For fans - fully understandable and it is not worth wasting time on translations. For sun and beach lovers - bizarre to say the least. What is it about? For the love of underground wandering and learning the secrets of caves. About squeezing through narrow corridors until an attack of claustrophobia. For discovering the magic of water drops falling from ceilings, and for views that cannot be seen by everyone.
There are many dangerous caves in the world that stretch for miles deep into the darkness. You don't have to watch "Descent" to know that inexperienced hikers should be on your guard, because if they slip, they will not call for help, even from the latest cell phone model. However, enthusiasts are not afraid of risk and in pursuit of new magical views they will discover more caves. Among the most interesting are Postojna, the largest and most visited cave in Europe of the "classic karst" type, and the Scottish Caves, placed on the UNESCO list. Both attractions of this tiny country are separated by only 30 km.
Postojna Cave and a human fish
It cannot be denied that Postojna , located in the Pivka valley, at the foot of the Sovič mountain, enjoys a greater interest of tourists. This has its advantages and disadvantages, the latter mainly being overcrowded in the season and commercialism visible everywhere. Somewhere along the way, magic got lost, but not the beauty of the underground world of the most famous Slovenian cave. We can find the aforementioned magic in the next point of the trip, but before that, Postojna should be given enough attention. First of all, it should be emphasized that its great advantage is the ease of access. You can get here by highway (to Trieste), bus or train, and while driving, head towards the village of the same name. There are over 20 km of corridors waiting for us on site, which can be visited with a guide throughout the year. The admission ticket costs € 22.90. The tourist route itself is 5.5 kilometers long, 4 of which are overcome by cable car. The trips last about 1.5 hours, and during them we will often see something that will make us speechless.
The cave complex is decorated with amazing rock forms in the form of white or colored and sometimes iridescent stalactites and stalagmites. In the great underground chambers, we will see fabulously colorful dripstones with amazing shapes, as well as "spaghetti" or "curtains" rock forms hanging from the ceiling. Some are so elaborate that they even got their names - a good example is the beautiful human-sized Vanilla Ice Cream. In the last grotto, the ears are thrilled with excellent acoustics. After all, it is a concert hall that can accommodate up to 10,000 people. people. The aforementioned acoustics are used during symphonic concerts that often take place here.
Interestingly enough, the caves are home to an original creature called the cave misfit. It is an eyeless amphibian, called a human fish by the Slovenes because of its flesh-colored skin. The amphibian swims only in the underground karst waters of the Dinaric Mountains. It is extremely long-lived - it lives up to 70 years, and without food it can survive even a decade.
The Scotia Caves
Tourists who want to experience the rugged beauty of Slovenia's second attraction can leave their car in the parking lot next to the pavilion upon arrival. Entrances to the caves are hourly and the ticket price is approx. € 16. Before entering the underground world, remember to bring warmer clothes - the temperature in the caves does not exceed 12 degrees. The tour lasts approximately 2 hours and takes place in guided groups only.
While wandering the Scottish Caves, you can feel like on the set of the movie "The Lord of the Rings". The largest underground canyon in Europe stretches beneath the surface. It is over 100 meters high and is 3 km long. At the bottom of the canyon, looking as if it was carved by the hand of an enormous creature, flows a river called… Reka (River). It disappears into the depths of dark corridors to reappear in Italy. The total length of the cave corridors is approx. 6 km, of which only half is open to the public.
The route leads through corridors, narrow bridges over the underground canyon and galleries suspended several dozen meters above the river bed. A characteristic feature of the caves are high chambers and sloping corridors with fanciful stalactites on the walls. After reaching the end of the route, you can return to the pavilion by elevator or climb up the stairs.
Attractions on the surface
The surroundings of both caves are as attractive as the complexes of underground corridors. It is worth staying here longer and spending more time getting to know the charms of the region. There are many guesthouses and hotels waiting for tourists, there was also an offer for campers. Right at the entrance to Postojna Cave, there is Avtokamp Pivka Jama , where an adult stay costs from € 9.90 to € 11.90. The campsite has a swimming pool, basketball and volleyball courts, and a tennis court and table tennis court. There are also modern sanitary buildings as well as chemical toilets.
On the other hand, those who would prefer to stay closer to the Scottish Caves, can consider the Dujceva Domacija campsite, approximately 3.3 km from the underground attractions. The price of accommodation is 10 euros, access to electricity costs 3 euros, and for a four-legged friend we will pay 2 euros a day.
Slovenia is not yet as famous and popular among Poles as, for example, Italy or Croatia, but it fully deserves to be known. Both its attractions on the surface of the earth and those hidden in the dark.
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