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  • Day11

    Škocjanske jame- Höhlen von Škocjan

    August 11, 2019 in Slovenia ⋅ ⛅ 27 °C

    Da heute der heißeste Tag unseres Aufenthaltes sein sollte, brauchten wir etwas Abkühlung. Also beschlossen wir ins 19 km entfernte Škocjan zu fahren und uns die hiesige Höhlenwelt anzuschauen. Diese soll wohl nicht ganz so überlaufen sein, wie die von Postojna. Na ja falsch gedacht: Sonntag, Urlaubszeit und viele andere auf der Suche nach Abkühlung. Also erst mal anstehen für die Tickets und dann die Zeit mit Warten auf den Beginn der Führung totschlagen. Es sammelte sich eine Gruppe von gefühlt mehreren hundert Menschen aller Sprachrichtungen. Zunächst wanderten wir einen etwa 700 Meter langen Weg zum Eingang der Höhlen hinab. Dort wurde die Gruppe in slowenischsprachig, italienisch und englisch unterteilt.
    Nachdem die Slowenen und Italiener im Berg verschwunden waren, hieß es auch für uns ab in die Dunkelheit. Die Temperaturen waren angenehm( 12 Grad) und schon die ersten Tropfsteinformationen waren beeindruckend.
    Das Höhlensystem besteht aus zahlreichen Höhlen Gängen, Einsturzdolinen und Naturbrücken. Diese wurden vom Fluss Reka geschaffen, der nach 50 km oberirdischem Verlauf in den Höhlen von Šcocjan verschwindet, später irgendwo in Italien wieder zutage kommt.
    Einfach nur überwältigend, was die Natur geschaffen hat. Höhlen mit gigantischen Ausmaßen und Tropfsteinformationen die aussahen wie im Märchen. Wir kamen uns vor wie am Filmset von Indiana Jones oder Herr der Ringe. Leider durften keine Fotos geschossen werden, aber manchmal machen sich iPhones wohl selbständig.😉
    Man hörte das Rauschen des unterirdischen Flusses, konnte über eine Brücke in 45m darüber laufen und entdeckte die Überreste der ehemaligen Erforscherpfades.
    Nach einem etwa 2,3 km Weg und zahlreichen Stufen durch das Höhlensystem wurde es wärmer und man sah wieder Tageslicht. Auch hier eine beeindruckende Landschaft aber eben auch wieder ziemlich warm. Den Wanderweg sparten wir uns daher, nahmen den kurzen Weg zum Elevator und gelangten wieder zum Ausgangspunkt unserer Wanderung.
    Auf dem Heimweg dann noch ein kurzer Halt in einem netten Restaurant mit hausgemachter Pasta, Risotto und anderen Leckereien. Nun erst mal Abkühlpause.....
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  • Day217

    Day 218: Ljubljana via Škocjan Caves

    September 20, 2017 in Slovenia ⋅ ⛅ 14 °C

    Time to leave Koper! Although we hadn't seen much of the town, we felt a bit more refreshed and ready to move on. So we loaded up and headed out around 10am after a brief Skype call to my brother for his birthday.

    Main stop for the day was Škocjan Caves, a UNESCO world heritage site. These are some of the largest caves in Europe, formed mainly by a river flowing largely underground. A huge part of it still runs underground, but there's some dramatic cliffs and stuff where the limestone above has collapsed (huge sinkholes called dolines). It was only a short drive from Koper, so we arrived at around 10:30 and assessed our options.

    There were two underground tours, one guided only while the other was unguided. The guided walk didn't allow photography while the other had no such rules, so our decision in the end was pretty easy. First stop was a viewpoint overlooking the area, then we walked downhill to the start of our cave walk.

    It was really more of a canyon walk, and only short parts of it were in the caves, but they were still very impressive. Particularly after the huge recent rains as well, the river flowing below was an absolute torrent and an obvious demonstration of how water shapes the landscape so brutally.

    We finished about 90 minutes later having done a fair bit of filming along the way. I really enjoyed the caves - they aren't the largest we've seen (Gunung Mulu in Malaysia dwarfs these efforts), but they're still very impressive. I also just find caves to be such an otherworldly environment, like I'm inside a videogame or something. A lame metaphor perhaps, but there it is.

    We grabbed some lunch at the cafe attached to the visitor's centre - good hearty fare typical of this part of the world! We both had slices of roasted pork with giant balls of mashed potato & onion, all topped with gravy. Nice.

    Onwards we went, back to the freeway to Ljubljana the capital city. It's easier to pronounce than you think, the Js are mostly silent so it's really just Lub-Lana. On that note though, I've been very impressed that almost everyone here speaks some English, and people under 40 or so are very good. Fluent enough that they can pick up jokes, nuance and subtext which are all very difficult in English.

    The city itself is fairly compact and small, though almost everything in this country is. We'd just driven halfway across in an hour or so! We still had a few hours before our Airbnb would be ready, so we parked up near the city centre and set off exploring.

    Some nice buildings around, public squares and statues, and a cool little waterfront. The university seems quite important here and it's quite common to hear people speaking English while walking past (not tourists). There are tourists around, but not too many which is nice. The bridges over the narrow river are cool, there's one triple-bridge of stone arches, and another called the Dragon Bridge which has four large bronze dragons perched on the pillars. Local legend has it that the dragons wag their tails when virgins cross the bridge, which, well okay I guess, if that's where you want to take that!

    The whole centre is overlooked by the castle which sits on a tall rocky spire in the middle of town, probably 100 metres up. We decided to catch the furnicular up since it was only a couple of euros, which gave us a nice view and a short free walk on some of the battlements. Excellent views from here; since it was clear you could see all the way to the Alps some 60-70km distant.

    Decided to skip on the castle tour proper, since it was moderately expensive and no dogs were allowed (Schnitzel was his usual rock-star self), so instead we had a coffee and cake in the castle courtyard before heading back down.

    Back to the car where we drove to a supermarket for supplies, then headed to our Airbnb. It's basically a studio apartment with a separate kitchen and bathroom; decent size and will be comfortable enough for the next five days. It's supposed to rain tomorrow so we'll probably stay indoors all day!
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  • Day20

    La Slovénie et ses grottes

    September 30, 2018 in Slovenia ⋅ ☀️ 18 °C

    Nous voici arrivés en Slovénie. Nous allons visiter les grottes de Skocjan qui sont répertoriées au patrimoine mondial de l'UNESCO.
    Impossible de prendre une photo à l’intérieur mais WAHOU
    Rencontre de Fleurine et Jordan qui font un tour d'Europe en van. Petite journée bien sympathique

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