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On Lake Bled
Donna with tour guide Ben on Lake Bled

Lake Bled church stairway
At the 98 steps leading to the island church in Lake Bled

inside church on Lake Bled island
Brad and Sheila ringing the lucky bell in the island church

In a pletna boat
From left, Kay, Elizabeth, Toni, Roman, Barbara, Arlita and another Barbara returning to the Bled mainland in a pletna

John playing his Irish flute
John performing on his Irish flute at our farewell dinner

Ben getting a thank you gift
Guide Ben gets a small token of grateful appreciation from the group.

Two Nights and Dazed in Slovenia

Oct. 14-16, 2007

Dober dan, Slovenija!

Population: 2 million (similar to Nevada). Area: 7,800 square miles (similar to New Jersey). Capital: Ljubljana. Government: parliamentary democracy. Latitude: 46 degrees north (similar to Bismarck, North Dakota, and Lyon, France). Part of the former Yugoslavia from 1918-1991. Famous for Lipizzaner horses, ruby red Teran wine, mountain sports.

Ljubljana | Bled

The Charming Capital of Ljubljana

"lyoob-lyee-AH-nah": population: 265,000

Flag of Slovenia flying over Ljubljana CastleOct. 14: After a picnic lunch near the Skocjan Caves, we made a short visit to this mini-Prague. There we quickly enjoyed its old-world baroque and colorful art nouveau architecture, view-friendly castle, Town Square fountain, shop-lined Ljubljanica River (also below), and 1901 art nouveau Dragon Bridge (also below).

relaxing in Preseren SquareAt the center of the city's Old Town, we wandered around and through lively Preseren Square (also at right) with a tribute statue to beloved national poet France Preseren, enormous pink 17th century Franciscan Church of St. Mary, colorful nearby Cooperative Bank, and landmark Triple Bridge designed by renowned local architect Joze Pecnik.

the Dragon BridgeGary's Photo Album of Ljubljana

The river flowing through LjubljanaDonna's Photo Album of Ljubljana

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View of the Julian AlpsLake Bled in the Julian Alps

"bled": population, 5,000

The magical island in Lake BledOct. 14-15: In the stunning mountain resort town of Bled, we took a serene morning boat ride (also in column at left) in a distinctive hand-built pletna (also at left) to the tiny fairy-tale island ("Otok") in Lake Bled, wishfully rang a bell in the baroque Church of the Assumption on the island (at left), trekked to Bled's cliff-hanging thousand-year-old medieval castle (also below) for picture-postcard views (also at right), strolled the 3.5-mile promenade around the picturesque lake (also below), and ate delicious Slovenian pastries.

Judy and Jim say goodbye again Too soon, we had our sad but happy farewell dinner (also at left and right), then visited Ljubljana again the next morning, only to fly on to North America

The Island in Lake BledGary's Photo Album of Bled

The castle overlooking Lake BledDonna's Photo Album of Bled

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Nasvidenje, Slovenia. Hvala for a fantastic time!

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┬ęGary and Donna Larson, Seattle, Washington. Updated Feb. 24, 2008.