Over Christmas I got bored and booked a super last minute new year trip to Slovenia, wanting to head to somewhere I've wanted to go since seeing a friend's picture and instantly falling in love with: Bled.
Bled is so picture-postcard-perfect that it's almost difficult to believe that it actually exists outside of a Disney set, but hey, there I was.
Families were parading around the lake and winter market with flaming torches, though I didn't find out quite why exactly...
The first snow of the season arrived the night that I did, and promptly gave the whole area a magical winter feel
I wasn't able to resist a wee boulder about (not all that successful, winter mountaineering boots aren't exactly designed for it!) on this amazing face overlooking the lake. Go up to the castle, and before you go in, by the car park there's a small path leading around the bottom of the fortress walls. The face even has some bolts for a top rope!
I went and got lost in the woods a bit. Ever get the feeling you're being watched?
I took the bus from Bled to lake Bohinj, which is said to be even more spectacular - but I could barely see because of fog!
But that wasn't really why I was there - I took the cable car up to the ski area at the bottom of Vogel mountain, a wonderfully peaky peak rising high up towards the end of the bowl that Bohinj rests in.
The ski season hadn't really started, so the chairlifts weren't working, so aside from a sole cross country skier, I had the mountains to myself, and quickly climbed above the ugly ski machinery
Sadly as you can see on the right side of the above photo, the stunning view wasn't to last, and as the snow came in, out went my views of the peaks of Vogel, and then Sija, and then, well...anything else...
Ate a consolidatory handful of near-frozen skittles and a big bite of cheese, then I started my descent, having got, from my GPS log, what I think was 1500m from any other human being.