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lake-bledFirst Lady Melania Trump would instantly recognize Lake Bled, for it is considered the most beautiful place in her home country of Slovenia. It’s a glacial lake up in the Julian Alps near the border with Austria. The small lush island you see has been a pilgrimage site for millennia – first to the Temple of Ziva, the Slovene goddess of love and fertility, then until now to the Church of the Mother of God. For all that time, Slovene couples came here to get married.

There are 99 steps from the rowboat landing to the church, and from ancient times to today, the tradition is that for a happy and long-lasting marriage, the groom must carry his bride up all 99 steps while she must remain silent while he does.

Lake Bled is a place of deep serenity and joyous calm. Come here to experience both. (Glimpses of Our Breathtaking World #178 photo ©Jack Wheeler)