Archive of ‘Hiking’ category

Lake Bled & the Julian Alps

2014-07-19 03.03.57This past weekend, it was off to Slovenia for me! Since it’s close enough to Villach, I took two day trips, the first to Lake Bled in the Julian Alps, and the second to Ljubljana, the capital of Slovenia.

Lake Bled was, well, I think you can tell: serene and gorgeous. The photo above is taken from the medieval castle at Lake Bled, which is purportedly the oldest in Slovenia. I climbed up, then walked all around the lake, resting for extended periods of time to read and dip my legs in the water. It was at least 90°F both Saturday and Sunday, so a lot of rest time was necessary.

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Relaxing at my special spot

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Paradise serene: poem about Lake Bled





In the photos you can see an island in the lake, which has a church with many steps leading up to it. A wedding party rode pletnas to the island, and the groom carried the bride up all the steps as everyone cheered.

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Pletna on Lake Bled

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Taking in the castle views

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A dessert specialty at Lake Bled is the kremna rezina, or cream cake. I made my final stop at Lake Bled at the Park Hotel, where they first served the kremna rezinas and keep the original recipe. You also get to eat it outside looking right over the lake. I liked its crispy flakiness both on top and on the bottom of the cream layers.

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Kremna rezina!

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Hydrangeas at the lake

Rainy Day Hike

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Yesterday I ventured out for some more hiking, this time en route to Dobratsch, the highest peak visible from central Villach. That’s misleading – I didn’t make it all the way up, but did a solid 4 hours of steep-slope wandering, probably making it to about 1,000 meters. For comparison, the Alpine slopes we hiked in Tarvisio were about 2,500 meters. Dozens of trails snake through these mountains, and I did a lot of contemplation at each intersection to figure out how to proceed! Pretty much every trail is marked with the Austrian flag.

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I’ve been pretty lucky so far with no pervasive buggies, but there were definitely some persistent mosquitoes on this rainy Sunday morning/afternoon. Did you know they can bite you through yoga pants? The rain was lukewarm and calming, and I was mostly protected by canopy. Tall pine trees were all about, making for soft ground and lovely scents.

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Quiet trail

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Lookout point

Perchance You Were Wondering…

…where does that Quelle Aventure cover photo come from?

These photos were taken during a hike with my advisors in the Alps of Tarvisio, Italy. Tarvisio is part of the province of Udine and within the Friuli-Venezia Giulia region in Italy. We took a car ride from Villach (about 1 hour) to our approximately 6-hour hike, which looked like this:

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At the base of the snowy mountains were fields of beautiful blooming wildflowers, naturally conjuring up all of the Sound of Music scenes and giddy joy.

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Starting the ascent

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Fields of yellow, white, and purple



There were several snowbanks to cross (very carefully) as we ascended the mountain, and when we got high enough into their habitat, a herd of mountain goats began to follow us!

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Hello, new friend








We didn’t get to reach the very top of this mountain due to remnants of the unusually snowy winter, but we did get close. After our descent, we consumed fresh Italian pasta, beer, and Montasio cheese made on the premises at the mountain hut! I can’t wait to do some more hiking around these gorgeous mountains.

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Happy hiker (look carefully for friends!)

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Cutie pie






And in case you were ruminating, what does Quelle Aventure mean? Or, how do you pronounce it?
Quelle Aventure = French for “what an adventure!”
Quelle Aventure = KELL AHH-VAHN-TOOR

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And my favorite

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