A Rare Second Chance

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Words by Dalene Heck / Photography by Pete Heck

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.

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  1. 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.

  2. 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!

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

  4. 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!

    1. 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 🙂

  5. 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!

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

  7. 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.

  8. 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 🙂

  9. 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!

  10. 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!

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

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

    1. 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! 🙂

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