Monday, April 18, 2016

Postojna Cave and Predjama Castle

I had never been in a cave before, so I thought the Karst region of Slovenia would be a good place to try that for the first time. This is where the term Karst actually comes from.

Postojna Cave is the second largest cave system in Slovenia, the first being the Skocjan Cave, and we chose to visit this one because of the location near Predjama Castle (just a few miles down the road) and because they take you into and out of the cave on a little train, which I thought the kids would enjoy more than miles of walking.

We rode for about 10 minutes at the beginning and again at the end through dimly lit passageways. And in the middle walked for about an hour with a tour guide through "the most beautiful section of the cave."

Hard to take decent photos in such dim light (no flashes allowed,) but irresistible to try because of the eerie and other worldly beauty.

Rob and I both liked these curtain stalactites. The effect is caused when thin wavy sheets of calcite form.  These look like they are blowing in the wind, because when they formed the river was still flowing below them causing a breeze to alter the shapes as the stalactites formed.

The different colors might be what surprised me the most.  I know rocks come in different colors based on their mineral composition, but to see such strong reds, whites, and dark browns forming so near one another was surprising.

After our visit to the cave and some quick lunch, we headed to Predjama Castle.  This castle is famous for being built into the mouth of a cave. This photo is just to show you how often our family photos fail. Jake and Amelie are both screaming about being forced to pose and Rob is cracking up about it.

The castle is really cool though.
If you look at the picture from the outside, you can see a cavern above the castle.  We toured the castle interior (it is very simply furnished and didn't take long to tour) and then climbed up above the castle into the cavern to look out at the view.  There are stairs that continue back into the cave and provided the castle with a secret "back door" when they were under siege that enabled them to sneak in supplies.

Oh look! There's a viking in Slovenia?!?

Hurrah!  I finally got a nice family photo!
We really loved Slovenia and if we have enough time here in Germany, we may try to make a return trip one day to do some more hiking or possibly even some skiing one day.

1 comment:

Aubrey said...

That first family photo...hahahahaha! You've got to suffer through a few of those in order to get the one at the end of the post. Sometimes I'm soooooo tempted to put the bad one in a frame just for giggles.