A Tale of Two Lakes

My romantic ideas of camping by a lake may come from watching too much US and UK television as a child. Growing up in Australia we have the sea but not many opportunities to camp by freshwater. I felt like I was missing out, so when my wife and I visited Slovenia, I was excited to spend some time at its two most famous lakes, Bled and Bohinj.

Both lakes are located in the Julian Alps, which we also visited as part of our trip. I remembered being captivated by the scenery. It was the first time I had seen such majestic mountains, though compared to some, the Julian Alps are not so large.

We always use the collocation ‘set up’ with tent and camp. ‘As soon as we found a good spot, we set up camp.’ We can also use ‘to pitch’ when talking about a tent, but not camp.
The author wrote they ‘got their bearings.’ This means they looked around the area to learn when everything was for later.

We set up our tent and went for a walk around the lake. We got our bearings, located the nearest grocery store for supplies, pub for beer and even saw a castle to explore sometime later.

The following morning we were the first ones up. The ‘beach’ near our campsite which the day before was lined with people, was empty. Something made me stop before going into the water. My wife, who is much more daring, leapt in. “Come on. It’s great,” she urged.

When my body hit the water, I saw why I had hesitated. It was cold. Though we were there in the summer, someone had forgotten to tell the lake.

“You’ll get warm if you swim,” my wife said.

Being the more athletic of the two, she quickly swam toward the middle. I quickly tried to follow, though I was far behind. I’d swum many times in the sea but the lake water was like swimming through mud. I didn’t realize how much the salt in seawater had helped keep me afloat. But I soon learned to enjoy it. Even the cold water no longer bothered me.

We did go up to the castle where they slice open bottles of locally produced wine with a sword and we visited some beautiful waterfalls not too far away. We also rowed a boat out to the island in the lake’s centre and enjoyed evenings by the water. It was hard to believe we’d been there for only five days.

But we had to leave as we really wanted to visit Bohinj which was an extra 100 meters higher up in the mountains. It was so different from Bled it could have been on another planet. Bled had a sandy shore but Bohinj was surrounded by rocks. It was also much colder.

This time it was my wife’s turn to be nervous.

“It looks too cold to swim in,” she said.

Since she was the brave one last time, I decided to just jump in first. When we tell the story of our trip, my wife says I was in there for about two minutes. I think it was closer to ten minutes. It certainly felt like ten. I swam about 30 meters out from the shore until my feet were numb.

“I think you should come back. Your lips are blue,” my wife said.

It was difficult to swim because it was so cold. We didn’t swim for the rest of the trip. Luckily, the campsite did have showers. When I was able to move my frozen body again, we went to the one restaurant nearby and had one of the worst pizzas of my life. But I still see the whole trip, including the icy swim, as one of favourite trips. It was certainly one of my most memorable.

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Original article by Ryan Scott – Sydney, Australia. Text edited by The Word’s methodology team

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In Australia we have the sea but not many opportunities to camp by freshwater. I felt like I was missing out, so when my wife and I visited Slovenia I was excited to spend some time at its two most famous lakes, Bled and Bohinj.

Both lakes are located in the Julian Alps, which we also visited as part of our trip. It was the first time I saw such majestic mountains.

We always use the collocation ‘set up’ with tent and camp. ‘As soon as we found a good spot, we set up camp.’ We can also use ‘to pitch’ when talking about a tent, but not camp.

First we visited Bled. We set up our tent and went for a walk around the lake. The following morning we were the first ones up. The ‘beach’ near our campsite was empty. Something made me stop before going into the water. My wife, who is much more daring, jumped in. “Come on. It’s great,” she urged.

When my body hit the water, I saw why I had hesitated. It was cold. “You’ll get warm if you swim,” my wife said.

We also visited a castle where they open bottles of wine with a sword and we visited some beautiful waterfalls not too far away. We also rowed a boat out to an island and enjoyed evenings by the water. It was hard to believe we’d been there for only five days.

But we had to leave as we really wanted to visit Bohinj which was an extra 100 meters higher up in the mountains. It was so different from Bled it could have been on another planet. Bled had a sandy shore but Bohinj was surrounded by rocks. It was also much colder.

This time it was my wife’s turn to be nervous when we wanted to swim.

