A Rare Second Chance


We have given very few second chances.

When we leave a place, we’re gone. During our three years of travel, we have only returned to familiar areas a handful of times.

It’s not because we are vindictive or grudge-bearing (we do like most places), nor do we carry a checklist that we just tick off and move on. The road just forks in too many directions, with too many other possibilities.

But there we were, back in Slovenia. And if there was any one place that we wanted to give a rare second chance to, it was Lake Bled.

Let me refresh your memory on what we saw during our last visit there

Lake Bled in fog


Lake Bled Cathedral in fog


Very little. We felt robbed.

There have been many romantic odes written about Lake Bled. They all contain the words: fairy-tale, enchanting, and charming. I had looked forward to writing our own ballad, but on that foggy day last November, the only three descriptive words I came away with were: cold, dreary, and jt$ffgns%k.

And on the day in July that we decided to give Lake Bled a second chance, we woke to heavy rain and obscurity again. Jt$ffgns%k.

Be damned if we’re likely to give you a third chance, Lake Bled.

We lucked out and the rain stopped. This time, we got what we came for.

Lake Bled


Lake Bled Cathedral

Sunset Lake Bled


By late afternoon the clouds lifted such that we could finally see the entirety of the lake, the church on an island, and the castle towering overhead. Lucky for us, for our friends Jennifer, Tim and Michael, and all the others who made the trek for the Bled Days Festival, the weather held. And even though it was quite chilly, the evening festivities progressed.

10,000 candles were set ablaze on the lake, and fireworks lit the sky…

Castle Lake Bled

Candles Lake Bled

Fireworks Lake Bled


Lake Bled blew our socks off the second time around. Much better.


45 Comments... Read them below or add one of your own
  • Emily in Chile
    August 15 2012

    Wow, that is a seriously stunning setting, and the clouds actually add so much now that they’re not covering up the castle! So glad it worked out for you guys this time around.

    • August 16 2012

      Yes, we were actually quite thankful for the colorful clouds as the sun set. The location was really stunning.

  • August 15 2012

    What wonderful photographs! You’ve just inspired me to add Lake Bled to my bucket list.

  • I have only heard phenomenal things about Lake Bled and I can see why! Loved your pictures. It really is like a fairy tale, isn’t it?

    • August 16 2012

      There are few locations in the world where I would use the words “fairy tale”, but this is definitely one of them.

  • Chrystal McKay
    August 15 2012

    WOW! That is spectacular! Lake Bled didn’t just show you how beautiful it was – it showed you its BEST. A festival and all – I would of LOVED to see that!

    • August 16 2012

      Well, Lake Bled had some making up to do. πŸ™‚

  • Jeff Dobbins
    August 15 2012

    Wow. Another one for the “must-see” list. Would love to get to the Bled Days Fest.

    • August 16 2012

      It is worth the trip. Wish we had gotten up higher to get a better shot of all the candles on the lake though. Next time!

  • Margaret
    August 15 2012

    The clouds in those middle photos are wonderful! They make an incredible backdrop for all that fantastic scenery.

    • August 16 2012

      While the day started out pretty sketchy, the sky sure made up for it later!

  • August 15 2012

    LOOOOVE the night photos!! What a stunning second chance. You really lucked out to get to the lake for a second time during such an event.

  • August 16 2012

    That castle looks incredible! nice job on the fireworks too!
    Escaping Abroad recently posted..Photo of the Week – Starr Kempf’s Metal Sculptures

  • Dayna
    August 16 2012

    Awesome photos! Looks gorgeous.

  • August 16 2012

    It’s good that you gave Bled a second chance – and that the weather kinda cooperated for you! I LOVED Lake Bled, and would definitely go back!
    Amanda recently posted..August: The Best Time to Be in Edinburgh?

  • August 16 2012

    Looks like you had better luck the second time round. Although, i actually like the shots in the fog! Very atmospheric stuff πŸ˜€
    Laurence recently posted..14 Things you might not know about me

    • Pete
      August 18 2012

      Hey, I personally like the fog shots better as well. Gives it that eerie atmospheric look like you say.

