Fresh air. Clear water. Green forests. Towering mountains. Wide pastures. Deep gorges. Flourishing nature. Lake Bohinj is uncomplicated and raw; she’s the girl next door that doesn’t have to dress up or put on make up in order to attract attention. Lake Bohinj is a postcard-picture scene, naturally designed in hues of unbelievable blues and shades of intense green. Cradled in the Julian Alps, the glacial lake is watched over by the mountain peaks that rise around it and is protected within the boundaries of Triglav National Park.
We departed the bus at the Ribcev Laz bus stop near the southeast corner of Lake Bohinj, Slovenia where the Sava Bohinjska River begins, flowing east from the lake. We had been following the curves of the river since we departed Lake Bled, watching through the window as the limpid water streamed in the direction opposite of us. As we hauled our backpacks out from the belly of the bus, the driver pointed us north in the direction of Stara Fuzina, the village where we were staying.
Even from the side of the main road, we sensed a calmness in the atmosphere. No one hurried; not the people or the cars or the bus. The early evening sky was still light, but the air was already turning cool. Unrushed, we walked 50 meters to the one-lane, stone-arched bridge. Standing along the side, we took in our first view of Lake Bohinj. Just like a painting – or the hundreds of Lake Bohinj pictures we had seen – the scene in front of us almost didn’t look real.
As the bus pulled away from the Lake Bled station in the direction of Lake Bohinj, Slovenia, there were more empty seats than those occupied. Of our fellow passengers, a few carried backpacks and tents, some were donning only swimsuits, others were geared to hike. During the 40-minute ride, as we followed the curving Sava Bohinjsk River, we overheard fellow passengers conversing. It seemed everyone was in agreement: for anyone looking to flee the crowds of Lake Bled and completely step into nature, Lake Bohinj is the place to go. Our anticipation was mounting. Not only did we want to breathe the fresh mountain air and swim in the clear cool water, we were also eager to set out on the hiking trails near Lake Bohinj.