I can tell the sun is shining before actually opening up the windows of my Slovenian cottage. I am still in bed and I’m taking a moment to enjoy that characteristic warm glow of the first rays of sun filling up the room. Figures, I think to myself, the night I book myself an actual room the weather turns out for the better for once. We arrived in Slovenia after an arduous day yesterday. We initially got send away at the Wurzenpass border but after being extensively questioned,
I managed to enter through the Kwasakentunnel after all. The joy of that accomplishment only lasted for about twelve seconds because as soon as we came out the Slovenian side of the tunnel, we found ourselves amidst absolutely horrific weather. Heavy wind was pulling on my car, extreme rain was clouding my vision and lightning rhytmically lit up the pitchblack skies. Welcome to Slovenia.
But aside from some mud on the streets, there was no evidence of last nights horrors any more. The rain had stopped and Slovenian life was now activily taking place outside my window. Tourists were walking by with their maps, kids were playing on the streets and the locals were making friendly conversation with eachother over the flowery hedges of their gardens. Just a quick shower and we can be on our way too, I tell Nova. I had been looking forward to a nice hot shower for days now. Yes, for days. I will refrain from mentioning the exact amount because I’m not quite ready to lose you just yet. So, for the sake of our relationship, let’s just keep it vague and say I was really looking forward to a shower. After what turned out to be an icecold quick rinse, we walk out the door and head towards lake Bled.
The sun disappeared behind some ominous – looking clouds and for a minute Nova and I discuss whether we should maybe wait it out or risk it. As per usual she agrees with me; we’re here now anyway so let’s make good use of the rare lack of tourists and just go. I usually try to avoid these kind of touristic places, especially when travelling with a dog, but the unpredictable weather seemed to have scared the crowds away this morning.
We marvelled over the picturesque fairytale scenery for about fifteen minutes when the wind picks up and I see lightning followed by a deep, low rumble. Shit. I check my weather app and it misguidedly tells me it’s a dry and partly clouded 23 degrees. Figures, I think to myself again.
I pull out my rainjacket and as soon as I zip it up all hell breaks loose. The sky breaks open and unleashes horrendous rainfall. Forked lightning crackles trough the sky and I can feel the ground beneath my feet tremble when the booming thunder follows. It’s close.
I try to remember what to do when you are caught by a thunderstorm in open terrain. I always forget whether it was to hide under a tree or absolutely not. I look around and decide to make a run for the trees anyway. Even though they are higher up in the mountains, it’s probably better than staying in the open. We crawl up under a tree and decide to wait it out. Maybe it’ll pass soon, I hopefully tell Nova.
If anything it’s getting worse. The trails are slowly turning into waterfalls and the thunder echoes loudly between the surrounding mountains of the valley. I pull out my phone to look at the forecast. Ten minutes ago it said it was going to be a lovely 23 degrees and now it shows pitchblack clouds with thunderbolds for the rest of the day. You are absolutely useless, I rant to the weather app. Nova is calmly lying under a tree and decides to resume her daynap. The world could catch on fire and you would nap right through it, I tell her.
I try to do a vlog, misery sells after all, but it’s raining so hard that the rain keeps clouding the camera. After 45 minutes my knees begin to hurt and I’m kinda bored. It was exciting for a good 20 minutes but now my mind begins to wander to everywhere else I’d rather be than here. If I should believe my phone, it might never stop raining so we could wait under this very tree till the end of time. So I decide to continue.
I stretch my painfull knees and try to decide on which way to go. I could go straight back to the car, we weren’t that far into the trail yet, but I know that I will not come back to touristic Bled anytime soon. So if I want to see the iconic island with the fairytale church on it, it’s kinda now or never. Besides, we’re soaked now anyway so it really doesn’t matter anymore at this point. Let’s go find ourselves a fairytale.
The trails have now turned into small rivers so we wade through the mud and slide down the hills to find ourselves some asphalt again. We have now lost all cover from the foliage so the rain is slamming in our faces. Seven kilometers to go. We walk alongside the banks of the lake and even though I’m sure it’s beautiful and magical – I’ve seen the idyllic brochures – I really can’t see it right now. The lake is not cristal blue but more of a depressing shade of grey and the supossedly majestic mountains have completely dissapeared in the fog.
And then of all of a sudden it just stops; the brightest light illuminats when the clouds break open and the water reveals its deep turqoise color. The drops on the trees seem to radiate, like nature’s chandeliers. The dark clouds hover over the mountains, creating a magnificent backdrop to this beautiful display.
Looking at my watch I realise we have to slowly head back to the car though, our parkingticket is about to expire and I don’t feel like getting another fine again. We wander on and marvel over the color of the water, play around with the tripod for a while and soak up the sun. Three minutes after my ticket expired, we arrive back at the car. No fine. Maybe there is some magic to this place after all.