Saturday, August 21, 2010

Postojna Caves and Ljubljana

The next Slovenian adventure took us deep down underground and into the Postojna caves. This cave system is the biggest and most beautiful in the world. During the 1 hour tour we were able to explore 5 km of stalactites and stalagmites. I have never seen anyting quite like it. Have you?!? These caves were created by the Pivka River and discovered in 1818. It quickly became a top tourist destination in Slovenia. They added electricity and electric trains which helped scoot us in and out of the cave.
Once inside we got out of the train and divided into language groups. This was the first such grouping where "English" was the minority and by far the smallest group. It made me a little nervous to be so far underground with so few English-speakers but whatever...
We walked briskly with our tour the 2 km along the path. I was nervous that Connor might freak out at the caves or become clastrophobic - or that she wouldn't be able to walk the 2 km (we had no stroller) or she would announce to all she needed to go potty in the middle of it all. But somehow in the dark, cool caves she was able to keep up and enjoy with no potty breaks.
It was the type of place photos don't even do justice. The magnitude of the cave system was unbelieveable. The tour ended in the cave "concert hall" which can seat 10,000 with perfect acoustics. What a venue!Then it was back on the train to return to the sunny outside.Exhausted from the long day we drove past Predjama Castle. We were in disbelief this could possibly be the same day we started in Bled so long ago! The great outdoors just kept luring us more and more.
We stayed this night in Lljubljana (Ly-ewe-blee-ana), Slovenia's capital city. It was a jazzy hotel with a swimming pool and also the largest bed pillows I have ever seen!... Just look at the size compared to Connor - and these weren't even the shams!
Llubliana was a gem. The colors and friendly feel felt good.

Little details were ornate and surprising. Slovenia was once Yugoslavia. This certainly isn't what I imagined in my brain for Yugoslavia! They have done quite a lot of spit and polishing from the old days.
The outdoor market was filled with a rainbow of edible treasures. Why are food and market flower photos so tempting to snap?!

Llubliana churches were as good as they get. What a statement of faith.

Our last Slovenia stop was in the town of Ptuj. Yes it is pronounced pa-tu-ee, like the sound of a spit. It is Slovenia's "oldest town"I liked Ptuj's 'Kids at School' sign.We had an authentic Slovenia lunch of dumplings and my family was jeweled in their blue outfits.Just as I had hoped Slovenia made our top 5 list of favorite countries. I am so happy we went. It was safe and clean and just the right mix of nature and adventure. Don't miss the opportunity to see Slovenia if it presents itself.

Click here for our full album photos from Slovenia

1 comment:

Jenna said...

Hey Reid, Slovenia and Lake Bled was always a place I had on my list! Now I definitely want to have a time to go back and see all of it after reading your blogs! Looks fabulous!