One thing I learned quickly while studying abroad, is that nothing ever goes as planned – which isn’t necessarily a bad thing! With a last minute change in some travel plans, I found myself hoping onto Euroadventure’s trip to Slovenia, only to depart the following day. I’m not going to lie, if it wasn’t for this circumstance who knows if I would even be aware of Slovenia’s existence?
I fell in love instantly at first sight of the snow covered alps and crystal blue lake that had been frozen solid…or so we thought. That’s right, a fellow abroad student fell in the lake within the first hour of being there – I knew it would be a great weekend. This candid moment set the tone for the rest of the amazing weekend. Most of us students were complete strangers as we boarded the bus that weekend, and returned to Florence with best friends for the semester. I mean how could we not have a good time hiking through Lake Bled to a medieval castle, followed by a wine tasting? The view from the castle was absolutely breathtaking. I obviously risked my life standing on the ledge only to capture one of the coolest pictures ever- standing thousands of feet in the air surrounding Lake Bled.
If there is one place on my travel list for the wine lover, Lake Bled has reached the top of it. After completing the hike, we entered the wine cellar to the castle and were greeted by a kind hearted man. He showed us some of the most decadent wines in his precious cellar, like they were his finest works of art. Before I knew it, the bottle of red wine was titled at a forty-five degree angle and a giant sword slid across the class bottle like a razor, popping the top off. I was not expecting this and was in awe by what I had just witnessed. Not only was the ancient beauty of this cellar before us, but also the “old way” of opening and indulging in the finest of wines!
So what else is there to do (besides relaxing and drinking wine) during the snowy winters this country endures? Skiing, snowboarding, and even skydying for the adrenaline seekers. However, the one activity that caught my eye to this destination was the opportunity for dogsledding in the Julian Alps. After snow shoeing for a few miles, we reached the dog track and were surrounded by some of the most beautiful huskies! This is hands down one of the coolest experiences I had abroad – I mean how many people can say they went dog sledding in Slovenia?! Oh and did I mention their famous desert, Kremsnita? The portion was large enough to split, and was almost too picture perfect to even think of placing a fork in it. Flakey crust held by whipped cream with a custard pudding smeared on top, only to be dusted lighted with powdered sugar -talk about a sweet tooth’s dream. If I can give one piece of advice to abroad students, it’s to take advantage of weekend getaways like Lake Bled Slovenia. There’s a good chance you will come back to Europe for the well-known destinations later in life, but some of Europe’s best kept secrets are in arm’s reach while abroad –be original!