Bled, Nomenj, Bohinjsko Jezero & Kranjska Gora

Childhood memories come back to me when I think about Lake Bled. On our way to or back from Camp Glavotok on the island of Krk in 1985 and 1986, we stayed there for a few nights. In all those years for me the real adventure started when we passed Bled on our way to the southeastern parts of Europe: The Balkans all the way to Istanbul, our destination in 2004. We came in summer and in winter times, but only twice to also try to rephotograph the photos of Kurt Hielscher. Below, I'll share all his photos and mine in the wider range around Triglav National Park, from Kranjska Gora to Škofja Loka and from Robidišče at the border with Italy in the West to Bled in the East, but let's start in the middle with an iconic church at Lake Bohinj during winter time.

Cerkev Sv. Janeza Krstnika in Ribčev Laz at Lake Bohinj, 1926. Photo: Kurt Hielscher.

Ribčev Laz, 15th of February 2018. Photo: Casper Molenaar.

Ribčev Laz, 2nd of January 2019. Photo: Casper Molenaar.

View on Bohinjsko Jezero to the west, 17th of February 2018.

Early morning at th eMostnica river in nearby Stara Fužina, 16th of February 2018

Lake Bohinj, 1926. Photo: Kurt Hielscher.

Lake Bohinj as seen from near the statue of Zlatorog, 3rd of January 2019.

Zlatorog, Goldenhorn, Ribčev Laz, 18th of February, 2018. Photo: Casper Molenaar.

The legend of Zlatorog was written down and published for the first time by Karl Dežman in the Laibacher Zeitung in February 1868. It is about the golden horns somewhere hidden around the Triglav mountains. And ofcourse there's love involved: a young hunter from the Trenta Valley fell in love with a beautiful girl and stole her heart by bringing her flowers. One day, a rich merchant from Venice came by and gained her attention by giving her golden jewelry. The hunter was turned down by the girl and left in despair. He decided to go for the treasure and find the golden horns. In the morning, he found the animal and shot it. The dying animal dragged itself onto a narrow, rocky ledge. Suddenly the boy saw on a dangerous trail the most beautiful flowers, but it was too late: Zlatorog ate the magic flowers and the flower gave it tremendous life power. It ran towards the hunter, who being blinded by the bliss of its golden horns, lost balance and fell from the mountain. The Soča river brought his corpse to the vale. To be honest, Zlatorog was familiar to me mainly because of the beerbrand, but when I saw the statue I started wondering.

Here some winter scenes from Koprivnik v Bohinju, the Župnijska cerkev povišanja sv. Križa, the Cerkev S. Pavel in Stara Fužina and a sunset at a graveyard in Bohinjska Bistrica, February 2018.

In February 2018 we also went for some skiing at the Vogel Ski Resort. Mind that we came by plane with a rent-a-car, so we really had to prepare well with our lugage. We also managed to find some nice appartments on the spot, for example Mlin appartments in Jereka, where we were recieved with a warm welcome and terrific home made bread and the tip to go for a walk to Vodnikov Razgled.

One happy family at the Vodnikov Razglednik with a stunning view on the Vogel mountain and lake Bohinj, 16th February 2018.

Nomenj, 16th of February 2018. Photo: Casper Molenaar.

It wasn't that easy to find this place in the village of Nomenj. I had to ask several villagers, but then somebody recognized the small stream on the photo from Kurt Hielscher, a creek, named Bezena, and then he could tell me it was next to the Gasilski Dom, the firedepartement, at the other side of the stream. The sun was already going down and the car was in te way, but hey, I was happy to find the spot and made the photo before sunset. It is the same tree, villagers could tell me from the copy I took with me. A year later I came back to see whether the view on the house would be free, and indeed, the car had left. So this photo is about a tree and a WWI memorial.

Nomenj, 1926. Photo: Kurt Hielscher.

Nomenj, 3rd of January 2019.

In the winter of 2018-2019 we went with a campervan and celebrated new year's eve in the small city of Škofja Loka and went skiing and skiing for a day and stayed up on the mountain in the freezing cold for the night in the van on the parking lot from the skislope of Soriška Planina Ski Resort. We were the only ones, except for some drunkards who stayed in the restaurant for the whole of the night. 

Škofja Loka on the last day of 2018 and the first one of 2019. 

