Day 15 Postojna Slovenia. Caves

There are no breakfast facilities at the Villa Alpina so the very friendly and helpful young man made a reservation for us at the Garden Hotel which is just down the road. It’s a “glamping” spot and nothing short of incredible. Glamping is “glamorous camping” and is a big deal here. I had heard of it, it was fun to see a facility. The tents are huge, as tall as a house but made of thick canvas. We didn’t see inside them, but I’m sure they were quite comfortable.

We had a wonderful buffet breakfast with lots of coffee. The table had grass on it. Yes grass. I watched a mallard duck fly in and land on the pond or swimming pool ( not sure which it is) just outside the window. The beauty is amazing. It is pristine, not even a stray dead leaf to be seen.

The fruit looked like a photo in a magazine. I indulged in a couple of strawberries.

After walking back to the hotel we went to the lobby for better internet and to tell the young man that we wanted to extend our stay. He was supposed to be there at 10am according to the sign. After waiting until 10:45 we decided to get on with our day. Unfortunately the room was not available so they moved our luggage out for us and called to let us know.

That necessitated finding another room. Expedia has been great. Found another hotel which is actually a better deal as we don’t have to pay 10 euro for parking or 30 euro for breakfast.

$83 for the new room.

We had quite the discussion last night about automobiles with the young man at the hotel. Steve and I have a Jeep Wrangler and a Dodge pick up truck. There are not a lot of either in Europe. We did see one antique military. I think we are up to 5 pick up trucks sighted since we’ve been here. After trying to maneuver in the tiny streets and single lanes I can understand why pick up trucks are not popular here.

It’s interesting to see small campers and horse trailers being pulled by regular Toyota or Peugeot cars. Quite unlike the huge trucks or RV’s that clog the roads in the states.

Since it is a rainy and rather dreary day, we decided to go inside. So off we go to Postojna to see a cave!

From the guide book:

The karst cave at Pistojna is one of the largest in the world, it’s stalagmites and stalactites formations are unequaled anywhere. It is among Slovenia’s most popular attractions.

The cave has been known and visited by residents of the area for centuries. The people in the middle ages only knew the entrances; the inner parts were not explored until April 1818, just before the Hapsburg Emperor Franz I came to visit.

The following year the cave commission excepted it’s first organized group, including Archduke Ferdinand and Postojnas future as a tourist destination was sealed.

The jaw dropping Cave system, a series of caverns, halls and passages some 24 kilometers long and 2 million years old, was hollowed out by the Pivka River, which enters a subterranean tunnel near the cave’s entrance.

Visitors get to see 5 km of the cave,3.2 km at this is covered by a cool electric train.

The train takes you to see the Great Mountain cavern, on a trip that is like entering the secret lair of a James Bond villain.

It’s absolutely magnificent! The electric train ride down was interesting, nothing really special except for the scenery

However the Kasem selves are incredibly spectacular. There just are not enough superlative’s to describe it. Steve took some photos and then finally just gave up there’s just too much. The tour is about an hour the little bit over 1 km of walking.

There are not enough superlative’s to describe the cave. It’s huge, and wonderful.

It’s a live cave, it’s still growing. There’s also salamanders and other life in the cave which is very unusual from what I’ve seen. Caves in Arkansas or more recently South Dakota that we have seen were all dry with no life at all.

After taking the tram electric train down, we unloaded and our English-speaking guide gave us some general information and then we set off walking. You don’t have to stay with the guide, you can do a audio guide and walk-through on your own, or no guide at all and just stroll through the cave.

I had on a jacket with a raincoat. I had the hood of the raincoat up for most of the time I was in the cave due to the large and numerous drops of water that fell upon my head. There were puddles on the side, there were ponds on the side, the walkway was wet.

The entire facility is beautiful, very well run, efficient. Well worth seeing.

Yet another learning curve on parking. As we enter the parking lot there was a machine, Steve put his credit card in it and a parking card spit out. When we attempted to leave we put the parking card into the machine and nothing happened. Put it in again, nothing happened. Steve try putting his credit card into the slot, nothing happened. By then we had a line of cars behind us, and there were a few honks.

So Steve backed up, parked on the side of the exit and we try to figure out why we couldn’t get out of the parking lot.

Did I mention it was raining? Have I mentioned that it’s been raining for the last several days? The rain makes everything worse.

As we sat on the side I saw several women get out of cars on the passenger side and go running over to a wait for it parking kiosk. We don’t know what if anything putting the credit card into the machine at the beginning accomplished, apparently nothing.

So I got out of the car, parens in the rain, ran over to the parking kiosk and paid for parking. Cash only. I’ve learned to always have euros in my pocket.

Parking paid for, we drove through the rain to the hotel.

Our hotel host went to school at Brown University in He offered us a glass of a blueberry liquor and we talked for a bit.

Dinner was at Gostilna Union Bled, which was recommended by Lonely Planet. They cooked the meat over a Roaring fire in one of the rooms. Because it was raining. Normally they would cook it outside. The place was bustling.

Eating Keto…

Every buffet breakfast has an assortment of salami, prosciutto and cheese. Olives, capers, tomatoes and sometimes fresh fruit. And boiled eggs. So no problem at all.

No lunch.

Amazing steak with Gorgonzola sauce and grilled vegetables for me. Two glasses of the local red wine were my carbs for the day. Steve had a local beer and pork chops and potatos. The entire meal was $41. A heck of a deal!

May 28 2019

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