Day 44 - Rocking in Slovenia


Friday 8th August 2014 

Now there's really not too much to say about caves. Good pictures are difficult to capture, especially when flash photography is banned and you don't have stuff like wide-angle lenses and the like.
Once you've used up words like awesome, astounding and majestic then you're left with anthropomorphising a bunch of rocks.

"Can you see the chicken?"' Says the English-speaking guide. "This formation reminds one of a camel".
 
In the Postojne cave system

Actually it's a goddamn rock, formed by water dripping through the ceiling for millennia and growing at 3 millimetres every hundred years.

We are in the world-renowned Postojne cave system in Central Slovenia and it truly is awesome, though trite references to camels and chickens are pretty unnecessary.
 



Postojne Cave is probably the most popular tourist attraction in Slovenia. It is highly organised with guided tours arranged into language groups and shepherded rapidly through the vast caverns, stopping every so often for more amplified and unnecessary trivia.

The journey starts with a train ride in small open carriages. Keep your head down and limbs well inside, the train burrows through narrow tunnels and then out into huge chambers for a 2 kilometre trundle deep into the heart of the cave system.

Then it's a stroll up and down the concrete walkways through 'caverns measureless to man', to borrow from Tennyson.

The rock formations are quite stunning. It has taken three million years to create this and it's worth every minute.





Mick is in his element. He spent much of his working years down holes in the ground in the coal mines of Yorkshire. If only he had his pick axe, Davy lamp and canary he'd be attacking the rock face in the bat of an eye.

The tour takes an hour and a half and costs €22.90.

But 'to begin at the beginning'. (It's a day for literary quotes, thank you Dylan Thomas).
We are camping on the shores of the Adriatic surrounded by naked geriatrics who really shouldn't be.

Yesterday morning, our first day here, we are awake at 6am and Mick sets out to forage for breakfast. He returns with the gloomy news that neither of the nearby restaurant or shop will be open before 11am. This is a catastrophe.

We contemplate our depleted Lidl supplies. A packet of paprika chipsticks, a banana and two seriously jaded peaches. It's not looking good.

And then another of those serendipity moments. Along comes a smiling vendor calling out his wares. There are apple and blackcurrant pastries, and a choice of jam, vanilla or chocolate donuts. Oh heaven, thank you Lord!




Breakfast comes to those who wait

This morning here he is again. So we load up on a doughy and calorific breakfast and all is well with the world.

At 7 in the morning we have a final swim in the warm Adriatic Sea. Then we are off.
We head north up the coast and then east towards the Slovenia border, stopping for coffee at a little cafe on a hillside. Across the valley stands the hilltop town of Motovun or Montona in the Italian version.

Motovun / Montona Croatia

There is a wonderful road up to and across the border. Passport check but no hassle as we enter Slovenia and head for the caves.
The main entrance to the caves

 More cave pictures (all taken on an ipad, so not the finest quality)






 




 After the cave visit we head west. We are going to ride over to the Italian border and the Soca Valley, looking for accommodation as we go.


The Blue House
We soon find it in the little village of Ciginj near Tolmin. The Blue House is a lovely pension run by Valentin. We are soon made comfortable and after supper at the pizza house across the road we turn in after a tiring but interesting day. 



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