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Postojna

Underground overground

Our trip from Rovinj to Postojna felt very easy and comfortable. We had booked a private transfer and because there are 5 of us we get a very spacious van. The 2 1/2 hour journey from Croatia to Slovenia was picturesque, time flew by. Interesting to note when we crossed the border into Slovenia that all of the road signs were in Italian as well as Slovenian. We had a planned stop at Piran. Our driver Dragan dropped us at the top of the walled city and we wandered down through the streets to the coastline. Another stunning city which happened to be very hot on the day we visited. We wandered around the town feeling like we were melting - confirmed when we stumbled upon a digital thermometer telling us it was in fact 35 degrees. After a quick lunch, we hit the road again for a short trip to Postojana our home for just two nights at the Hotel Jama. Our first stay in a hotel for the trip. The kids were excited comfy beds, plush sheets and free shampoo according to them. We've had some interesting beds along the way - falling apart, incredibly squeaky, linen too small for the bed. Funny in Croatia it seems to be the thing just to put two single duvets on a king size bed - guess it saves arguments about who is stealing the sheets.

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Piran

Our mission was to explore the stunning Postojna cave. The scale of this cave system is just out of this world. In total it is 24km long and was discovered 200 years ago. We got to see 5 km of the cave beginning with a 3.5km train journey then a 1.5km walk, then back out on the train. They pack through the visitors but in general, it was a well-organised operation. We've always been wowed by the beauty of the Ngarua Caves at the top of the Takaka hill well this one just blew our mind. The spaces were vast including a space called the ballroom complete with Murano glass chandeliers and an auditorium where concerts were once held. We went down to a depth of 120 metres, we saw literally thousands of beautiful limestone Karsts (stalagmites and stalactites) each taking 1000 years to grow 1cm. Some hanging from the ceiling as thin a dry spaghetti others 5 metres tall with a 3-metre circumference. Our photos don't really do it justice but it certainly was another once in a lifetime experience. The caves have been a tourist destination since 1819 and to date, they estimated 38 million visitors have since passed through.

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our ride in
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Inside the cave 120 metres below ground

Our tickets also included entry to the cave expo where were learnt about how the cave formed and also the vivarium where we got to see the types of organisms that live in the cave including the famous Ohlm or "baby dragon" which looks like a colourless axolotl with no eyes and can live without food for 10 years - what a shame our kids don't possess that skill. Later in the afternoon we took a taxi to Predjama Castle - described as "a fairytale castle embraced by rock" it is said to be the largest cave castle in the world. We enjoyed wandering the various rooms of the castle and adjoining cave, listening to the audio guide stories of its history and inhabitants.

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Predjama Castle
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Bit cold and damp for the castle dwellers

One further observation is the number of people who smoke in Europe and it's allowed in restaurants and public spaces. The kids are astounded - we know no smokers at home and yet it seems that the majority of people do here. The problem is not helped by cigarettes costing a mere $5 a pack. The other thing we're struggling with is getting a decent sized cup of coffee that is hot. Even in Italy - I think if we were expresso drinkers we'd be fine but man are we looking forward to an enjoyable cup.

Our short visit to Slovenia was complete, another stunning country with its beautiful green countryside and rolling hills. The end is drawing near on our epic trip. It's time to move on to our next and fourth to last stop.

Posted by Watson5 07:33 Archived in Slovenia

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Comments

Looks amazing especially the cave.

by Val and Doug

The caves look awesome, we stay in Piran for 3 nights???? also hanging out for a Latte kiwi style ????

by Tracey Parks

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