To Bled

The morning skies were once again clear and blue. Shivering in the shadow of Mount Doom seemed almost like a previous adventure.

We settled up with the hut manger for the cost of our beds – once again 8 euros each, and schlepped our gear outside. I unpacked the essentials. The Starbucks Instant coffee begged for boiling water. I could hear its soft melodic chorus. Yet Paul assembled the cook set, attached the pocket rocket burner to the gas cartridge and began oatmeal breakfast instead. Until Paul finishes college, his caffeine priorities will continue to be misplaced.

Like grouchy old men we poured over the map and discussed the possible routes and their advantages to reach the city of Bled. The hike down to the city would take about 7 hours if we could find an efficient route. While still gearing up we began to hear the chime of cow bells. Within moments a small crowd of wandering milk factories descended on our breakfast and began looking us over suspiciously. They looked “mostly harmless”. However neither of us knew “hello mr cow” in Slovenian. The largest of the bovines started mooing and grunting loudly, displaying her obvious dissatisfaction with us. We just sat quietly and after they moved on, so did we. Down the mountain.

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The hike down was relaxed. Our muscles were still a bit sore, but the trail was not steep. However, we were not alone. We caught glimpses of people deep in the woods, looking down, carrying a knife and a basket. They were not on trails. We each came up with explanations. Eventually we ran into a couple as we asked for directions.

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Weekend mushroom hunters.

After several more hours of walking through the woods and eventually between farms and small towns, we arrived at the tourist town of Bled. We spent the entire next day just relaxing, eating, and stretching our legs on short walks.

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2 Responses to To Bled

  1. Kamil says:

    Mushroom picking is extremely popular in Eastern Europe.

    The yellow-orange ones you see in the basket there are what we call kurki in Poland – according to Wikipedia they are called chanterelle in English. I’m not sure about the brown ones – there are many similar looking ones, though in Poland most edible kinds are more yellow underneath, whereas the ones you see here are almost white.

    Yes, I’ve spent many boring weekend days with my parents walking around Polish forests…

    And yes, there are many inedible/poisonous ones looking almost exactly the same, and every year there are stories of seasoned mushroom pickers dieing after making a fatal mistake.

    • Pete says:

      Cool. It was honestly a little weird seeing people wandering around the forest with knifes and baskets. Not to wonder too much about cost, but is the prize for getting a basket full of mushrooms the reward of finding them, or that you spent several hours to save $5 dollars in shrooms…. Or maybe they taste great. Wild strawberries are 10 times better than fat watered down store bought berries….

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