Postojna CavesMay 12, 2017 in Slovenia
There's a 1 minute video of the caves on our VnW Travels You Tube channel here: https://youtu.be/9bK7pWFdiYg
It was the last full day of Ali and Tom's visit and we had chosen to visit Postojna Caves and Predjama Castle about 55km South West of Ljubljana.
Our experience at Škocjan caves had been incredible and we were keen to compare it with the more commercialised attraction at Postojna. The caves could only be explored with a guided tour and as they'd been promoted so heavily by the tourist board, we'd bought tickets (€23each!) on their website the night before for the 1pm slot. A group of around 50 people assembled at the starting point, before splitting up to congregate under half a dozen signs for various languages.
After a short introduction, we went as part of the English speaking and largest group, to board the small train that would take us into the cave system. We hurtled through tunnels and at times felt the need to duck because of the head clearance, never mind poor Ali who is 6 inches taller! There was too much to take in at the speed we were going, the section of caves open to the public at Postojna is obviously longer than that at Škocjan; we even passed through a wide hall with a huge manufactured crystal chandelier hanging from the ceiling and smaller decorative lights attached to the walls!
Once off the train, we were told a little about the caves by our guide through a microphone and speaker system, before climbing 'the mountain' and looking back on an incredible array of stalagmites, stalactites, columns, stone chandeliers and flowstones. From then on we were able to walk at our own pace, catching up with the guide (or not) when they were informing the group about certain sections. The paths were wider and there were a greater range of formations here than at Škocjan, the route we took was also dry, as the river had redirected its course many years previously. Although we were warned not to use a flash, we were able to take photos here and it is great to have them to look back on.
A real treat at the end of our underground adventure was to see some rare salamander-like creatures that were first discovered in the Postojna caves. The Proteus lives for up to 100 years, can go without food for 10 years due to its super slow metabolism and is blind, using instead its excellent sense of smell and weak electric fields to find its prey. Its skin isn't unlike human skin and it can grow to 30cm long. There were several living in a vivarium in the cave and it was amazing to be able to see them, although it was upsetting that others ignored the signs saying you shouldn't take any photos because the light damages the creatures. We took a photo of the black and white live film that was showing on a screen instead.
We came to the happy conclusion that the commercialisation hadn't spoiled Postojna caves and we'd definitely recommend a visit if you are in the area!
Predjama Castle was only 9km away so we drove over to take a look. After another difficult time parking, we walked a short distance and were afforded a good view of the fortress. What had motivated us to visit was its position, built in the mouth of a cave it was like something out of Lord of the Rings!
We were all feeling pretty tired by this point so picked up some ready made pizzas, garlic bread and a large cream cake for our last meal with Ali and Tom in the van that evening.Read more