By Bhavita Modi
When we started our half an hour drive from Bled to Lake Bohinj, all I heard from the locals was that Lake Bohinj or Bohinjsko Jezero is the largest glacial lake of Slovenia and the area surrounding it offered myriad activities.
After relishing the picturesque beauty of Lake Bled which is barely 28 km away, I wasn’t expecting much change in the landscape. However, my main reason of excitement was staying at one of the most secluded apartment of our Austria- Slovenia tour, a beautiful chalet perched in the lap of nature. Thus, when we reached the town of Ribcev Laz, I was taken aback by the tranquil visuals that the mighty Lake Bohinj offered. While Bled has a touristy feel to it, Bohinj is for purists who would like to explore the pristine and yet-virgin lake and Bohinj valley.
Bohinj lake can be explored by the two tourist boats – Bohinj or Zlatorog which are operational from April to October. The conductor-cum- guide onboard shares amusing stories of the worthwhile natural attractions that surround the lake. It was from him that I got to know about how Bohinj got its name – it is believed that when God was distributing a land to different groups of people, a bunch of them were patiently standing in one corner. When God had distributed all the land he realised that this bunch was yet to be given a land to live, so he awarded them for their patience with the most beautiful piece of land and thus, it was named Bohinj – a derivative of “Boh” which means God in Slovenia. After exploring the place for 2 days, I couldn’t agree more for the apt name.
We stayed at a village called Ukanc (meaning –end :- as people thought that it is where the World ends) surrounded by the mountain range of Triglav National Park and river flowing so close by that you can hear the gushing water in your rooms. On our first day we explored the lake by the tourist boat and later, hiked through roughly carved out 600 steps to reach Savica Waterfall.
Savica Waterfall – The source of life, is the most visited waterfall in Slovenia and is a two-part waterfall in the form of Letter ‘A’. It lies at the heart of Triglav National Park and has been a source of inspiration to the poets of Slovenia. Although, the steps are steep for unfit people like me, but all the effort is well rewarded once you reach the waterfall described as “ in its wrath its foam flies to the skies” by France Preseren in “Baptism on the Savica”.
The mighty mountains of Triglav – On our 2nd day, I indulged in some adrenaline rushing activities like zip-lining at Vogel (accessed by cable car that operates daily every half an hour) and Paragliding at Vogar (lesser altitude compared to Vogel but rainy day hampered my plans to do it from Vogel, nonetheless, the Bird’s eye view of Lake Bohinj compensated the change of plans). Vogel offers panoramic views to the National Park and Lake and also a perfect photo-op. Though it is popular as ski destination through December –May, it is worth your time in summers too for the views.
For the more adventurous – you can walk or cycle around the lake or try- stand up paddle boat to spend hours exploring the lake or enjoy Kayaking, Canyoning or rafting in the crystal clear waters of River Savica or hike through any of the 15 trails of Triglav National Park.
Alpinsport at the centre of Ribcev Laz is the local activity centre and has the best professionals to guide you to customize an action packed day.
The seclusion, greenery, natural charm and peace that Bohinj offers will surely take me back there again with more time in hand, though only after being physically fit to explore it thoroughly J.