We were embraced by a powerful heat as we dismounted the plane. Walked into a small arrivals lounge, and came across three others with swim trek and split a minibus from Ljubljana (Lu-bee-arn-na). After roughly 50 mins in the minibus, we passed Lake Bled. Outstanding. There are no other words to describe it. Absolutely breathtaking. The sun was shining; the water was calm; it looked as though the church was content. We kept driving to get to the lake where we were staying. Lake Bohinj, the largest lake in Slovenia.
After unloaded our bags into the room we went down to the lake to relax. Actually no. The word relax implies a degree of stress. The serenity of the place was incredible. The water was totally clear and you could see all the fish happily swimming around. It makes you jealous to see. You're mind is split. On the one hand you want to jump in to enjoy the water, but on the other hand, you don't want to ruin the calmness of the water.
Up at 7:30 the next morning to vaguely sort out the swimming groups. Back in for a hearty breakfast, then back into the unfortunately groggy Slovenian countryside. The turn of the weather did little to dampen our spirits. The cold wet weather only made the lake seem warmer. At a temperature of 22ºC, it was only a couple of degrees colder than a public swimming pool. We swam to the island, ran up the steps and then swam back to the shore. We went for lunch at a nearby restaurant. Back into the water to follow the 2012 Rowing Championships line. 2.2km of glorious swimming. From one side of Bled to the other. It's not too difficult and becomes quite amusing when you see all the faces of the people not believing that you're swimming in the rain. After the swim we got out and warmed up via a few glasses of wine in a wine tasting hour or so.
The following morning we hopped on the bus for a quick drive to Italy. Swam roughly 1.6km in wetsuits in 18º water. Then to a beautifully scenic waterfall for a very chilly splash around. The final swim for that day was a quick blast down a river. Very, very cold. It made the 18º water seem like a bath! We swam in 15º! So cold.
The final day held a nice lie in until 8:30. The group of us went on an hour and a half trek to the waiting start line of the imminent 4.5km swim. We all picked the sighting point and went for it. The sun on our faces was glorious, and the following 1 hour 50 mins whizzed by. You could definitely feel the strain once you dragged yourself out of the water.
The best few days of my life. Perfect scenery and an absolute laugh! I cannot recommend it more!
August 29, 2013