Grammy Chris and Grampy Reggie made their way to Pápa to visit us in mid September and we had lots of fun things planned for their week in Europe with us! Photos can never do justice to the actual experience, but they make for wonderful memories.
Exploring Papa and Surroundings…
We took them to the main square in Papa and had a nice dinner at the Galleria while the kids rode bikes and played with friends.
A Trip to Slovenia…
The next day we hit the road for Slovenia – our fourth time in the Triglav/Lake Bled region since moving to Hungary! And, despite an ominous weather forecast, it turned out beautiful!
Our destination was Radovljica, Lake Bled and Lake Bohinj, but on the drive we decided to make a wet pit-stop in Austria in Griffen to visit an early 12th century castle ruin atop a hill. We parked at the bottom of the hill and started up the steps; there was no entrance fee. Despite the wet weather, we made our way to the top of the hill, climbing a 427 foot limestone mountain with what felt like endless stairs and paths. At the top, the views were panoramic and beautiful – even with the gray clouds! Griffen is a cute little town. We were arriving at the top as a wedding party was leaving, so it was clear this location could accommodate a wide range of ceremonies, parties and concerts. There was a lovely little cafe at the top, but it was closed. I’m sure it gets fairly busy in the high tourist season! A little open air chapel and a stage was set up, so we will have to check the event schedule and come back when Griffen is hopping!
From there, we went straight to Radovljica. Again, the weather conditions didn’t allow for us to see the surrounding mountains, but the sweet quaintness of the town was still welcoming. We checked into our apartment (we loved it so much from last time that we booked it again!) and went out to dinner. Everyone was pretty tired by the time dinner was over so we went to bed to prepare for the next day’s active plans.
We drove from Radovljica to Lake Bohinj, straight to Slap Savica, the falls we had heard so much about. A small entrance fee allowed us to take the brief, easy hike up (more) steps to the viewing platform for the falls. The beautiful forest ambiance was invigorating. The sound of the water and smells of the trees breathed life into our steps! I was surprised to see the parking area for the waterfall so busy – when the entirety of Lake Bohinj was rather sleepy compared to other times we visited throughout the summer. There were brand new buildings there that made the experience feel well orchestrated. Its a beautiful waterfall!
After a yummy lunch at the best restaurant in Ukanc on Lake Bohinj, we let the kids play on their favorite rustic playground for a bit! The sun peeked out and we realized our window of time to let the kids swim was finally here!
After our swim, we went for a little walk through Bohinj before heading to Lake Bled for Bled cream cake and an evening walk around the lake.
Blue Skies and Views in Slovenia
We spent another night in Radovljica and were thrilled with the clear blue skies when we awoke the next morning. It motivated us to go exploring the little town a bit and drive up to Castle Bled before continuing our journey.
The views from the castle grounds were stunning! And BOY was it windy!
We continued our trip from Radovljica to Lake Bled, then north to Kransjka Gora, on the border of Austria. The mountain views were stunning! We drove to Vršič Pass in Austria, then back down to Kransjka Gora. Along the winding road up through the hills we had endless views of the jagged peaks in the Julian Alps. We stopped several times to take photos – there were too many photo ops to choose from!
Our next stop from there was a little ski village in Austria near Flachau called Altenmarkt im Pongau. What a picturesque place – we could imagine what it would look like in the winter covered in snow! And speaking of snow, we were amazed to see fresh snow-capped rocky mountain peaks in the Austrian Alps. See if you can spot them in the photos! We noticed that the entire village seemed to be sustained through generations of family tourism. We loved the area and can’t wait to go back to ski!
From there we continued north through Salzburg on our final day of the road trip to get a little feel for the famous city. It was COLD – colder than we anticipated – so all the walking around helped warm us up! It was great to visit Salzburg again. Also it was interesting to see it in different seasons…Oktoberfest was begin set up and looked like a good time!
Our final destination after Salzburg was Pápa, so after a whimsical morning in town and a delicious Italian lunch, we made our way home via Vienna. The rest of the week was spent exploring locally, including a quick day trip to Tihany on Lake Balaton. We celebrated Grammy Chrissy’s 60th birthday (a bit early!) with friends and a gelato cake! Mmm! Finally, we took Grammy & Grampy to Vienna to see a few historic sites before the whirlwind trip came to a close. Thank you for being such good sports and keeping up with the fast-paced Rodgersons here in Europe!