[Slovenia] Castle Bled, Church/Island, Gostalina Murka, Royal Bled Golf Course, and Hiša Franko [HD]
ARRIVAL: Venice, Italy - As the plane descended over the floating city of, I took in the wonderous sight of the canals and waterways from above. Headed East, we were destined to Lake Bled, to commence our week in magical Slovenia. 0:12 The Church and Castle are world-renowned iconic landmarks of the town, a millennia in age, their serenity is preserved, as no motorized vessels travel the waters of Lake Bled. 0:35 We opted in for a rowed ferry, joined by travelers from the Orient. One obliged us and took our picture. The island has been inhabited since at least the eleventh century BC, a pre-Romanesque temple for the supreme Slavic goddess of light and fertility Ziva, depicted here, as time passed on, the island evolved over the centuries into the Church of the Assumption of Maria, with its modern form dating to the 17th century. Time moves on, though it slows down in places like Bled. We enjoyed a slice of world-famous Bled Cake while enjoying the view. The freedom of a bird fly highing above the lake, from Castle Bled, as the sun crests behind the Julian Alps was a remarkable view. Throughout the rooms of the castle reside a wonderful museum of Bled’s history from those prehisotirc times to the present. The castle’s wine cellar is stocked with fine domestic wine, and even has a cork waxing station… this would be the first of our deep dive into the magic of Slovenian wine. Perhaps my favorite was the fully-operational, reconstructed Gutenberg printing press. Today, the machine’s primary use is printing personalized certificates while displaying the functionality, but I remain in awe how this tool singlehandedly altered the course of humanity is so vitally. From Martin Luther, to Benjamin Franklin, and William Randolph Hearst, the ability to rapidly reproduce and disseminate information truly revolutionized the world. As we enjoyed the sunset over bled, we stumbled in to the wonderful Gostilina Murka where we enjoyed a hearty dinner and regional fare before retreating to our camp where we enjoyed a wood-burning hot tub under the stars. The next morning, after seeing that giant golf ball roundabout on our arrival, I convinced Sami to play some golf at one of the finest courses in Europe… Royal Bled. The oldest and largest course in all of the republic, then-Yugoslav King Aleksander Karađorđević play ed the first round of golf here in 1937 establishing the first nine holes. I relished the opportunity to hit a few balls on this world-class range facility before teeing off, a much-needed to warm up. I must say, the King chose the perfect place to put a golf course. And on a day like today, with the light beaming down from the heavens, it was as fine a day ever to play it. I enjoyed the quality of the turf, the Titleist blades, and we reveled in the tranquility of the Alpine course. One of the most exceptional features of the play of the course is the immaculate, massive, rolling greens. There are few things finer than sinking a long-range burner of a putt, and on greens like these, it’s doable. A 45-foot birdie putt on the signature ninth hole with the massive Slovenian flag would have been one of the sweetest cups, but I turned it in to a bogey, and kept enjoying the day. We had time for one more hole, and I finally got tapped in for a perfect drive on the par 5. This course alone is worth visiting Slovenia for, and I look forward to playing it’s entirety, some day. But today, we were bound to Hisa Franko! ( https://www.hisafranko.com/en/ ) This eleven-course tasting menu at a family home is sourced largely from the Soca Valley. The meal was so special, we decided to refrain from filming during the meal. We ate in the earlier dinner hour, and afterwards we were treated to seeing a world-class kitchen in full swing, and tour the wine and cheese stores of the house. And I am pleased to share that since our filming, Ana Ros and her team have received TWO "Excellent cooking, worth a detour” Michelin Stars, the first for a Slovenian restaurant. Tomorrow, we further explore Kobarid. Thank you for viewing, if you enjoyed… I appreciate those likes and subscriptions.
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