Europe Nature Travelling

Boating In The Rain on Lake Bled

In May I wrote a post outlining my intended travel plans for the summer. Stunning Lake Bled in Slovenia was to be the glittering pinnacle of my trip. It was the place that I was most looking forward to; some relaxing downtime after a busy month of travel.

I had planned to spend a few days reading books while dangling my feet in the warm waters of the lake. But—as we all know—travel rarely goes as planned, and so it was that I only had one day in Bled before flying from Zagreb to London.

I would have to make it a fantastic day.

The train from Zagreb to Bled passed through some amazing scenery the night before we arrived; the countryside turned golden under a blood-red sunset. I couldn’t wait to wake up in Bled to a scene like this.

The clear waters of Lake Bled
The clear waters of Lake Bled

So I was a bit disappointed to wake up to this.

The late morning clouds may have threatened rain, but the colours of the lake were still spectacular.
The late morning clouds may have threatened rain, but the colours of the lake were still spectacular.

Yes, the weather on my one and only day in Lake Bled was truly terrible!

Low-lying clouds shrouded the beautiful mountains from view, thunder rumbled in the distance, and specks of rain pockmarked the surface of the lake.

Clearly, my plans would have to change.

At breakfast I struck up a conversation with two Norwegian guys who were planning to go fishing for the day. They had a car and were driving around Europe for a few weeks. They offered my friend and I a lift into town, but upon seeing the dire state of the weather they postponed their fishing trip until the following day. They decided to hang out with us instead.

We started off by striking a few things off the tourist checklist:

Ride the small train around the lake. Check.

Eat Kremna Rezina (Bled cream cake). Check.

Climb up to the castle. Check.

Complain that the €8 entrance fee is extortionate, refuse to pay it and walk back down grumbling loudly. Check.

Delicious Bled cream cake, every bit as delicious as it looks!
Delicious Bled cream cake, every bit as delicious as it looks!

Walking down from the castle we saw a man hiring out rowboats. We thought it would be fun to row over to the island in the middle of the lake.

Clambering into the boat like excited schoolchildren, we never noticed the ominous black clouds that were rapidly sweeping across the lake. Half way across the lake the Heavens opened and cold swathes of rain lashed the boat.

Just before we got soaked
Just before we got soaked

It was too late to go back.

The island was close so we carried on, our boat bouncing merrily over waters that were getting increasingly choppy.

It was not the way I had imagined enjoying Lake Bled, but it was so much more fun!

Shrieking with laughter (and fear of capsizing) while Jonas rowed as hard as he could, we reached land. Jumping ashore we laughed at how sodden we all looked.

Laughing in the rain
Laughing in the rain

The island in the middle of Lake Bled has a small church with a bell that you can ring yourself. Of course, we spent a long time doing just that and then we climbed the tower—pausing to take some silly self-timer pictures of ourselves.

Self-timer pictures.
Self-timer pictures.

The rain continued to pour heavier than ever, and with little chance of respite our only option was to take the boat back. Only a few other boats bobbed out on the water, while people on the banks—sensibly armed with umbrellas—watched in amusement as we tore across the lake laughing loudly at each other.

Arriving back totally soaked through and bedraggled, the man took pity on us and gave us a discount for the hire. We handed him some soggy notes and gleefully took more pictures of ourselves.

And so ended my day at beautiful Bled.

Soaked through and shivering it was not what I expected, but it was so much better. It just goes to show that bad weather (even on the last day of your trip) does not have to ruin your plans!

Thankfully, the next day was glorious and I just had time to snap a few photos of the lake at its picture-perfect best before I took the bus.

The rain started to clear before the sun went down.
The rain started to clear before the sun went down.
Blue skies, finally!
Blue skies, finally!

Have you ever had to change your plans because of bad weather? Would bad weather prevent you from enjoying a destination? Please share in the comments below!

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  1. Karl says:

    Nice pictures and article. I have a friend that goes to Lake Bled and has been trying to get me to go, think this has made my mind up!

    1. I’m so pleased to hear it! It is very, very pretty there.

  2. says:

    I feel like whenever you travel in Europe there’s always a risk of rain. The most miserable weather I’ve ever experienced was during my two weeks in the Netherlands, Belgium and Luxembourg. It was freezing cold (in May) and rained at least every other day. We had one day in Brugge and it absolutely poured! But that didn’t stop us from seeing and doing as much as we could.
    Heather recently posted..Shanghai Aquarium: An Underwater AdventureMy Profile

    1. Unfortunately, that is true. However, I was blessed this summer with 5 weeks of non-stop sunshine, and only the one day of rain.

      Last year, I went from Stockholm to London – via Copenhagen, Amsterdam and Brussels – and there wasn’t a single break in the rain at any given point! It was pretty dismal, so I spent most of my time drinking hot chocolate in lovely cafes 🙂

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