We met for breakfast exactly when the hotel started serving it, at 7:00 am. Once again, the spread was amazing. Today they had another huge set of items, mostly different from yesterday. I was amazed. This is a good sized hotel, but the breadth of high quality items at the breakfast buffet really impressed me again. If I’m ever in Bled again, I will definitely try to stay at the same hotel, despite the slightly late hour at which they start breakfast. Everything else about the breakfast and the hotel is really great.
Jim was twenty minutes late to breakfast, which is extremely unlike him. When he showed up we teased him about the amount of caffeine he took yesterday. He said he couldn’t get to sleep until well after midnight. He took some caffeine again this morning, but promised not to take any after lunch.
We checked out of the hotel after breakfast and drove up to the trailhead for the Mala Mojstrovka Via Ferrata. Our adventure guides yesterday said it was a great trail, but wondered if we would hit snow. We were a bit concerned about that ourselves and planned to turn around and do a different Via Ferrata if we hit snow on our way there. But there was no snow on the ground until well into the hike, and it wasn’t a big deal at all.
The Julian Alps in Slovenia
The Mala Mojstrovka starts at a mountain pass in the Julian Alps at 1611m (5285 feet). We ascended 721m (2365 feet) up the north slope, which is nearly vertical in many locations, with some fun secured iron cable climbing and a lot of scrambling as well, especially as you approach the summit. We hiked down the south slope, which is nowhere near as steep, but full of debris and without any marked trails until you near the bottom. It was really rough on Charmaine, who doesn’t like heights, but agreed to push through her fears believing the whole route would be secured. It was far from that type of climb, and it was really difficult for her in the unsecured sections. But she pushed through anyway and we did the full loop. Brett and Katie really went out of their way to help her along and I was really grateful to them for that.
The views along the way up were nothing short of spectacular. The weather has really cooperated since we arrived in country and today was the best yet. We had views for miles and miles and miles. We could easily see peaks in Italy and Austria from our ascent. We stopped for lunch not too far from the top and then hit the summit and scrambled down the southern slop to the car where we had a picnic with supplies we picked up at a grocery store that morning after leaving the hotel.
After that second lunch, we hopped in the car and made the long drive to Plitvice, Croatia. We were a little surprised that we had to get our passports scanned and stamped to travel between Slovenia and Croatia, but that’s how it was. Yesterday we crossed from Slovenia into Italy and then from Italy back into Slovenia without so much as a border guard saying anything to us. No passports needed. On previous trips to Europe we have driven country to country without having to show any papers, so it was a bit surprising to learn that some Euro-zone countries still require these things. But we had no issues other than the long winding roads on our way through the mountains to Plitvice. Our hotel seems nice enough, even if it is mostly a bed and breakfast. We headed over to a pizza place nearby for a late dinner after we arrived and it was surprisingly good pizza.