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July 26th 2017
Published: July 26th 2017
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Today was a super touristy day. Postojna is most known for its incredible cave system and nearby castle built into a cave. Because this is the most popular tourist sight in Slovenia we arrived at the ticket office early and took the 9am (first) tour into the famous caves. It’s a 24km long set of caves that are joined follow a river that drains into the Black Sea. The tour starts with a train ride, immediately we were impressed with the density of the stalactites and stalagmites (‘speleothems’ I learned today). The cave tour takes an hour and a half and the walk is around 1.2 km. Some of the cave spaces are huge all are covered in speleothems.

There’s a free shuttle bus that takes you up to the castle, 10 km away. The castle is in a stunning location, overlooking a green valley and wedged into a cave in the cliff face. It was far more peaceful here than the caves area, which quickly became overrun with visitors. When we came out of the caves the queues for tickets were very long, should you think of visiting and can’t make the 9am start, the castle is much quieter and you can buy tickets for the cave from there. There’s a free audio guide through the castle which was built from the 13th century and added to, with legends of a local Robin Hood character called the “Robber Baron”. It was interesting to see how the cliff and castle merged, with caves above and behind giving places to flee or have food delivered when under siege.

We went for the ticket with all 4 attractions in the area, so took the shuttle bus back and visited the Expo, a museum about the Karst limestone in the area and then to the Vivarium which has tanks with some of the creatures that dwell in the caves, including the fascinating proteus, which long ago people thought were baby dragons. They do look exactly like that, they can live for ten years without food and live up to a hundred years! This exhibition was in the cave full of signatures from mostly 19th century visitors who were asked to sign on the speleothems, a practice not encouraged today.

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