Bled in Slovenia
Bled is a town in northern Slovenia close to the Austrian border. Beautifully placed below the Julian Alps and at the shores of a small lake Bled has been a popular health and tourist resort for many years.
The town has only 5000 inhabitants, but there are many hotels and pensions. The most expensive is probably Vila Bled, Tito's old summer residence.
In summer the mountains and hills are lush and green, but if you go there in November colours are autumn-golden, and while we were there fallen leaves in parks were collected in huge heaps and removed.
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Bled is a good starting-point for walks and it isn't far to Triglav National Park, where you find the Bohinj Lake. It takes but an hour by bus to Ljubljana, Slovenia's capital, and from there you can go on to e.g. Postojna and visit the impressive caves. If you're interested in horses and riding-schools there are stud farms with the Lippiza-horses, the famous white thoroughbred with black foals.
Bled is peaceful and beautiful, but there's more than just idyllic nature: there's a casino, tennis courts and Slovenia's biggest golf course. There's an island in the lake and a castle on a steep cliff.
We (re-)visited Bled in November 2002. Besides spending a holiday there was a special occasion, namely the chess Olympics with teams from ca. 140 countries. We travelled in good company, 10 chess players, and we spent much of the time following the chess events.
Chess was indeed the major event while we were there, and on the Chess club's homepage are several chess related photos.