Bled Castle … Bled, Slovenia

Weekly Photo Challenge: On Top


How lovely! This challenge allows me to expand upon my last post A Moment in Bled, Slovenia

On Top II

On a rocky precipice 130m above glacial Lake Bled sits Bled Castle ~ a mighty medieval stronghold.

On Top

The castle was first mentioned in a charter dating back to 1011 AD, and was referred to as castellum Veldes (the castle on the cliff). It was built with an upper and lower courtyard and is the oldest such structure in Slovenia.

View from on top

The reason for its location is obvious.

View from on top II

From atop the cliff you can keep a watch for the enemy, all while enjoying a cup of tea and taking in the glorious scenery.

Thanks for visiting,

Dorothy 🙂


©Dorothy Chiotti, Aimwell CreativeWorks 2014

Shout Outs

 Vero Supertramp

Northumbrian Light

Photographs by James Collett

Travel Monkey

Santiago the Shepherd






A Moment in Bled, Slovenia

Bled, Slovenia


Bordering Italy to the west, Austria to the north, Croatia to the south and south east and Hungary to the northeast, Slovenia is a lovely jewel in the crown of south central Europe and full of delightful surprises.

One such surprise is the beautiful resort town of Bled (pronounced “Blet”) nestled in the Alpine region of the northwest.

This view of Bled Castle was taken from a row boat while crossing the pristine waters of Lake Bled.

Motorized boats are not allowed on the lake.

The stillness of the lake makes it a perfect training ground for Olympic rowing, and Bled has hosted the World Rowing Championships several times.

It’s worth a visit.

Thanks for stopping by.

Dorothy 🙂

©Dorothy Chiotti, Aimwell CreativeWorks 2014

Medieval Charm … Kranj, Slovenia

Last September we spent a couple of hours in the historic medieval centre of Slovenia’s fourth largest city, Kranj.

Located approximately 20 kms northwest of the capital, Ljubljana, Kranj, with a population of 54,000, is mainly an industrial city with significant electronics and rubber industries. It’s also well known for its modern sports facilities, including the largest aquatic centre in the country.

But my interest, as a traveller, lay only in its medieval core where antiquity lay a path for my romantic imagination to wander.

Please enjoy these images and, if you get the chance, pay a visit one day. It’s quite charming.

View of an inner courtyard off the main old town square.

Kranj medieval town square.

Passage off the town square.

The more windows you had the more taxes you paid. …

Steeple of St. Mary’s Church.

One of many beautifully adorned windows on a fresco-painted wall.

Thanks for visiting …

Dorothy 🙂

Copyright Aimwell Enterprises 2012

A Pleasant Surprise … Radovljica, Slovenia

Travelling can be full of surprises – some good, some regrettable — it’s all part of the experience. The town of Radovljica was a rather pleasant surprise during a trip to Slovenia last September.

Radovljica is a small town about an hour north of Ljubljana. One of its claims to fame is beautiful and medieval Linhart Square (pictured). Boasting both Gothic and Renaissance architecture, the Square also features Inn Lectar, a family-run inn and restaurant that has been in business for 180 years.

In the restaurant, which inhabits a 500-year-old building, we were treated to traditional Slovenian peasant food — hearty meat and potato fare originally designed to satisfy hungry field workers in days of yore. Being a group of about 15, we were assigned our own private room, complete with low-beamed ceilings, stone floors and a corner cook stove which remained from an era when the room was the inn’s original kitchen. (It would be an understatement to say the room was ambient.) And, at one point during our lunch-hour feast, the proprietor proudly commanded the room with a raucous interpretation of traditional harmonica music.

Before lunch we’d had an opportunity to visit the delightfully aromatic and colourful gingerbread bakery housed in the lower level. The bakery has been in operation since 1822. Now, gingerbread is one of my favourite treats and I will indulge occasionally, but this looked too pretty to eat. Most of what they create in the shop is slated for decorative use anyway. I came away with a personalized gingerbread heart complete with dainty flowers iced onto it. It decorates my office bookshelf.

Another feature of the Square is the Bee Museum. Bees and honey production are an important part of Slovenian culture and this museum highlights everything from the lifecycle of the bee (including a working bee hive made of glass) to the history of Slovenian bee keeping through detailed exhibits.

All in all Radovljica was a pleasant surprise and, in my opinion, is well worth a look-see when travelling to Slovenia.

Copyright Aimwell Enterprises 2012

On my Bucket List … Bled, Slovenia

In an earlier blog post I mentioned a trip we’d taken to Slovenia last fall. One of our stops was the beautiful resort town of Bled which is set in the Julian Alps about a one hour drive north of the country’s capital, Ljubljana.

Bled is nestled on the shores of glacial Lake Bled, a remarkable body of water when you consider it has no large tributaries and is fed only by a few natural springs. It reminds me of the glacial lakes I’ve seen in the Canadian Rockies — calm, peaceful, tranquil — notwithstanding its characterization as a spa resort.

The waters on the lake are pristine and still. No motor boats are allowed so the tranquility of the setting cannot be disturbed. The lake is Slovenia’s rowing centre and has hosted many regattas and championships.

During our morning in this picturesque medieval town we enjoyed a 20-minute ride in a “pletna” (a boat seating about 20 people and rowed by one person … see adjacent photo) across the lake to a tiny island which is home to the Assumption of Mary Pilgrimage Church. It’s from this island the first image was taken.

Perched on the rocky outcrop overlooking the lake is Bled Castle, a fixture in the area in various guises since the 11th century. A complete history can be found here.

The view from the castle to the lake is spectacular, looking for miles into the horizon and, of course, down toward the lake and Assumption of Mary Pilgrimage Church. It’s certainly easy to imagine why a stronghold would be positioned in such a location. You can see for miles …

Our short visit only gave us a taste of this beautiful area and didn’t really allow us to benefit from its relaxed ambiance.

Should we ever have a chance to return to Slovenia, Bled will be on our bucket list of places to stay … I’m thinking at least four days.

Copyright Aimwell Enterprises 2012

Love Locked in Ljubljana

Love Locked in Ljubljana

“Ljubljana? Where’s that?”

That was my first question when I found out we’d be heading there for another one of my husband’s international business meetings.

“It’s in Slovenia.”

“Where’s that?”

Now, I pride myself on having a relatively informed geographical knowledge of the world, but when I first learned of our trip to this European nation, I was stumped. Eventually, however, because of its name spelling I guessed that it must be located somewhere in the Baltic region. I was right. It borders Italy, Croatia, Hungary and Austria, with a small piece of coastline on the Adriatic Sea. Ljubljana is its beautiful historic capital.

In Fall 2011, we spent a lovely week in this picturesque country and I, of course, took many photographs.

This photo was taken at Butchers’ Bridge over the Ljubljanica River which flows through the centre of Ljubljana. Officially opened in 2010, one of the footbridge’s claims to fame, apart from its impressive sculptures by Slovenian Jakov Brdar, is the padlocks that couples in love lock onto its steel wires, symbolizing declarations of eternal love.

While we were admiring the view from this footbridge a city worker was cutting off some of the padlocks. What this means to the eternal nature of the love they represent is beyond the scope of this blog … 😉


Copyright Aimwell Enterprises 2012