The day after we went to Koprivnik v Bohinju for a walk and after that I left Kim and the boys there for some sledding. I went to Nomenj, for the 2nd time to make the photo without the car. On this photo you can see a memorial which isn't on Kurt Hielscher's photo. The text of the plaquette says that this memorial was renewed on its one hundredth jubilee in 2016. However, on the photo of 1926 one does not see such a memorial. The tree has been planted in 1916 and is still there. I just not took the exact right angle, but I think you will believe me it is the same one. I will put a picture of the plaquette below. On it are also three photos. One of them is the one from Kurt Hielscher.  

Coming from Croatia where we celebrated Christmas in Zagreb and also visited the Plitivice Lakes we went back to Slovenia and also passed Idrija on our way to Škofja Loka. Here views in, on and from Gewerkenegg Castle with its Municipal Museum in Idrija. 

Lake Bohinj


As said, I've been to Bled numerous times, as a kid, and also alone with Kim before we got our boys.

Bled, April 2003. Photo: Casper Molenaar (scan from negative). 

Today's Cerkev Marijinega Vnebovzetja, Church of the Assumption of Mary, has stood on Lake Bled since the 17th century after a fire destroyed the previous church in 1509. The 54-meter-high clock tower catches your eye most of the time wandering around the stunning 6-kilometer lake, next to the other eyecatcher: the 11th-century-built Bled castle on the 130-meter-high rocky hill from which Kurt Hielscher also took a photo. I have been here several times, even as a kid, but only tried to take this photo two years ago in wintertime. It was already getting dark, and my kids lost their patience when they decided to bomb me with snowballs when I was trying to find the right angle in the bushes. They had great fun!

Bledsko Jezero, 1926. Photo: Kurt Hielscher.

Bledsko Jezero, 17th of February 2019. Photo: Casper Molenaar.

Lake Bled, 4th of July 2009. Photos: Casper Molenaar.

My youngest son on the 17th of February 2018.

The 16th century Castle of Bled is built on a 130 meter high rock looking over the Lake. I have never been up there which is quite stupid. I did walk around the lake though.

Blejski grad, Bled Castle, 1926. Photo: Kurt Hielscher.

Bled Castle, 17th of February 2019. Photo: Casper Molenaar.

In the curve of the road when leaving Nomenj towards Bohinjsko Jezero, probably the former main road towards Bohinjsko Jezero, coming from Bled, I found this chapel. Is it situated on the same place as the one Kurt Hielscher photographed nearly hundred years ago? I am not sure. Though the landscape is like scattered with kapelica's and crucifixes, it could be. The current main road might not have been there at the time in 1926 and in those days one might had to pass through the village of Nomenj to go to Bohinjsko Jezero. If that is not the case, than this is probably not the right one, since Kurt Hielscher notes below his photo "on the road towards Bohinjsko Jezero". On the other hand, we know from page 7 that he has been in Nomenj.

"On the road towards Bohinjksko Jezero", 1926. Photo: Kurt Hielscher.

Nomenj, 16th of February 2018. Photo: Casper Molenaar.

Slap Savica on a grey day, but with not so much water but a lot of snow, just a little to the West from Bohinjsko Jezero, and we were alone! 

Kranjska Gora, 1926. Photo: Kurt Hielscher. I did not find this place yet, so please go to my contactpage and reach out to me if you have a tip.

Triglav National Park and its surroundings are not only worth a visit during winter but also in summer time. 

Vintgar Gorge, 30st of July 2017.

Lake Jasna, Kranjska Gora, 29th of July 2017.

Gozd Martuljek, 1926. Photo: Kurt Hielscher.

Gozd Martuljek, 4th of January 2019. Photo: Casper Molenaar.

Descending from Vršič pass (1611m) with 50 hairpin turns, 18th of August 2016. 

1926. Photo: Kurt Hielscher.

Soča river and Slap Kozjak where we went for a swim. 

Characteristic house in remotely situated Robidišče at the border with Italy, Slovenia, 5th of August 2017. In one of the houses there was a photoexhibition with portraits from the '50s.

Lago del Predil in Italy, 1st of August 2017. When you drive from Kranjska Gora via Tarvisio back into Slovenia. Perfect place for a picknick and a swim.

Below: View from Vodnikov razglednik to Lake Bohinj, 16th of February 2018. Photo: Casper Molenaar.

In the footsteps of  Kurt Hielscher