Running into one of our friends on a 20 person boat that takes you to Lake Bled. How is that possible?
Today was a great day for so many reasons. We decided to do a tour of the areas around Ljubljana. We got picked up in a van by a tour guide named Andrej. The tour company was called Roundabout and we booked in at the tourist center in the main square of Ljubljana. Andrej was a 25 year old student, doing tours to make some money when he wasn't in school. You might meet him someday if you live in San Francisco. He was so wonderful and after spending 12 hours with him, I invited him to come and see our beautiful city. He was a walking encyclopedia on Slovenia. During the 12 hour tour, he gave us the history, religion, cultural and geographic information on Slovenia. He was proud of his country and it was great to see and hear it. We only had three other people on the tour with us. Our first stop was a medieval town called Skofja Lola about 15 minutes outside Ljubljana. It is one of Slovenia's oldest towns. It was a holiday so all the stores and restaurants were closed. It was like a ghost town, so it was nice to see it so quiet. We then headed for Lake Bled. We went to the castle first and walked all around. We took some great pictures of the Lake and the famous Island that is on the lake. We saw a man using an old printing press, and watched him using it. We went to a museum where they had the circle of life separated into the months of the year. It was very interesting listening to him explain it. We then drove down to Lake Bled. Andrej was deciding on whether we would take the boat to the Island now or later. We decided to do it next, because the weather was great. We got on to these beautiful hand made flat bottom lake boats, specifically made for the lake. The oarsman stood at the back of the boat. The five of us got on and they told us we would have to wait for another group that was coming. We waited 10 minutes and then the other group came. Iain and I were in the front of the boat. All of a sudden Iain says to me "I think that is Araya". I immediately said oh Iain please don't say anything that can't possibly be her. Iain thinks he always knows someone and it never turns out that way. I tried to look at her, she was in the back of the boat and on the same side as me, so it was hard to see her. I kept telling the other couple with us, that Iain always make up stuff. However when I kept looking at her, I also stared to think it was her. Iain and I had to get off the boat first and as I passed this lady, I looked at her and all of a sudden she yelled out "DANIELLE". It was Araya, she was laughing and we were hugging each other and the whole boat was clapping. Yes IAIN was right. I had to eat my words. We all got off the boat and talked with her. She used to work with Iain in San Francisco and she lived a couple of blocks away from us. She currently lives in Bangkok. We could not believe it. What are the chances of being on the same little boat as her. We took some pictures together and then started to walk up the stairs to the top of the Island. Iain and I climbed up the 90 stairs to the clock tower which has a pendulum clock. It was pretty cool. We then walked into the Church of the Mother of God on the Lake. Inside this church up by the alter they have this rope, that is connected to a bell. You can make a wish and ring the bell. As you can see from the picture, I did make a wish. We left the island in the same boat with Araya and headed back to shore. Lake Bled is as beautiful people say it is. We said goodbye to Araya, who is going to be back in San Francisco in October. We headed for Triglav National Park. Andrej took us to this beautiful area at the park that has bridges and a river. The water was crystal clear and he told us you can drink the water here. My pictures might look really green, but that is what it looked like. He then drove us to Lake Bohinj, the largest glacier lake in Slovenia. We walked up to this beautiful church and took some pictures of it. We then left and and drove to Vintgar Gorge. Only three of us from the group decided to do the walk through the gorge. Andrej dropped us off at one end and picked us up on the other. The Radovna River cuts through the gorge and it is breathtaking. They built a secured trail through the gorge and in 1893 opened it up to the public. As you are walking though it, you see waterfalls and rapids. We drove back to Ljubljana thinking how did we see that all in one day. I think we had one terrific tour guide. He dropped us off at our hotel and I told him he has a place to stay in San Francisco. Iain and I then too tired to go anywhere for dinner ate at the hotel bar. It was really a wonderful day!