To Ribčev Laz - Skipping About the Continent - CycleBlaze

June 15, 2022

To Ribčev Laz

Today was a short cycling day, only seventeen miles to Ribčev Laz, a small settlement at the eastern end of Lake Bohinj. It was a beautiful morning with clear skies and light winds so I decided to go full-tilt tourist mode and take a pletna ride to Bled Island. I packed everything up and stowed my gear with Vivien George and headed down to the nearest pletna dock. A number of empty boats were waiting, but “my” boat, the Mirjam, was soon filled with passengers and we were off, powered by a strapping lad in a bright green shirt and jaunty hat.

The lake was calm and in addition to nice views of Bled Castle and Bled Island there was high entertainment in watching folks enjoying, or trying to enjoy, the various water sports on offer. The number of people who rent paddleboards or rowboats without a clue as to how to use them is somewhat astonishing. I struck up a conversation with a young family from New York City, traveling with their two young daughters aged 3 and 3 months – kudos to them.

 We had about an hour to explore Bled Island, which includes the Church of the Mother of God on the Lake as well as eateries and souvenir shops. I followed a small trail around the island to the north side, witnessing several schools of fish – including some that appeared to be the size of seals. I climbed the legendary 99 stone steps up to the Church of the Mother of God and, since I was in full tourist mode, paid the entry fee to climb the clock tower. On reaching the top, I discovered only small caged windows that offered no good view – unless you’re into the workings of big clocks I advise you to skip the tower. The church itself was more interesting, with frescoes dating to the 15th century and an ornate alter with gold carvings from 1747. A long rope hangs from on high - if pulled, the “wishing bell” will toll and your wish granted – one of the many legends of Bled Island.

Pletna boats - my final tourist indulgence in Lake Bled
Heart 3 Comment 0
I'll be taking Mirjam over to Bled Island and back
Heart 3 Comment 0
Our captain and fellow passengers
Heart 2 Comment 0
There were many boats and paddleboards on the lake this morning. Unlike most paddleboarders I saw, this woman clearly knows what she's doing. Even the dog is chill
Heart 2 Comment 0
Parasailing is also a popular activity in and around Lake Bled
Heart 1 Comment 0
Not sure what kind of "fish" these are, but they were about the size of seals
Heart 3 Comment 2
Keith AdamsCatfish, perhaps?

https://finestayslovenia.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/11/lake-bled-fishing-637x478.jpg
Reply to this comment
1 month ago
Susan CarpenterWell done Keith - I think you solved the mystery. Thanks
Reply to this comment
1 month ago
The Church of the Mother of God on the Lake, from the ground up
Heart 0 Comment 0
Part of the clock mechanics in Church of the Mother of God on the Lake clock tower
Heart 2 Comment 0
Remnant of frescoes from the 15th century in the Church of the Mother of God on the Lake
Heart 1 Comment 0
More frescoes
Heart 2 Comment 0
A section of the gold alter in the Church of the Mother of God on the Lake.
Heart 1 Comment 0
A look down the legendary 99 steps of Bled Island. There is a tradition that the groom must carry his bride up all 99 steps if the couple wants to get married in the Church of the Mother of God on the Lake.
Heart 0 Comment 1
Mike AylingA petite bride would be an advantage!
Reply to this comment
1 month ago
Does not appear to be sea-worthy
Heart 0 Comment 0
Heart 1 Comment 0

I left Lake Bled about 12:30 on highway 209, a two-lane road with a hint of a shoulder that is the direct route to Ribčev Laz and Lake Bohinj. A bike path appeared after about two miles and took me along back roads through the small settlements of Bitnje. I met Michael just as the bike path ended, a Kiwi currently living in England who was headed to Cardiff. It was his first day on tour and his legs were feeling it - he was eager to get off the highway and reach his friends in Lake Bled. I find solo riders are often willing conversationalists and we had a nice chat before heading in opposite directions. I continued on small roads through the Bohinjska Bela and Obrne before finding myself once again on highway 209, where traffic was steady but respectful of the many cyclists I saw along the way.

Michael, hoping day one of his tour would soon reach it's finale
Heart 2 Comment 0
In Bitnje
Heart 1 Comment 0
Highway 209, on the way to Lake Bohinj
Heart 0 Comment 0
Church of the Assumption of Mary, outside Bohinjska Bistrica
Heart 3 Comment 0

The Bohinjska kolesarska pot is a dedicated bike path between Bohinjska Bistrica and Lake Bohinj, and although I missed the turn-off when passing through Bohinjska Bistrica, I managed to find a spur that took me across the Sava Bohinjka River and into Brod, a pass-through settlement along the bike path. A pretty fancy wooden bridge took me back over the Sava Bohinjka River, just a bit upstream from my hotel. I met Juergen as I was crossing the bridge, a 50 yr old Belgian who was on the final day of a ten-day bikepacking tour around Slovenia with three other guys. They were all younger and more interested in pounding out the miles – 85 miles was their goal today, including the Vršič Pass. Juergen admitted he was getting older and had opted for on a shorter and a visit to the Savica Waterfall.

Crossing the Sava Bohinjka River
Heart 3 Comment 0
A father and son kayaking the Sava Bohinjka River
Heart 3 Comment 0
Approaching Brod on the Bohinjska kolesarska pot
Heart 4 Comment 0
On the Bohinjska kolesarska pot
Heart 3 Comment 0
Juergen, a happy Belgian cyclist
Heart 5 Comment 0

I’m staying two nights at a small hotel/restaurant just outside of Ribčev Laz. I arrived just past two and spent the afternoon intermittently napping and journaling. Dinner was at on the terrace of the hotel restaurant – a starter of cold-smoked trout with fig cream and trout caviar and a main of pasta with smoked trout. An amazing meal to cap another wonderful day in the Julian Alps.

View at dinner
Heart 3 Comment 0
Heart 0 Comment 0

Today's ride: 17 miles (27 km)
Total: 1,306 miles (2,102 km)

Rate this entry's writing Heart 10
Comment on this entry Comment 1
Rachael AndersonSounds like a wonderful day.
Reply to this comment
1 month ago