A Travellerspoint blog

Caves and Castles

It was another nice day in the mid 20's and a bit cooler than yesterday. I hadn’t slept that well with my dorm room having a window 2 levels above the alley where there were many boisterous people talking loudly as they walked through at 2.30am!

We left at 7.20 am to walk to the bus station to catch the 8am bus to Postjana to visit the famous caves. We arrived 50 minutes later . Tickets cost 15 E each return for the bus and 23 E for the cave entry. We were on the first entry unto the caves at 10am along with hundreds of Japanese on tours. We boarded a train that went for a couple of kilometres before we disembarked to walk round a trail through several caves viewing the stunning stalagmites and stalactites. These grew at 1 mm every 10 – 40 years. Their colour varied from pure white to reddish colour depending on what minerals were in the water as it dripped down. We went from 80 – 180 metres below the surface of the ground.

There are 24 km of underground passages, galleries and halls but we only saw 3km.

The crown is called the 'briiliant" and is a 5 metre high pure white stalagmite. We also saw the little creatures called the proteus that live here that are blind salamanders, only need to eat every few years and were once believed to be baby dragons.

The cave is naturally ventilated so that you can breathe in it , unlike the salt mines that needed air shafts.

The Concert hall can hold 10,000 people for events and has great acoustics and an echo lasts for 6 seconds.

It is only 10 degrees in the cave and after 90 minutes I was glad to get back into the sunshine.

After finishing the 1 ½ hour tour we asked the ticket office to book us a taxi the 9km drive to Predjama Castle as there was no other way there. We were told it would be 30 E each !!!! When the driver arrived he said there was another couple and it would only cost us 9 E each!!

We were able to spend an 1 ½ there and I loved this castle. It was started in the 11th century and completed in the 15 th century . This majestic castle is situated in a cave half way up a 127 metre cliff. It is the largest cave castle in the world and one of the few surviving castle caves in Alpine foothills.

It was an incredible castle spread over 5 levels and built so seamlessly into the cave that sometimes you couldn’t tell what was cave or what was man made. It cost 12 E to enter the castle and you were given an audio guide

At the very top it went into a huge cave the went through to the other side of the mountain.

There once was a knight who defended the castle from Austrian conquerors for over a year with the aid of a secret tunnel before one of his servants betrayed him by revealing that the thinnest part of the wall was a toilet and he was killed by a cannon ball when he went in to sit on that throne.

Below the castle goes a stream that disappears into the limestone caves that with 14km of tunnels is the 2nd largest cave site in Slovenia

The central part of the castle was the living quarters for the Lords family and extended over 3 floors. In the dining room fortified 168cm thick walls are evident here. Small windows, thick walls and the cave environment made life in the castle cold, moist and unpleasant. Only the areas near windows provided a bit of comfort by letting in light and warmth. Castles before the 15th century were very uncomfortable and built for security rather than comfort.

This was probably the most interesting castle I have ever visited.

I found some steps near the castle that were begging to be walked up.

The taxi took us back to the caves site and we caught the 2.15pm bus back to Ljubliana.

It was overcast by the afternoon and the riverside was so quiet tonight compared to yesterday

We went back to the hostel and showered and organized for an early start to Belgrade in the morning and relaxed at the Chill Out Bar just next to our hostel that we frequented and indulged in our usual the Tugo made on wine, Triple sec and orange for 4E . For dinner we had our left overs from last night

Postjana Cave

Postjana Cave


Postjana Cave

Postjana Cave


Postjana Cave

Postjana Cave


Postjana Cave

Postjana Cave


The white " Brilliance" stalagmite

The white " Brilliance" stalagmite


Cave entrance

Cave entrance


Mum on the train

Mum on the train


Predjama Castle

Predjama Castle


Castle lodgings

Castle lodgings


Stunning castle

Stunning castle


Has a natural cave roof

Has a natural cave roof


Steep steps in rock through the castle

Steep steps in rock through the castle


More castle tunnels and steps

More castle tunnels and steps


Castle bedroom

Castle bedroom


More steps

More steps


Walls - cave or man made

Walls - cave or man made


Armoury

Armoury


View from the castle

View from the castle


Castle Cave

Castle Cave


Rabbit warren

Rabbit warren


Doorways everywhere

Doorways everywhere


Gothic doorway

Gothic doorway


Under the protection of the cave

Under the protection of the cave


Inside the highest cave

Inside the highest cave


Cave at top of castle

Cave at top of castle


Castle

Castle


Drawbridge

Drawbridge


Building it would have been terrifying

Building it would have been terrifying


Closed  tunnels at top of my exposing walk

Closed tunnels at top of my exposing walk


Steps needing to be explored

Steps needing to be explored


View of castle from the steps

View of castle from the steps


Kitchen sink

Kitchen sink


Love the baby walker

Love the baby walker


Postjana Cave

Postjana Cave


Pot of boiling oil to put over enemies

Pot of boiling oil to put over enemies


Predjama

Predjama


Predjama

Predjama


Looking down the oil shute below

Looking down the oil shute below


View from castle

View from castle


Water channels carved in the rock

Water channels carved in the rock


Wildflowers

Wildflowers

Posted by hillbillyramsey 17:00 Archived in Slovenia

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