  • Wow, beautiful pictures the second time round! Glad you got to see it properly in the end guys πŸ™‚
    Beverley | Pack Your Passport recently posted..Things I Like (And Don’t Like) About Auckland

    • Pete
      August 18 2012

      Thanks Beverley. To be honest, I liked it better in the fog, but we never did get to see the castle that day. I’m glad I got to finally see the castle, but I still liked the atmosphere better when it was freezing cold and there were no people around πŸ™‚

  • Steph (@ 20 Years Hence)
    August 16 2012

    It seems like Lake Bled was suitably contrite and made up for it this time around! So glad to hear this second chance panned out for you guys!

    • August 16 2012

      Yes, so happy that the area smartened up for our second visit. πŸ™‚

  • Ali
    August 16 2012

    Looks gorgeous! I’m glad it was worth a second chance!

  • Sean Westrupp
    August 16 2012

    It was my pleasure to have lived and worked there for a number of years. A truly wonderful experience!

    • Pete
      August 18 2012

      I hope we get the same opportunity πŸ™‚ Thanks Sean!

  • August 17 2012

    We had a great time hanging out with you both! I am so glad the weather cleared and I don’t honestly know that I’ve ever seen more stunning clouds than as the sun broke through.
    Jennifer recently posted..That Time We Swam with Sharks

  • Pete
    August 18 2012

    Yes, really good to hang for the time we had. I am certain we will be back soon and we will have to find somewhere new to meet up and explore in that tiny little country πŸ™‚

  • August 18 2012

    That was absolutely worth the second chance. It is gorgeous. Did it feel romantic?

    • August 19 2012

      Had we just been there on our own, I’m sure it would have felt romantic. πŸ™‚

  • August 18 2012

    It looks like it was definitely worth the wait and re-visit. That is spectacular! I know what you mean about not having many second chances at various destinations. It’s a reminder to make the most out of every visit!

    • August 19 2012

      Isn’t that the truth? We often say “oh, we’ll be back again!” But we never really know… πŸ™‚

  • August 19 2012

    Please tell me you edited the bejeezus out of those photos… that cant be real, can it??

    Skott recently posted..Colours of Cartagena

    • August 19 2012

      We didn’t edit “bejeezus” out. He’s still in there. πŸ™‚

  • August 19 2012

    There is always that special place that we want to return to again and again. Nepal does that for me. Those photos are amazing – and curious on the camera you are using for those amazing shots!!

  • Erik
    August 19 2012

    That is a great second chance! I have so many place like this- but Tekapo, New Zealand is on the top of my list. Everyone raved to me how beautiful is was- I got cold, overcast and rainy.

    I hope to have you luck next time!

    I also have Lake Bled at the top of my list the next time I get back to Europe!

    • August 19 2012

      I hope you have our ‘second chance luck’ too! And when you see Lake Bled too. πŸ™‚

  • August 20 2012

    Wow, those are amazing, breathtaking photos. It’s good that you gave it another chance. Totally, absolutely worth it!
    Marisol recently posted..Barcelona Revisited

  • August 22 2012

    That’s almost insane! How very very very beautiful … glad you were able to enjoy it this time around. πŸ™‚

  • August 23 2012


  • Brooke vs. the World
    August 24 2012

    Stop it with the awesome pictures already! πŸ˜‰

    • August 25 2012

      We can’t. It’s a compulsion. πŸ™‚ (And THANKS!)

  • A Montrealer Abroad (@amontrealer)
    August 24 2012

    Wow! So gorgeous! I’d love to write something more intelligent than that but nothing else comes to mind than absolutely gorgeous.

  • August 26 2012

    What amazing pictures! What an amazing place! Well – one more spot on this earth where we will go πŸ˜‰
    Hope you guys are fine, we warmly remember you. All the best and greetings from the rainy Salzburg,
    Eva and Harry

    • August 28 2012

      Eva and Harry – of course we remember you as well! (In fact, just writing our review of your place today!) Thanks again so much for really *making* our visit in Salzburg! Hope to meet up with you again! πŸ™‚

  • September 12 2012

    WOW! Great captures… and what luck this time!

  • October 15 2012

    Beautiful! I’m so glad you were able to see Lake Bled in all its glory the second time around.

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