“It looks too cold to swim in,” she said.

Since she was the brave one last time, I decided to just jump in first. I swam about 30 meters out from the shore until I could no longer feel my feet.

“I think you should come back. Your lips are blue,” my wife said.

It was difficult to swim because I was so cold and we didn’t swim for the rest of the trip. Luckily, they had showers. When I was able to move my frozen body again we went to the one restaurant nearby and had one of the worst pizzas of my life. But I still see the whole trip, including the icy swim, as one of favourite trips. It was certainly one of my most memorable.

Original article by Ryan Scott – Sydney, Australia. Text edited by The Word’s methodology team

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My romantic notion of camping by a lake can be attributed to a diet of too much US and UK television as a child. Growing up in Australia we have plenty of sea but not so many opportunities to camp by freshwater. This natural lack of prospects coupled with images I saw in films gave me the sense I was missing out, so when my wife and I visited Slovenia a few years ago I jumped at the chance to spend some time at its two most famous lakes, Bled and Bohinj.

Both lakes are located in the Julian Alps, which we also took in as part of our trip. Bled was a short bus ride from the capital Ljubljana, another place we greatly admired but that’s a story for another day. I just remembered being captivated by the scenery. It was the first time I had seen such majestic mountains, though compared to some the Julian Alps are not so large.

The author wrote they ‘got their bearings.’ This means they looked around the area to learn when everything was for later.

We set up our tent and went for a walk around the lake. It was a bit fresh that afternoon and I wanted to really savour my first time swimming in freshwater. We got our bearings, located the nearest grocery store for supplies, pub for beer and even spied a castle to explore sometime later.

The following morning we were the first ones up. The ‘beach’ near our campsite which the day before was lined with people, was barren. Something made me stop before going into the water. My wife, who is far more daring, leapt in. “Come on. It’s great,” she urged.

When my body hit the water, I saw why I had hesitated. It was cold. Though we were there in the summer, someone had forgotten to tell the lake.

“You’ll get warm if you swim,” my wife said.

Being the more athletic of the two, she powered off toward the middle. Not wanting to be upstaged by her, I followed.  Far behind. I’d swum many times in the sea but this lake water was like clawing through mud. I didn’t realize how much the salt in the seawater had helped keep me buoyant. In freshwater, I had to paddle harder. By the end of the day I was getting it and within a couple I loved it. Even the water’s chill no longer bothered me.

Grammar point: In English the plural of types of fish is the same as the singular.

We did go up to the castle where they will slice open bottles of locally produced wine with a sword and we visited some beautiful waterfalls not too far away. I was most impressed by the bluish clarity of the water in which trout slowly swam against the current, seemingly pinned in place. We also rowed a boat out to the island and enjoyed evenings by the water. It was hard to believe we’d been there for only five days.

But we had to leave as we’d set our hearts on visiting Bohinj which was an extra 100 meters higher up in the mountains. It could just as well have been on another planet, so stark was the contrast. Those hundred meters made a difference. Where Bled had a sandy shore, Bohinj was surrounded by rocks. It was also significantly colder.

This time it was my wife’s turn to be trepidatious.

“It looks too cold to swim in,” she said.

‘To be a chicken’ is slang for being scared of something. ‘I’d like to go skydiving, but I think I’m too chicken.’

Having been proven unnecessarily fearful before, I was not going to look like a chicken again, so in I plunged.

How long I lasted varies with who is telling the story. My wife insists I was in there for about two minutes. I’m sure it was closer to ten. It certainly felt like ten. I swam about 30 meters out from the shore until I could no longer feel the sharp rocks – because of the numbness in my feet.

“I think you should come back. Your lips are blue,” my wife said.

Going in a straight line in this icy water was demanding enough. Now I had to turn around. By this point my hands had shrivelled with the cold and were no more than useless paddles. I didn’t so much swim but sort of splashed myself back. At least we knew there’d be no more swimming for the rest of the trip.

Fortunately, they had a working shower block. When my circulation had started again we went to the one restaurant nearby and had one of the worst pizzas of my life. Yet, I see the whole trip, including the icy swim, as one of my favourite trips. It was certainly one of my most memorable.

Ryan Scott – Sydney, Australia

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