy, Austria, Hungary, and Croatia and as such, shares a lot of their characteristics. It is most famous for the beautiful Lake Bled, in the Julian Alps but it was the less popular Lake Bohinj that caught our eye.

 Lake Bohinj is the largest permanent lake in Slovenia (apparently the others move about a bit) and is in the Bohinj valley of the Julian Alps.
 Mountains, lakes, valleys...it sounded like a place worth a visit.

 After scouring various websites and talking with a friend, who had visited the year before, we decided upon not one but two locations. The first half of our holiday would be spent in an apartment close to Lake Bohinj and for the second half; we would hire a tent at the Adrenaline Eco place campsite. We would forgo the campervan (see our Iceland trip) and instead, hire a car at the airport.

 Both locations were found and researched via Booking.com but booked directly after emailing the hosts and asking for discounts.

 The remaining months prior to the trip were spent researching more hidden gems and adding as many pins to our Google maps as physically possible.

 The week of the trip finally arrived, and the children were very excited to be going on their second flight this year. We had found EasyJet flights from London Stansted airport and paid a little more to travel during normal waking hours (something that is essential when traveling with children).


M with her kindle close at hand
Arrival

 After arriving at the airport, at midday, we faced a 2-hour delay. This meant our 7pm arrival time was put back to nearer 9pm and we would be driving in the dark. Luckily, after a last-minute change of plan, we had booked a night in a hotel 15mins from the airport, a godsend.

 We landed safely, picked up the hire car (a very pleasant Mercedes A class) and arrived at our hotel for around 10.30pm. By this time, we were all close to murdering one another; the children were tired and hungry, and we were all ready for bed.

Sleep........

......5am
Dong...Dong…what the?
Dong...Dong...Dong...Church bells, really?
Dong...Dong...Dong...will it ever stop?

(Okay it may not have been 5am but it felt like it and it went on for hours..ish)

The view from our hotel room
 It is a little-known fact that in Slovenian churches like to ensure their parishioners are awake bright and early to tend the fields and get ready for the day ahead.


 Tourists just have to follow suit.

 Coming soon, Slovenia Part 2: Lake Bled, Lake Bohinj and the Autotrain to Most na Soči.



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