On first look out the window it was again an overcast day but atleast not raining. We had breakfast downstairs and it was about the same as the Plitvice breakfast….cereal, bananas, yogurt, bread with meat and cheese.
Our first mission was to begin the 3.5 mile walk around the lake. Our hotel, Hotel Villa Bojana, is actually only about a block from the water so we got off to an easy start. At almost 0900 not many people were up yet so we had it mostly to ourselves and the dog walkers. The lake and island in the middle are just gorgeous and I snapped photos every couple of steps again. We passed the summer residence of Tito and the camp site we would have been staying at if the weather had been warmer and what looked like the finish line for crew races. About ¾ of the way around we stopped at one of the pletna boats and got a ride to the island –only 24 euro. It was a good deal for the rower because he fit us in like sardines. He worked for it though because it was about a 30 minute ride. The sound of his oars on the water was very relaxing.
At the island we made a beeline for the church to ring the bell and make all our wishes come true. We’ll see. We went down the stairs and back up again…I spared Curt carrying me up the steps.
The Slovenes after they get married have to carry their bride up the 94, 98 or 99 (we heard all of them) steps to ensure they are fit for marriage. The island is great for photos again and we were pretty busy our whole 30 minutes here. After that we met up and got our ride back to the start point.
Next mission – Lunch. I read about a cool place,where else but in Rick Steves guide so we headed there. It was called Gostilna Pri Planinca and was a pub downstairs and pizzeria upstairs. You can guess I was going to the pizzeria and we had great margarita pizzas before continuing the day.
Next was up to the castle for….more photos! It was a steep hike up and then another 14 euro to get into the castle. There was more to it than I thought with the courtyard areas overlooking the lake, a small museum, a video, a herb store and a wine shop. This was the best because team Driver got to bottle their own wine. A friendly monk helped us bottle some white wine from the region. I put the wine in the bottle from a big keg and then put the cork in. Curt sealed it in wax and put the label on. We got a certificate and our own bottle of wine for 10 euros. It was great fun.
Down the mountain we come eager for some of the cream cake that is famous here. The Panorama restaurant is the place to go so we had tea and kremna rezina. It a layer of cream and a thick layer of vanilla custard sandwiched between crispy crusts and topped with sugar. Very light and delicious.
We were on the hunt for the beehive panels so we did a little shopping – the honey house didn’t really have one we liked but the store next door had a simple one with two wedding doves so we got that one. I liked it more than the others where a woman was getting cut in half or similar scenarios. The idea behind them is that the Slovenes would paint their panels on the beehives to help the bees find their way home. Now its mostly just a souveneir.
A nap and showers were next on the agenda and we headed back to the town without much of an appetite after our pizzas and cake. We strolled by some restaurants and walked a bit by the lake but still didn’t have much of a desire to eat. We ended up getting some chicken fried rice from the Chinese restaurant on the corner by our hotel.