Wednesday, September 01, 2010

The Škocjan Caves and Ljubljana

I had been biking pretty hard for 10 days straight at this point. If it wasn't a long day, it still had hills. My legs were really missing those rest days. However, I only had two days to get back to Ljubljana. I could take a bus, I could ride it one day, or I could split the big day into two smaller ones. I went with option number three. I would visit some caves on the way and then just make sure I was over half way there. The trick with this was that Piran is at sea level and the caves are not. Time to ride uphill again.

I hope you can tell how vast the Škocjan Caves are from this photo.

These are similar to stalacmites, but the water and minerals come from the overflow from the formation above.

The Škocjan Caves are not as popular or big as the Postojna ones, but I had heard they were better. They don't have as many people and the individual caverns are larger. I have been in a number of cave systems, but this one had the biggest caverns I had ever seen. We started our two hour tour in a dry area of the cave filled with stalactites, stalacmites, and columns. However, then we moved over to where the river currently was and saw a couple caverns that were larger than I could have imagined. You could put large skyscrapers into some of them. They had lights in all of the big caverns, but they could barely illuminate the giant area. I really wish I had my fancy camera to try and take some more photos to show you what it was like. All I can really stress is that they were beautiful and immense. They dwarfed and awed us. No words will describe how awesome they are. Factoid from the tour: Slovenia gave us the word karst. It is the name of the area where the caves are, but also now means ' landscape shaped by the dissolution of layer layers of soluble bedrock, usually carbonate rock such as limestone.'

Škocjan Caves bridge (photo by a professional)

Trying to give a little perspective about the size of the cave.

When I was done with the caves, I wanted to bike for another hour or so to make the next day easier. After talking to one of the guides, I learned that I would be going uphill 300m to Postojna. After that, it would pretty much be downhill to Ljubljana. It hurt, but I just pumping until I made it. When I got there, I looked for the camping in town, but could not find it. I went to the recommended hostel, but it was full. I was directed to camping around 3km out of town. It turned out to be more like 7km and after 5km, I just pulled off into the woods to sleep instead. This was my first freedom camping in Slovenia. I could hear lots of critters running around, but very few cars. I barely even unpacked I was so tired.

Log, log, it's big, it's heavy, it's wood. I believe this is the third village called Log that I found in Slovenia.

1 comment:

  1. what's the fascination with towns named Log? they don't seem to have that many logs in slovenia...

    those are some unbelievable caves! they're big enough to fit in skyscrapers? wow!