Tuesday, 28 January 2020

Balkan Travel Part 24: Postojna Cave Park, Slovenia

It is enlightening to know that Slovenia has over thirteen thousand caves and every other day new caves are being discovered! The most famous and visited is Postojna Cave. I have been to several beautiful caves around the world and have a tendency to think that if you have seen one, you have seen all. Stalactites, stalagmites, columns or other cave formation that embellish these caves may not be 100% the same but they appear generally similar to me so visiting caves has never been my favourite thing to do. Having visited Postojna Cave, I think it is somewhat different. There are a few unique features about this cave not seen elsewhere. On top of that the range of multifarious formation is spectacular enough to keep me busy gazing in admiration. 
Firstly, Postojna Cave is the only cave in the world with a double-track railway line. Visitors will get to see part of the cave from the train and part on foot. Having the train to traverse part of the cave is a good thing, otherwise the walk may be a little tedious as the cave is 24 km long. The train was established as early as 1872 but the one I rode on is a modern version of course. 

The train journey ended under 'Great Mountain', also known as Calvary, an underground hill 45 meters high at the junction of three galleries. This chamber is unbelievably mammoth in size, and is said to be big enough to hold a cathedral!.
The exploration continued on foot with cave guides explaining and expounding on facts about the cave. We had to cross this bridge, called 'Russian Bridge' to get across a deep chasm.
This 'Russian Bridge' was built by Russian prisoners during World War I. Across it,  you get to see a variety of cave formation and they are all very beautiful.
Postojna Cave was formed 2 million years ago but it was discovered  only in 1818.

The bigger chambers in the cave are known as 'halls' and they are named by their general appearance or cave formation seen there, for example 'Spaghetti Hall' because the formation hanging from the ceiling looks like spaghetti. There're also "Red Hall, White Hall, Dance Hall, Concert Hall, etc. 

There is a proper path that winds around the passage and chambers so it is relatively safe to explore this cave. The temperature is a constant at 9⁰ C.
Towards the end of the walk, visitors can view a unique cave inhabitant kept in a very dark aquarium. This creature called Olm  or human fish has a lifespan of 100 years and can survive without food for up to 12 years. That's an amazing fact indeed! 
After the tour, I took the train back to the entrance. 

The Cave Vicinity
This is a picture of the cave entrance. To take the train, we had to enter through a gate on the right hand side.

There are a few other things to do in the cave vicinity. I went to have a look at River Pivka, the river that caused the formation of the cave. 

The riverside has been beautifully landscaped with nice trees, colourful shrubs, and a wooden bridge.

In the vicinity you can also see the Modrijan Mill (or the Lower Mill) whose water wheels have been going round in this very spot for the last five centuries.
There is a hotel (Hotel Jama) and a row of shops leading to the cave entrance.
These are among some interesting items sold in the shops.

Related Posts: Click To View
Balkan Travel Pt 1: [ Romania] Bucharest Sightseeing
Balkan Travel Pt 2: [Romania] Bucharest Walking Tour
Balkan Travel Pt 3: [Romania] Peles Castle , Dracula's Castle & Romanian Scenery
Balkan Travel Pt 4: Bulgaria Attractions
Balkan Travel Pt 5: [Bulgaria] Sofia Attractions
Balkan Travel Pt 6: [North Macedonia] Skopje A City Of Mutifarious Statues
Balkan Travel Pt 7: [North Macedonia] Memorable Moments In Skopje
Balkan Travel Pt 8: [North Macedonia] Ohrid Photo Gallery
Balkan Travel Pt 9: [Albania] Glimpses Of Albania and Its Capital City Tirana
Balkan Travel Pt 10: [Albania] Walking Tour Of Tirana
Balkan Travel Pt 11: Montenegro Scenic Drive
Balkan Travel Pt 12: The Charms Of Koto Montenegro
Balkan Travel Pt 13: [Montenegro] The Old Town Of Kotor Photo Gallery
Balkan Travel Part 14: [Croatia] The Charms Of Dubrovnik
Balkan Travel Pt 15: [Croatia] The Old Town Of Dubrovnik
Balkan Travel Part 16: [Croatia] The Elaphiti Islands Of Dubrovnik
Balkan Travel Part 17: [Croatia] Plitvice National Park Photo Gallery
Balkan Travel Part 18: [Croatia] Rastoke Villagel

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